Boston College and Brandeis University are the latest local schools to require students to move out of on-campus housing and to shift to online classes amid coronavirus fears.
At BC, all on-campus classes are canceled starting Thursday, something that will last through the end of the semester, including finals. The school is moving to online instruction starting March 19, and students are required to leave their rooms in university residence halls sometime before 9 p.m. March 15, BC’s president, William P. Leahy, in a letter to the school’s community on Wednesday.
“Those who cannot return to their homes because of international travel restrictions, serious personal reasons, or University obligations must obtain written permission from the Office of Residential Life to remain in University housing,” Leahy said.
The school is suspending on-campus academic events, as well as university-sponsored travel to international and domestic locations, unless approved by certain officials. No one at BC has been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to Leahy’s statement.
In Waltham, Brandeis will phase-out in-person instruction in coming days. By next Monday, all classes with more than 100 students will move online, and the last day of in-person instruction for all classes, regardless of size, will be March 20, according to a letter from Brandeis president Ronald D. Liebowitz to that school’s community. He said the school was not aware of any Covid-19 cases among Brandeis students, staff, or faculty.
“Covid-19 presents the Brandeis community with an unprecedented challenge due to daily changes in guidance from state and federal authorities and the lack of knowledge of the virus,” said Liebowitz in the letter. “It is clear, however, that we must take steps to help limit the spread of the coronavirus by reducing our density of population on campus.”
Undergraduates at that school who are living in on-campus housing are asked not to return to campus after March 25, when a school “spring recess” ends. They can start to move out of their housing earlier should they wish to do so. Brandeis will make some exceptions, allowing certain students to remain on campus in the residence halls, but such students will need permission from the school’s Department of Community Living. Exceptions will include international students, students who work on-campus, those who wouldn’t be able to continue classes online at home, or students “for whom going home is not an option," the letter said.