COVID - Boston College in the fall

With COVID still spiking in parts of the US , other colleges including Harvard are limiting number of students on campus. We are worried. Certainly the administration will do everything they can to create a best case scenario, but the academic experience (guessing many classes still on-line ) and social experience will be diminished; and come at an increased risk. What are current BC students and their families thinking about Fall semester? What kind of conversations are happening at home?

D20 is desperate to start school no matter what the situation, but as a full pay family, I am sick over the amount of money we are spending for what I think will be a very watered down and marginally safe experience. Deferral deadline passed way before any plans were announced and I doubt exceptions will be made. Even if she could get a deferral, D20 is adamant that she wants to go. We have had daily discussions about this and TBH, if I was not concerned about her study habits disappearing during a gap year, we would have pushed the deferral issue more.

Many students at BC are weighing their options…We are are not only paying for a degree, we are paying for an experience…The expedience will be greatly diminished by the Anti -COVID measures.

I am pleased with BC’s plans to return to a residential college. I’m not crazy about the Housing addendum my son recently had to sign (tying safety to conduct), but it is one of many conditions necessary to make 8/31 on campus happen (and conduct is always looking for work at BC!).

Note, the recent email from the CFO to parents/guardians encourages families to contact BC if they circumstances have changed. I do think you SHOULD push back on fees lost if you decide in the next 2 weeks that a year off from BC makes sense for your family. Again, see Burke’s email to parents just before we were all invoiced for fall semester. Get on the phone ASAP to have this conversation with BC.

It is remarkable that only 1 out of every 4 teaching faculty member at BC has asked for an online only semester (see Provost Quigley’s emails regarding this information). This stands in contrast with many other selective colleges. I am praying for BC, and I encourage others to do the same.

My son is a rising senior and has accepted a job post grad in 21. He wants/needs to graduate next May. Because he is a senior, his 5 fall classes are upper electives with small sections. They currently look to be all in person. He is scheduled to move back on campus 8/20 (nearly all off campus leases for 19/20 break on the 20th of August). So, we are locked in, paid, and ready to finish 2 more semesters. I live 1900 miles from campus, and I feel confident my son will be safe.

I don’t look to Harvard for leadership on this issue. Notre Dame, Purdue, UT Austin are some of the top Universities working to co-exist with a contagious virus - BC will do the same. And there are other Boston colleges with a residential model this fall.

There is no perfect, risk free solution to this situation. However, The risk to college students of a bad outcome from covid infection (hospitalization or death) is incredibly low (much lower than the risk of a college student dying from a car accident or the flu, to put it in perspective). Of course, BC students interact with older professors and community members who may be more vulnerable. Elderly and/or infirm faculty should be isolated and have likely sought and received accommodations from BC. Risk stratification is under reported but important. In Massachusetts, the median age of covid fatalities is 82. Over 60% of fatalities were nursing home residents with other serious conditions. 90 % of all covid fatalities were over 65 years old. None were under 25. The vulnerable groups need to be isolated to reduce their risk. Fortunately, the prevalence of the virus in the Boston area is now low. Testing of students on arrival to campus will also help minimize spread. For many, the four years of college shape the arch of their lives, through experiences, friendships and opportunities that are unique to the on campus, residential learning environment. We need to respect the virus but also have a full understanding that college students and otherwise healthy faculty under 60 are at extremely low risk of a bad outcome if they are exposed to it.

I’m going into my junior year and I moved up into my apartment the first of July. So I’m already up here and excited to get back to in person school. Everyone is being super cautious and safe. There is nothing like being on campus. Yeah, things will be different and more restrictive, but I believe everyone will follow the rules for the most part. I actually start my summer job Monday at a local hospital in a lab working with Covid specimens. I think BC is doing their best and I’m excited by their decision. No one really knows what will happen or what the right decision is. But as a kid, I’m just happy to get back to some sense of normalcy and see my friends in a few weeks. Good luck to everyone.

^It’s all you can really do. Take the necessary precautions to minimize exposure (not eliminate as that is impossible without complete lock down) and go about your business. We’re in this for a while. There is no known xdate. If there was, it would be easy, just lock down until then.

With no end in sight, we need to count on compliance. Human actions will dictate how this semester (and next) go. Wear a mask, maintain reasonable social distancing, wash your hands.

You sound really bright. Hopefully your peers will follow your lead.

For some reason I cannot start my own discussion (hhmmmmmmm) but here is a link to a great article written by Scott Galloway of NYU- Who will Thrive, survive, struggle and perish…

If you’re interested there’s a whole thread about that article. It’s received it’s fair share of criticism about the methodology used.

Our best to all of the students at BC and their families. Really hoping the students keep the masks up when together out of respect for the community - even if they personally feel safe or view mask mandates and other public health guidelines as an infringement on individual rights.