Lifestyle and Travel

Back2BU 2020: The Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know

With new social distancing guidelines, testing procedures and re-imagined residences the guide for Back2BU 2020 feels a little overwhelming. This article answers all questions about BU’s Back2BU 2020 Move-In process and campus life this Fall.

Hello! It’s your friendly Resident Assistant from Lower Bay State Road helping you to successfully understand the Back2BU 2020 guidelines. I’m here to give you move-in tips, explanations on testing procedures and all things BU in this handy dandy guide. There is also a highlight on my personal story @solangehackshaw up until September 4th with this information.

First off: Here’s what I actually did when I got to campus and the days prior to leaving home. Here’s my Back2BU 2020 Experience (lol that sounds like a concert).

  1. On August 3rd I got an email from UPS storage squad about returning my stuff. Like many of you, I left BU on March 6th. Like a fool, I decided to pack light this ONE TIME, leaving most of my stuff in my dorm. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be coming back and the apocalypse my friends predicted and I jokingly brushed off at the time, came true. Consequently, BU stored my stuff. All 22 boxes whew. I had a flight at 8am on Wednesday, so I requested between 3 to 5pm for my delivery time slot. On August 7th, I got a confirmation email and when I got to campus my delivery promptly came at 2:45pm.
  2. My father graciously filled out the Massachusetts Travel Form for me. Basically unless you are coming from the following low risk states: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont, you NEED to fill this out. After you do, you will receive texts from the state of MA reminding you of the $500 fine if you fail to meet their guidelines of two negative tests, a negative test within 72 hours of your travel or a 14 day self quarantine. For Back2BU 2020 purposes, you need three negative tests but I’ll explain that more later.
  3. Try to pack only the essentials: This is not the best time for elaborate decorations. Remember, in the event we do shut down, you want to be able to grab your necessities and dip ASAP so don’t give yourself unnecessary, extra weight. When you get your stuff from UPS, try to give away/discard what’s no longer necessary to you also.
  4. Pack cleaning supplies. I cannot emphasize this enough. I just went to the Target at Fenway and I can tell you there is not a single Clorox wipe or soft scrub bottle on the shelves. Have your gloves, masks, wipes, and hand sanitizer at the ready. All the other stuff like scrubs and cleaning tools you should be able to source here.
  5. Schedule your COVID-19 testing appointment on Patient Connect BU: I can honestly tell you I made my appointment in my Uber on the way to campus. I set my 12:35pm appointment at 11:57am. Literally. But, it that gave me enough time to get my key, drop my suitcase off and walk over to CILSE . I did return to campus when it was a ghosttown though. I’m not sure how availability will go when people start to move in this weekend and the next few weeks. I recommend booking your appointment about three to five days prior to you getting to campus. There are also four testing locations:
    1. 808 Commonwealth Avenue
    2. Agganis Lobby at 925 Commonwealth Avenue
    3. The BU Medical Campus at E 72 Concord St
    4. The Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering at 610 Commonwealth Avenue.
  6. Here’s my testing experience at CILSE that took all of two minutes:
    1. I showed up and filled out the daily compliance survey to self-report any symptoms.
    2. I pulled up the QR code for my appointment and showed the attendant in the first room they guide you too. They gave me my test.
    3. The nose swab literally was just rubbing a fluffy Q-tip in your nose three to five times, not up the nostril.
    4. I put the top of the tip in the tube, walked out and dropped it off at the exit. They also tell you to use hand sanitizer before you leave. You’re also not allowed to set your stuff down anywhere at any point during this process. You have to keep your things on your person so be mindful of that. You need a hand free to hold and do the test. I got my results 7pm the next day from my 12:35pm appointment.
  7. Move-In: I took three carts for when my stuff was dropped off. I rolled them out to the curb and the lovely delivery guy, Ed, loaded each of them up for me. All I did was wheel them inside and up the elevator. I definitely advise coordinating with your friends so you can have multiple move in carts at the ready. Especially if you’re like me and have a lot of stuff so the UPS person can load it for you and all you have to do is wheel it to your dorm and unpack. Just be considerate and return the carts ASAP so other people can use them. I’m also not sure this year if they will collect IDs for carts because I know they’re trying to limit contact so stay tuned for that.

