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One Emerson: Returning to Campus


Happy New Year. We hope you’ve been able to have a restful and enjoyable break thus far, and are starting to plan for your return to campus.

As promised, we wanted to share some updates and guidance regarding what you can expect when you return to campus.  Additional follow-up on booster shots, using the Emerson App, and other topics will be coming shortly.  This information is primarily applicable to those students (graduate and undergraduate) who will be living, working, or studying on the Boston campus one day a week or more this spring.

  • Residence halls will open as scheduled, with new first-time student move-in on Thursday, January 6, and returning student move-in occurring from Friday, January 7 – Sunday, January 9.  Residential students should follow all directions provided via a prior email by Housing & Residential Education on December 22. **Please note: All students are asked to return to Boston by January 11 in order to complete the necessary two COVID tests at the Emerson Testing Center prior to the planned return to in-person classes on Tuesday, January 18.
  • All community members who access campus should plan to continue COVID testing two times per week at least through the end of January.
  • The Emerson Testing Center will be open 8:00 am-6:00 pm Monday through Friday, starting January 3. (The testing center will be open Saturday, January 8, and Sunday, January 9, only to support residential student move-in and off-campus students returning to Boston. The center will typically be closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Upon return, all students are requested to limit activity, and especially to avoid large gatherings, both on and off-campus.  This allows us to get a baseline understanding of how COVID might be impacting our community, and to react and plan accordingly.
  • For residential students, public lounges in residence halls will remain open, but you can expect to see a reduced occupancy, and students are, as always,  asked to always wear an appropriate face-covering when they are not in their room with their assigned roommates. 
  • Students are encouraged to limit activities to such things as picking up meals, retrieving mail, going to the testing center or other medical appointments, going to work, etc.  These are also good times to take a walk around the Common (weather permitting) or stop by the Boylston Place alley, etc.
  • Residence Halls will only be accessible to assigned residents until January 18.
  • On-campus dining facilities will open on Thursday, January 6, and provide meals in a take-out “grab and go” style.  Dining facilities are scheduled to return to regular service with in-person dining on January 18 for the breakfast meal.  
  • Iwasaki Library:  The library will be staffed but closed for in-person access until January 18. Virtual services will be available. 
  • Most campus events (orientation, spring org fair, etc.) will take place remotely, although some activities will continue in-person on a case-by-case basis.  Check EmConnect for up-to-date information and directions. Most student organization meetings and events should plan to be held virtually until January 18.
  • Fitness Center: The Emerson College Fitness Center will be closed through January 18. The Fitness Center staff will share virtual workouts via social media (Instagram)during this time.
  • Wellness programs will be offered virtually during this week (meditations, yoga, group sessions, etc.). Check EmConnect for more details.
  • Campus Center venues, including 172 Tremont and the Student Performance Center, will be open for their normal operational hours but with limited functions allowed. Students can make individual bookings for personal or academic use.
  • Most campus offices will be open and staffed. You’re encouraged to email or call in advance for appointments.
  • Masks will continue to be required in all College spaces. Recent medical guidance has suggested that the most effective masks are KN95 (or similar) or at the very least a surgical mask instead of any cloth mask.  We strongly recommend the use of these styles of masks. 

We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we navigate the return to campus this semester. We realize any change to the plan is difficult, and we apologize for any disruptions this may cause.  We all were hopeful that by January 2022, the worst of the pandemic would be behind us, and share your disappointment that these adjustments need to be made. 

We’ll continue to work closely with our advisors at Tufts Medical Center and the Boston Public Health Commission over the coming days as we make the best decisions we can to keep our campus community as safe as possible based on currently available information. While we hope no additional adjustments will be necessary, we will try to communicate as quickly as possible should more modifications be required.

If you have questions or need assistance working through a particular situation, please be sure to be in contact. Your quickest and best route for general assistance is to email the email, but you can contact other resources, including the Campus Life office at and the Center for Health and Wellness at as well.  

Students are also invited to join us for a COVID Q&A on Monday, January 3, from 4:30-5:30 pm. Information, including the Zoom link, is available via EmConnect.

For those of you who will be attending Emerson Los Angeles, Kasteel Well, or the Global BFA program at Paris College of Art, please be on the lookout for additional information coming directly from staff connected with those programs.

Best wishes for safe travels as you return for the spring semester.

Take good care,
Jim Hoppe
Vice President, Campus Life

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