GMS Answers COVID-19 Questions
Is BU changing any deadlines or requirements for theses/dissertations for those whose research data collection has been disrupted by COVID?
Specifically interested in whether alternative options for theses/dissertations (such as a certain number of publications or epidemiological analyses rather than a traditional dissertation analyzing data collected in-person) will be considered if live data collection is disrupted after a prospectus has been submitted and accepted by BU.
This is a decision made by the individual programs because they each have different requirements. The student should talk with their research advisor/PI and department chair or program director to ask about adjustments due to research disruptions from covid-19. The student’s dissertation advisory committee should also have a voice in the process because they are familiar with the student’s overall progress.
Where can I go to learn about testing procedures, compliance, safety guidelines, and other COVID-19 related questions?
- BU Healthway is the best resource for all your answers. They have information on How to take the test, schedule a test, report symptoms and even wear your face covering properly. The site provides information on expectations for students, preventative measures, and important numbers and website.
- The second site which is a great “Go To” site is Back2BU – Resources which has links to many of the resources you may need.
What are the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety guidelines?
Are free facemasks available for students to help with COVID-19 compliance?
Everyone should already have masks. It is mandated by the state. We expect you’ll be able to manage obtaining one yourself. We are providing clear masks for some faculty to accommodate hard-of-hearing students.
Where can I study?
- The library is located on the 11,12, and 13th floors and is open from 7:30 am -6 pm Sunday through Friday.
- The 11th floor is also open on Saturday from 7:30 am to 6pm.
- Student can study in any available classroom between 7am and 10pm. Available non-scheduled rooms can be found using the Space-finder app.
At this time, all rooms are closed 10pm to 7am for cleaning.
Is the GMS office open for students? Where can I eat lunch between classes? Can I study there? When will it be open?
Yes, the GMS office is open. The majority of the staff will be working remotely but the Deans will be in daily. Starting Wednesday Sept 16th, from 10am-2pm the small staff offices will be open to students for 1 hour intervals to have lunch or private study breaks. Sign-up information will be available soon and there will be approximately 10 offices available for each time slot.
- Students should enter through the GMS front door and exit only at end of hallway (the back door). Students will need to show their green screen to GMS staff in residence when they arrive.
- Please clean the doorknob, desktop and surfaces when enter (disinfectant wipe from the kiosk in the hall, discard in kiosk) and clean again when you exit and discard wipes in the kiosk. TAKE ALL TRASH WITH YOU.
- Each office will have a notebook. Please sign in with name, date, time in and BU ID#. This is for contact tracing in case a student tests positive or becomes symptomatic.
I tested positive for COVID-19, and I live alone. How will I get food or medications?
We suggest all students prepare a “Just in Case Bag” which includes the following:
- 14 day supply of necessary prescriptions and over the counter medications.
- Toiletries, thermometer, disinfectants (especially if have a roommate)
- Phone list of emergency numbers and contact information
- Insurance information, both a hard copy and a digital copy (just in case)
- Non-perishable food items for 10 days (soups, pasta, rice, cereal) things that are easy to fix but nourishing.
Student Health Services will call every day to monitor and provide guidance.
It is very important that you have a support system so please keep that in mind whether it is your family, friends, or a faculty member. You want to have someone who can check on you daily and help you when needed. If you need more support or resources, GMS, your program director or faculty mentor are here. We can also just be there is you just need someone to talk to if you are feeling isolated.
What happens if someone in my research lab tests positive?
- The individual with the positive test will be put into isolation and required to stay in place for 10 days. They will be notified for additional testing requirement.
- The contact tracing team will be mobilized to identify encounters with co-workers and others who will then be notified. They will need to quarantine for 14 days.
- The research lab will be decontaminated by deep cleaning by facilities before anyone will be allow back in the lab.
- Safety protocols will be implemented until it is safe for return to the lab.
I think I have symptoms but I don't want to go to the Charles River Campus to get tested. Are there resources for symptomatic medical campus students?
Yes, students with symptoms that have been advised by BU Healthway can be tested on the medical campus at the Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Clinic.
