Boston University students said they are experiencing longer wait times to pick up food and have noticed overcrowded common spaces on campus this year — affecting how some students feel and interact in BU’s campus.
The reports follow claims that the University overenrolled the Class of 2025, however, BU spokesperson Colin Riley said the notion that there are too many students on campus is a result of everyone returning to a fully in-person campus after a year and a half.
“It’s all just getting back to school, where we’re in a repopulated campus,” Riley said. “It wasn’t last year, so maybe there were students who were here last year who recognized there were fewer students on campus at the time.”
He wrote in an email the freshman class size is about 4,020 students, close to the size of the Class of 2015. The Class of 2024 enrolled roughly 3,100 students, a total affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Each year enrollment fluctuates slightly,” Riley wrote. “Our Admissions professionals do a terrific job enrolling each class, but it is an art, not a science.”
Brooke Angell, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences who started on campus Spring 2020, said she noticed a change in how packed the campus is this semester.
“I think that can get really stressful, especially when you’re coming out of a pandemic and being so isolated all the time,” Angell said.
Angell is the president of Active Minds, a mental health organization at BU, and said members of the club have discussed how walking around on campus has become “overwhelming.”
“I usually won’t go to certain areas on campus to eat because I know it’s so packed,” she said. “It stops me from getting around as much as I used to before, having as much fun as I used to before.”
Eliana Sheykhet, a freshman in the Questrom School of Business, said the long wait times at on-campus restaurants and the dining halls have sometimes caused her to skip meals.
“I will miss a meal just because it’s pretty inconvenient to stand in the lines,” Sheykhet said.
Sheykhet said many menu options have often run out even if she has the chance to wait.
“There’s also a lot of options that don’t exist anymore,” she said “So many people want them so by the time you get there, you don’t even get what you want to eat.”
Alexander Pacy, a sophomore in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said he initially did not notice the crowds on campus because he was excited to finally be in person.
“Overall, as a sophomore, it’s very exciting to be in person and to go to class in person,” Pacy said. “Especially because last year, my start here, it wasn’t like that at all.”
Pacy said while the crowding has not affected him much, it sometimes makes him worry about contracting COVID-19.
“There are those moments where I think ‘oh there’s too many people around me right now’ and I put my mask back on for a while, even though I am outside and vaccinated, just for safety measures,” Pacy said.
Chloe Beaulieu, a freshman in Questrom, said the crowding on the sidewalks has added time to her commute between classes.
“I have a class in CAS and then one in [the College of General Studies] and so that’s normally a 10-minute walk, but it takes me 13 minutes,” Beaulieu said. “It’s kind of tight between both the classes because they’re 15 minutes apart.”
However, Angell noted that though it can be frustrating at times, at the end of the day it is nice to see more people around campus now.
“It feels like an actual college experience again,” Angell said.