The Return to In-Person Learning in Fall 2020

by Anna Augart


May 5, 2020

For a while, the possibility of remote learning in the fall was a topic of many conversations. It is unknown how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but it will hopefully begin to diminish in severity in time for the 2020-2021 school year. There have been multiple media reports announcing that Boston University is planning to delay its reopening until January 2021. However, an article from BU Today, which can be found at, stated that these reports are false and that BU, as of this writing, plans to resume in-person classes in the fall of 2020, while still observing safety and health requirements.

Looking forward to the return to instruction in fall, BU is planning for several contingencies. The University is monitoring the possibility of gatherings being restricted to a certain number of people and the potential problem of on-campus food preparation transmitting the coronavirus. A different BU Today article, with the link, outlines President Robert A. Brown’s plan for the fall of 2020. Brown discloses that the return of all the students will be much different than in previous years, and that it will not be “one mass move-in.” The safety of Boston University’s staff will have to be taken into consideration as well, along with the education plan. President Brown says, “[Education] will be in person to the extent we can do it. But can we put 150 students in a classroom? We won’t know.” He then claims that the fall of 2020 will be drastically different from that of 2019, and anyone who thinks otherwise is “being naive.”

As President Brown has stated, certain precautions will need to be implemented upon the return to in-person learning in the fall. BUA students may need to practice caution when taking public transportation to and from school, because trains and buses, places where many people are in close proximity to each other, could pose a potential threat to the health of students. There is a risk of the virus’ spreading through the frequently touched stop-request buttons and handles. On the BU campus, there are places, such as the George Sherman Union (GSU), where there are large numbers of students every day. These locations could potentially be unsafe because of the many people who pass through them daily. Another popular location on the BU campus, the FitRec, could be dangerous, since diseases and viruses can be transmitted through sweat. If the sweat of someone with the coronavirus touches a surface in the FitRec, anyone who makes contact with the contaminated surface within a certain time frame can become sick.

To help ensure an easier transition back to school, the most important measure anyone can take is to stay home and avoid gatherings with friends and family. It may seem boring now, but everyone will be glad when they can safely see their friends again at school.

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