The Influenza Like Illness (ILI) Clinic is located in the Crosstown Building located at 801 Massachusetts Ave, First Floor. The ILI clinic is open for testing from 8:30 a.m.-12:00p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
Are students allowed to park on the medical campus? What’s the parking situation like?
Yes, students are allowed to park on campus. Currently, regular monthly student parking rates are in place at 610 and 710 Albany Street garages. The Doctor’s Office building garage at 720 Harrison Ave does have reduced student rate at $12 per day.
If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity please reach out to Dr. Greg Viglianti as you will need to have the access added to your BU ID. Dr. Viglianti can be reached at email@example.com
What are the recommended guidelines for student organization meetings and events?
All student groups and non-academic events should continue meeting remotely as much as possible. Any in-person event must be pre-approved and follow the guidelines set by the University posted here.
Current guidelines on the medical campus are for groups less than 10. Please note that this is less that the state mandates. If students want to host an in-person event please contact Kimberly Arena, Associate Director Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Fuller Gym on the medical campus open to students?
Currently there are no plans for the Fuller gym to open this semester as patients use the facility during the day. As soon as we know more about a potential opening, we will send out an announcement. Stay up to date by visiting the Fuller gym website.
Is FitRec on the CRC open to students?
Currently the Fit Rec Center is open for a limited number of physical education classes for credit but these are not open to GMS students.
No general fitness, recreational activities, club sports or Intramurals are currently allowed but may be open on a limited basis at a date to be determined in the future.
When it does open, access for these activities will require reservations in advance to reduce density and meet physical distancing guidelines.
For more information we encourage you to monitor the FitRec FAQs.
In the meantime, they have posted a lot of videos of sessions that ran throughout the spring session entitled “Keep moving wherever you are” and encourage you to take a look.
Their contact Email is email@example.com
My class has a discussion session that will be recorded, and I’m uncomfortable with this. What should I do?
We encourage you to talk with your course director before the class. It may not be necessary to record the discussion. If recording the class is necessary (such as some students are in a different time zone and much watch the discussion asynchronously) other options such as securing the recording on Blackboard, or making it password protected might be a solution to promote security. Alternatively, ask your course director if you can log in as a guest, so you aren’t identifiable or if you can log on with an alternative name and no video.
Are there any volunteer opportunities for students?
Absolutely. A list is available on the Student Life page here.
What sort of stress management or wellness resources are available to students?
Yes, we know that graduate school can bring on challenges and increase stress. This is even more important now as we face the challenges of COVID. We want to encourage you to balance your academics with health and well-being and develop the skills you need to be successful.
Grading policies have changed for the Spring of 2020 for graduate and professional students. Will GMS have the option to elect Credit/No Credit for any of their classes this semester?
Grading policies differ between schools and colleges. Grading policies will not change for GMS for this semester.
When will we know more about commencement?
As President Brown’s email on 3/26 indicated, in-person University Commencement ceremonies have been postponed. BUMC Provost and BUSM Dean Antman followed this by saying “we are determined to celebrate all of your collective achievements and accomplishments virtually”. GMS will be having a virtual celebration on May 14 for both Masters & Doctoral students s well as an in-person commencement in the fall when rescheduled. As more information becomes available we will update the GMS Commencement page.
Check the Virtual Celebration webpage for details (updated 5/3/2020).
Currently the University hopes to hold the 2020 in-person Commencement ceremony in May of 2021. When more information is available we will share it with graduates
If an in-person commencement isn't planned until the fall, then when will my official graduation date be?
All GMS student degrees will be conferred on May 17, 2020
What are the details for the May 14th Virtual Celebration for graduates?
All-GMS celebration (pre-recorded) will be posted online at 9:30 on May 14th for students and their families to view. Individual masters and doctoral programs will hold smaller, live, online celebrations throughout the day. Students should check the GMS Commencement page for the specific time of their Program specific celebration (or reach out to their Program Director or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Is the University developing plans to make widespread testing available to the members of its community? The University of Arizona has committed to effort.
The University is currently evaluating multiple avenues to provide a safe environment for our faculty, staff and student communities. These include testing (virus, serology, etc), physical distancing, personal protective equipment and various education and teaching approaches. All these and more are under discussion. Instructions and guidelines will be coming in the near future.