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Students in masks outside La Cava

What to Expect the First Two Weeks

Back to Bentley

Last Updated: Aug. 27, 2020

We have been working over the summer to prepare campus for your return. The planning has put your safety at the forefront. We have protocols in place, but we need the help of everyone in the community to ensure that Bentley remains a safe place to live and learn.

Campus will be different this fall. We've had to make changes to reduce risk and promote a healthy environment. We know we’ll have to adapt as the trimester progresses and health guidelines evolve, so we ask you to please be flexible, too. Thank you for doing your part to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.

Here at a glance are some of the changes you’ll see on campus.

Wristbands are required

All students will have to be enrolled in our screening test program to be on campus. This means that off-campus students can’t “drop in” for campus services, visit friends, etc. unless they are part of the screening test program. Every student accessing campus will be screened weekly and be given a different color wristband to indicate their continued participation.


An “ease-in” period will start the fall term

To establish a baseline through the screening test program, some services will operate differently until every student accessing campus has been screen tested. Below are some changes in effect during this ease-in period.

  • No students will attend class in-person until Sept. 8. All classes including those with an in-person component will be held remotely during this time.

  • Residential students won’t be allowed to visit other residence halls until Sept. 8, and off-campus students won’t be allowed to visit residence halls until that time.

  • All dining will be served “to go” until Sept. 8. Meals can be taken back to residence halls or enjoyed outside under one of our tents.

  • The library and Jennison will be closed until Sept. 8. 

  • Until Sept. 8, classrooms will be accessible only to residential students who wish to join classes remotely outside of their residence hall, suite or apartment.  

  • The fitness center will be closed until Sept. 14.


New habits are needed

It’s important to remember that a negative test result doesn’t mean you can go back to “normal.” We all need to be diligent in wearing our face coverings,reviewing our daily symptom self-checker, maintaining physical distancing, and washing our hands to stop the spread of the virus.

We have a plan for positive cases

As the pandemic continues across the U.S. and the world, we know there will be positive cases on our campus and we have made plans for that scenario. A residential student who tests positive will isolate in accommodations on North Campus or can decide to go home to recover. Their roommates and other contacts will have to quarantine. 

Dining will be different

Dining at Bentley will be different than you're used to. There won’t be any self-service options, the number of people in dining locations will be limited, no more than four students can sit at a table, and additional seating will be available under tents outside. All food can be taken “to go” for students who want to go back to their residence hall or eat outside.

Group sizes will be limited

As a result of Massachusetts state guidance, we will restrict the number of people in both indoor and outdoor spaces, including:

  • Eight people per 1,000 square feet in indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces with no designated capacity. 

  • Fewer than 50 people for outdoor spaces. 

  • No visitors to residence hall rooms until Sept. 8. After that date, rooms will be limited to roommates plus one or two additional people. 


Keep a mental list of your contacts

When we have a positive test on campus, we will conduct mandated contact tracing, so you may be asked to share the people you’ve been in contact with. It’s good to remember that not all interactions have the same risk. Eating in a dining facility where face coverings are removed is riskier than talking with someone on the Greenspace 6 feet apart while wearing a face covering.  

There will be fun!

Our student organizations will function and programs will happen. However, it will undoubtedly look very different than a typical fall. The engagement opportunities for students will be limited to small in-person events outside, and many more virtual programs will be offered than in the past.  

Open for business (but check the website before you visit)

Each department at Bentley has changed its processes to continue serving our students. Many are not offering walk-in appointments, are open limited days of the week, and are hosting meetings virtually, for example. So be sure to check departmental web pages for their hours and availability.

Check the Back to Bentley website every day 

So much is changing every day as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and we’ll continue to adapt to take measures to protect our community’s health. To stay abreast of these changes and know the latest about what’s happening, check often.