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Students Receive Partial Refund, but Many Decisions yet to Be Made

The Boston College Division of Student Affairs has not made final decisions on many University policies in the wake of the University’s move to online classes and closure of the residence halls. 

The University sent an email to students on Thursday night answering frequently asked questions about the coronavirus signed by Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead, Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley, and Moore. The email said that students leaving campus will receive partial refunds for meal plans and room and board, but students will not receive tuition refunds. 

In an email sent to Moore on Thursday, The Heights asked about policy changes regarding academics, student outreach offices, housing, admitted student programming, and University Counseling Services (UCS). Karen Fiorentino, Vice President for Student Affairs Joy Moore’s administrative assistant, told The Heights over email to “check back next week.”

The Heights asked Moore about how the University closing will affect course registration for the fall semester, admitted student days, orientation, and programming by offices such as the Office of Health Promotion, the Women’s Center, and the Thea Bowman AHANA Intercultural Center. 

“We are working on all of these questions but final decisions have not yet been made on all of these questions,” Fiorentino responded. “Please check back next week.”

The email signed by Lochhead, Quigley, and Moore also offered more details on assistance provided by the University for moving out.

“In addition to the 40 Residential Life staff who will be assisting with the move-out, along with Resident Directors and Resident Assistants, BC will have 125 professional movers available to assist, free of charge, and 25,000 boxes have been provided for the move-out,” the email says. “In addition, parking in University garages will be free throughout the weekend.”

Moore also sent an email to BC students Thursday afternoon––it discouraged vandalism, property damage, and alcohol and drug misuse. 

“Those students who are approved to stay on campus will have access to residence halls, as well as libraries, University Health Services and dining halls, albeit with the possibility of reduced hours and staffing. Any changes in hours of these facilities will be communicated via email,” Moore’s initial Wednesday email read.

In the email, Moore wrote that communication on Senior Week and University Commencement will be sent as soon as possible.

“We realize that these measures are disruptive, and stressful. Let me assure you that we have taken them because we believe they are the best way to protect the health and wellbeing of the campus community,” Moore’s email read.

Free shuttles will run to Logan Airport and South Station, courtesy of the Campus Activities Board, Undergraduate Government of Boston College, and Parking and Transportation Services, according to an email sent by the Office of Student Involvement on Thursday afternoon. The shuttles will depart from the Robsham bus stop every hour. Buses will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, according to the email. 

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has also changed its policies in response to the outbreak.

“In line with Fr. Leahy’s announcement last night, admission visit and yield programs have been suspended indefinitely,” Grant Gosselin, director of Undergraduate Admissions, said in an email to The Heights. “We are hopeful to be able to offer our summer programming in June.”

UCS will remain open in a modified format, according to Craig Burns, the director of UCS. 

“While the situation is of course currently evolving, we are still meeting with students in person, and are offering phone consultation to students who are ill and should not come to the offices, or have left the area and are in need of a brief consultation,” Burns said in an email to The Heights

As part of the modified format of UCS, students remaining on campus or in the area will have access to in-person appointments, unless they are sick or could have been exposed to the coronavirus, according to a notice posted on the UCS website.

Students who are not available for in-person appointments will have access to telephone appointments. Students in need of urgent care can speak with the psychological emergency clinician in person or over the phone. UCS will also work with students to help them find clinicians in their area, according to the notice.

Lean On Me, a peer-to-peer mental health texting service, will be suspended for the remainder of the semester, according to Ally Lardner, incoming Lean On Me president and Lynch ʼ21.

“I am very, very upset about what this means for Lean On Me in the future,” Lardner said. “We had just taken on a bunch of new supporters, many of whom are freshmen. We are currently in talks with Lean On Me National and with the current and future eboard about what this means for Lean On Me next semester, next year. We’re staying positive and are excited to be back with everyone next fall.”

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

March 13, 2020