Photos: What’s new, what’s back, what’s keeping us safe

Students are returning to a campus with even more to offer

Students chat while diningPhoto/Mike Lovett

Read more: The numbers behind the Class of 2025

This fall, Brandeis welcomes back students in-person to all its schools. Thanks to high rates of vaccination among the university community, students are returning to a campus that has even more to offer. Here are some of the things they have to look forward to this semester.

Students chat while having lunch
Photo/Mike Lovett

It will be easier to be social this semester. Room capacity limits will return to standard posted capacities, and public indoor spaces on campus will be open with masks required. Students are allowed to be maskless in dining halls while eating. Masks are only required outdoors for community members who have received vaccination exemptions and off-campus guests.

Photo/Mike Lovett

There will be more options to get a bite to eat. Sherman and Lower Usdan dining halls will return to full or near-full seating capacity, and will still allow for grab and go meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at both dining halls. Additionally, the Faculty Club and the Stein will re-open in late August. The Farber Library cafe, Usdan Food Court, and Louis’ Deli will continue to operate exclusively on BITE, a mobile ordering platform introduced during the pandemic that eliminates the wait time for orders.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Classroom instruction will overwhelmingly be face-to-face. Nearly all undergraduate courses at Brandeis will return to in-person instruction. Distancing requirements have been lifted in classrooms, but masks are required for indoor classes. In classes where pedagogical needs do not allow for masks to be worn, like in theater, vocal performance and language courses, fully-vaccinated students with a green Campus Passport may be able to participate without a mask, at the instructor’s discretion. Fully vaccinated instructors may also unmask while they are presenting to the class.

There will also be flexibility in how courses are taught. More than 70 classrooms have been upgraded with technology to allow for hybrid flexible teaching and learning, giving students and faculty the potential to fully participate in classes, regardless of location.

OLs during a preorientation event
Photo/Mary Horan

Clubs and events will return to in-person activities. Following a year of limited options for in-person engagement, student clubs can now organize events outdoors and indoors to the regular room capacity. Masks are required in indoor public spaces for all members of the Brandeis community. 

Orientation also returns to an in-person schedule, along with events that are staples of the first week on campus, like the Academic Fair, VolunteerFest, the Involvement Fair, Waltham Group Recruitment Night, and Critical Conversations. There will also be a special Sophomore Orientation this year for the Class of 2024.

There will be more options for getting support, guidance, counseling and advice. Academic, health and financial support services and the Hiatt Career Center will all have in-person options this semester, as well as options to connect virtually. In a closed office with four people or fewer, in-person sessions can be conducted masked or maskless, at the discretion of those involved, if all participants are vaccinated.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Exercise and athletics are on. Students, faculty and staff can use athletics facilities, including Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, as long as they have a green campus passport and wear a mask. This fall, Judges athletes are preparing for a full schedule starting Aug. 19 with home games for men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Testing will continue. Regardless of their vaccination status, all students must submit a sample for COVID-19 testing upon arrival on campus, and then take a COVID-19 test twice a week. 

Vaccinated faculty and staff must take a COVID-19 test weekly, and unvaccinated staff and faculty are required to test every 96 hours. Testing will be conducted at two locations this semester: The Shapiro Science Center and the Gluck Lobby in Usdan.

A group walking out of a COVID test site
Photo/Mike Lovett

Vaccination is key. University students, faculty and staff are required to provide proof of vaccination in the Campus Passport Portal before coming to campus. Vaccines are mandatory for everyone in the campus community, with limited exemptions for religious or health reasons. As of August 17, more than 92% of the on-campus community was vaccinated.

Brandeis will continue to use the Campus Passport to monitor testing and health protocols in the campus community. A yellow passport is required to be on campus, and certain activities require a green passport.

Photo/Mike Lovett
There will be flexibility. The university will continue to monitor COVID-19 and make adjustments to campus policy accordingly. Data will continue to be publicly available on the Brandeis COVID-19 dashboard. More information about all of Brandeis’ policies this semester can be found on the COVID-19 response website.

Categories: Student Life

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