College extends virtual classes and limited campus access through Thursday


Photo: Domenic Conte

The Piano Row dorm building boarded up with plywood ahead of potential election fallout protests.

By Charlie McKenna

Emerson will extend its decision to hold all in-person classes online and limit campus access after 6 p.m. through Thursday, President M. Lee Pelton announced in an email Wednesday night.

The decision comes as administrators brace for potential civil unrest in downtown Boston related to the 2020 presidential election. The college previously shifted Wednesday’s courses online and locked campus buildings after 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, making them only available by tap access via an Emerson ID.

“As we await the final results from this consequential and historic presidential election, the College continues to monitor events and activities that are taking place,” Pelton wrote in the email. “While uncertainties remain as results are tabulated, we are committed to ensuring our community remains safe and secure”

The announcement comes as the results of the 2020 presidential election remain unclear—votes are still being counted in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Nevada. 

The college boarded up some of its public-facing buildings, including Piano Row and the Paramount Theatre, Tuesday and Wednesday out of  “an abundance of caution.” Local businesses in the downtown area did the same.

Several peaceful demonstrations, including one on Boston Common, were held Wednesday, calling for all votes in the ongoing election to be counted before a winner is determined.

The fitness center, 172 Tremont, and the library will close at 6 p.m. on Thursday but will be open throughout the day.

The college’s COVID-19 testing site at Tufts Medical Center will still operate at regular hours Thursday.