February 9, 2021
Dear Boston College Student,
We write to you today with great concern over the number and pattern of positive COVID-19 cases in recent days. This rise in cases is a direct result of students letting their guard down with respect to pandemic health precautions, including not wearing masks, lack of maintaining physical distancing, hosting and attending parties/gatherings, and other risky social behavior. The uptick in cases and close-contacts has been particularly apparent among members of the freshman class, who had been noticeably cooperative during the first semester.
As a result of these current trends, we are reaching a critical stage where further restrictions may need to be implemented in certain areas or across campus in order to reduce the number of students testing positive or quarantining as a result of close contact with an infected student. These restrictions may include the adoption of a no-guest policy, the implementation of in-room quarantine, and potentially the premature end of the on-campus semester. The pattern of cases clearly demonstrates that many students are ignoring the basic health and safety protocols that allowed us to remain in-class and in-person on campus during the first semester. This behavior threatens the health and safety of our shared campus community.
Students must adhere to physical distancing and mask-wearing mandates at all times. Testing is not a substitute for following these critical measures. Please remember that people without symptoms or with a recent negative test result can still spread COVID-19 to others.
Despite all of the warnings, there were a number of social gatherings in residence halls over the past two weekends that exceeded the established guest limit and where masks were not being worn. Many of the students who have been found responsible for these violations have already been removed from University housing or have been suspended from the University, and other cases are in process.
We understand everyone is fatigued by the restrictions on in-person gatherings and that the cold weather makes it difficult to gather outside. However, our goal is to be able to finish the semester on campus. We need everyone to adhere to the conduct policies that have been clearly and consistently communicated.
As a result of these growing concerns, all students will be required to attend a mandatory meeting - these will begin as early as tomorrow night. You will receive an email tomorrow during the day with your scheduled time and a Zoom link. More instructions will be provided in the email you receive tomorrow.
We call upon you to think about the ramifications of your actions when considering behavior which may not be in compliance with public health and BC COVID-19 health safety precautions and policies.
Thank you for your cooperation and for your ongoing care and consideration for our Boston College community.
Executive Vice President and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. Douglas Comeau
Director of University Health Services