Back2BU 2020: COVID-19 Testing

  1. BU requires tests from everyone, even people coming from in state or low risk states. However, as opposed to high risk state residents, low-risk state and MA residents only need one test, whereas we need to do three. I was told the minimum wait time to schedule between tests is 3 days and maximum is five days. Ex) I completed my test on Wednesday. The lab sent me my results by 7pm on Thursday and emailed me to schedule another test for Monday. After that, I will need one more test 3 to 5 days after receiving that result.
  2. The nose swab is not uncomfortable by any means so do not worry about that. It’s not the test that feels like chlorine in your nose, thank goodness.
  3. After these initial tests you’re good to go BUT there will be REGULAR TESTING THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER. Keep that in mind. Resident Assistants, faculty, staff and university officials who are on campus have to get tested biweekly/on a more regular basis. I’m unsure what it will be like for residents but you can expect to get more testing in the future.
  4. Finally, you need to fill out a daily health screening survey to report your symptoms/lack thereof. That is one of the requirements you have to fulfill by living on or being on campus in any capacity. It’s to keep track of your health basically.
  5. Like I said above, fill out the MA Travel Form if you are coming from a high risk state. Massachusetts will fine you for not doing so and for not completing the requirements of the negative tests or self-quarantine. Go to to fill it out please!

This is all there is to that but here are some helpful graphics from the account @fckitwontcutit on Instagram.

Back2BU 2020: Move-In Tips!

  1. Only one guest is allowed to help residents move in.
  2. You can only move in between your allotted time slot between 8am and 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
  3. Make sure to coordinate your use of move-in carts with your UPS storage date.
  4. Hall registration cards are now online! If you’re moving in before August 18th, you should’ve received an email to fill out your online registration card. You need to do that in order to receive your key. If you have not received that email, you can contact to get the email resent. There are also QR codes in each residence life office so you can fill it out then if anything. If you’re moving in after August 18th, your email will get sent at a later date.
  5. Finally, with regards to UPS, you may not have to email. My friend sent me this screenshot saying your stuff will automatically be near your room when you arrive. If anything call UPS to confirm.

That’s all you really need to know for move in. Just use hand sanitizer and do it as quickly as you can so you can quarantine. The goal is to be able to have a socially distanced move in and limited contact between folks. Wear your mask too!! You will have to wear a mask all across campus in public spaces.

Back2BU2020: Residence Life Updates

  1. Residence life prohibits guests until further notice
  2. BU requires social distancing in common spaces and you must have a mask on at all times when in public
  3. Only residents can access their dorm buildings. There is no more cross campus swipe access.
  4. Weeks of welcome events will be online! Be sure to check them out here:
    1. There are some cool events like a Q&A with TIFFANY HADDISH and caricature drawings. Check them out for real!
  5. There will be a lobster night! It’ll be lobster rolls but at least there will be some form of lobster. That will be on September 10th so stay tuned for that!
  6. Residence Hall councils will be functioning and will have virtual events. Faculty-in-Residences will have virtual open hours as well.
  7. For ordering food from Rhett’s, Starbucks or any other on campus restaurant, GrubHub is the way to go! To order food, sign up for campus delivery. You can use dining points, convenience points or your credit/debit card to order your meals.
  8. Finally, for clubs and organizations, meetings will probably be virtual. However, with all of us scattered across the country and world, this is a great way to stay connected. Just be aware of zoom fatigue for sure.

Back2BU2020: Tips for Air Travel

Here are some of the things I did for my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. This is definitely the time to be like Naomi Campbell and practice extra caution.

  1. If you use the bathroom, try your best to not touch anything. Put down the seat covers on the toilet seat. Also, wet wipes are a good alternative to toilet paper.
  2. Get a pack of sanitizing wipes so you can wipe down each surface you touched. I sanitized the bathroom handles on the plane and wiped my armrests. I wiped anything I touched.
  3. If you’re flight is less than 6 hours, try not to eat on the flight. This really is not the time to be grubbing. If you do have to eat, I recommend eating something that requires utensils. Leave the finger foods at home. You don’t want to be munching on germs. Especially if it isn’t the first flight of the day and the plane has not been deeply sanitized.
    1. Sidenote: I booked my flight with JetBlue and they’re not selling middle seats anymore. That way people were able to social distance slightly on the plane.
  4. Limit your bathroom use on the plane.
  5. Leave your mask on the whole time if you can.
  6. Carry a small hand sanitizer tube in your bag and consistently use it. Have a change of clothes ready so you can change when you get to BU. Put the clothes you wore on the flight in the hamper immediately so you can wash them.
  7. Wash your hands frequently and for 60 seconds.
  8. Limit touching your eyes. Whether you wear glasses or a face shield, keep your hands away from your face.

Finally, I just received this email tonight about health screenings and COVID-19 testing.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions about the Back2BU 2020 requirements, please send me an email at or DM on Instagram! Stay safe and stay well, Terriers! We got this.