By Varsha Subramanian
The Student Activities Office at BU has released new guidelines for how clubs and organizations will resume their activities on campus this fall.
On Friday, students received an email from the Dean of Students Office addressing how activities on campus will take place in accordance with the social distancing rules set in place. Attached to the email is a document answering frequently asked questions. Apart from this document, SAO has also published a guideline on the Back2BU website. These were the most important changes made.
SPLASH will be held virtually in fall and students are encouraged to use an online portal to find and connect with clubs that pique their interest. SAO will also be organizing chat rooms over the summer for all students to familiarize themselves with the portal, called Engage.
Weeks of Welcome events start on August 15 and will continue to September, it is unclear if this will take place virtually. The Link tables located between GSU and Mugar Library cannot be used by student groups until further notice. The Square Initiative is also suspended for all student organizations.
Clubs are encouraged to hold their meetings virtually or to adapt to a hybrid model. In-person meetings are limited to 10 people only. However, if an organization wishes to hold their meetings completely in person, they must acquire a large room that will allow them to do so while adhering to Massachusetts public health policies.
E-board members must prevent students who fail to follow the social distancing protocols from attending club meetings. Moreover, the Clubs are responsible for ensuring that students continue to practice social distancing during the in-person meetings by putting up signs reminding them to wash their hands and not to shake hands. Block seats to ensure a proper distance is made and make sure the seats are spread out. An evacuation plan in case of an emergency must be made and exits and entrances must be clearly marked. All students are required to wear masks during the meetings, and a sign-in sheet to record attendance must be maintained to allow the university to track students down if anyone from the meeting were to contract the coronavirus.
All facilities and spaces on campus are open to BU students only and not the general public unless they have been invited by the hosting organization and show no signs of the coronavirus. This rule applies to guest speakers and vendors. If not essential, clubs are encouraged not to host events for guests or visitors.
Clubs that are dependent on travel are not allowed to do so this semester. However, SAO will work with these clubs to come up with alternatives.
In the email, to students, the dean of students wrote: “We believe that it’s important for students to do what they love to do when they come together—dance and sing, network, argue, protest and demonstrate, solve problems, create and experience art, play games, discover who you are, or just kick it. We are working hard to enable you to do that in new ways and to make your life on campus as rewarding and inspiring as ever.”