Emerson reopens residence halls, campus eateries to Boston students

Students+walk+in+front+of+The+Colonial+Building+residence+hall+on+Boylston+St.

Photo: zhihao wu

Students walk in front of The Colonial Building residence hall on Boylston St.

By Vivi Smilgius, Editor-in-Chief

The college will reopen its residence halls and campus eateries to Boston students in the coming weeks, announced Emerson Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe in a community-wide email sent Thursday evening.

Beginning on Jan. 18, Boston-based students will be allowed to visit residence halls as guests. All students must be masked and abiding by in-room capacity limits. External guests are not allowed in residence halls, as was the case for the duration of the Fall 2021 semester.

The announcement comes amid a COVID-19 surge on campus. The college has seen 228 positive cases since testing for the spring semester began on Jan. 3, with a current test positive rate of 4.55 percent. Hoppe acknowledged the surge in his email but said campus officials have been working to create campus protocol that serves students’ needs while mitigating cases among students.

“Unlike the early stages of the pandemic, we are now much better prepared to respond, more knowledgeable about managing the campus, and better protected by vaccines, boosters, and testing protocols,” Hoppe wrote. “All these factors have influenced college decision-making and allowed for more focused planning.”

Regarding campus spaces, the Iwasaki Library will reopen for in-person use on Jan. 18. The fitness center will remain closed until Jan. 24. Student organizations must meet remotely through Jan. 24, and no spectators are allowed at athletic events for the same time period.

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The Dining Center will remain “grab-and-go” until Jan. 24. On-campus eateries like the Max Grill, Lion’s Den, Paramount Cafe and Backstage Deli will reopen Jan. 17 with limited seating and one-person table limits.

Hoppe reminded students to complete their COVID booster shot attestations on the Emerson App. He mentioned Boston’s proof of vaccination requirement, effective for certain indoor spaces starting Jan. 15.

He also announced that the college will be holding a COVID Q&A on Jan. 18 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for students to ask staff about the current protocols and updates.