This Thanksgiving break, Boston College students will be splitting ways, with half returning home for the break and finishing the semester remotely, and half remaining within Massachusetts and finishing the semester on campus.
The University's Thanksgiving break plan outlined the options students had for the break, ultimately giving students the option to leave the state and stay home for the remainder of the semester or to stay in state and finish the semester on campus. In an update from Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Formation Tom Mogan, the University affirmed that those found in violation of the Thanksgiving travel policy would be subject to Student Conduct sanctions. Moreso, the student body was reminded of Governor Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory and limitations of gathering sizes. Senior Associate Director of Media Relations Ed Hayward also affirmed that COVID-19 testing will be continued for the BC community.
“We encourage members of the BC community, regardless of their location, to follow public health guidance from their local authorities and to maintain the vigilance and spirit of shared responsibility that have allowed the semester to proceed during these unprecedented times,” Hayward said. “We wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.”
Students, like freshman Riya Kodali CSOM ‘24, opted to go home, not wanting to miss out on the Thanksgiving holiday. Kodali misses her friends and family, but more importantly, wanted to visit her hometown one last time before moving cities.
“I’m going home because it’ll be my last time going to Louisville, Kentucky before my family moves to Texas,” she said. “I think freshman year is going pretty well so far because I have made some super close friends, and I go to the city a lot, and going home will make me miss my friends a lot, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to study more for finals.”
While Kodali thinks that doing schoolwork remotely will allow her to focus better, junior Eva Hernandez disagrees. Hernandez MCAS ‘22, will be staying on campus for the remainder of the semester for a variety of reasons, academics being one of them.
“I didn’t think that I’d be able to do two months at home and I also remember how bad doing academics from my house was and I didn’t really feel like doing that again, especially being here for the entire semester and kind of having somewhat of a [normal semester] for myself, I thought that going home for finals wouldn’t be great academically,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, as an RA on upper campus, has observed freshman life for the semester and is expecting the remainder of the semester to be “very quiet.” She describes this semester as not feeling what BC normally is, and expects the next three weeks to stray even further from the norm. With 50% of all students leaving, and roughly 70% of freshmen leaving, Hernandez expects there to be “a pretty dead campus, in general.”
Despite having an expectedly “different” semester, both Kodali and Hernandez believe they had a good semester and are looking forward to coming back in January.
“I’m glad to have had the opportunity to stay at BC this semester and come back next semester, even if it hasn’t been easy,” Hernandez said. “I really hope that people that indicated they’re staying in Massachusetts do stay in Massachusetts, [because] it’s really difficult when you’re responsible and following the rules and then you see people around you that aren’t.”