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The Confessions of a CGS Student

When I was accepted into BU through CGS I had no idea what it was and, like most CGS students, it was just a box that I happened to check on the Common App. Suddenly, I had the decision to start a semester late but still end up at BU or settle for another university and start in the fall. I ultimately chose the former, but it was not without reservations. The entire structure of CGS is built around the gap semester freshman year, but it is made up for by getting to spend the summer in London, which is perhaps the only thing that sways prospective students into CGS at BU over another, regularly scheduled program.

I committed to BU despite this less-than-ideal program because for most of my life I dreamed about college— it was something I planned for and envisioned since childhood. I knew that BU would be worth the wait because it was a part of that dream of the “perfect college.” I love BU and I’m thankful that I made that decision, but clearly this year has not been what anyone signed up for or expected. 

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, everything has been put on hold and all school events and programs have been canceled, including the London summer term. All of these cancellations are understandable and necessary, but the issue is the way that BU has chosen to handle it, specifically in regard to CGS students. It is well-known around campus that CGS is the university’s least favorite child, so to speak, dubbed as “crayons, glue, scissors” by students and generally overlooked by administrators, which has only been magnified by recent events.

Once it was announced that London was canceled, there were two pressing questions on the minds of every student and parent: will it be rescheduled and will there be a reduction in tuition cost now that our summer term is online? The answer to both is no. Now, I want to be clear, I am not arguing that the state of the CGS program is the most pressing issue right now because obviously it isn’t and the world is in an unprecedented time. Everyone is doing their best to navigate through it, but the issue with BU is that this unfairness towards CGS students is not a new phenomenon. In all honesty, the CGS program’s success is dependent on the London semester because not only is it the only consolation for the gap semester, but the program prides itself on the explorative, hands-on aspect of learning and its costs are equitable to spending six weeks abroad. 

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Being a CGS student is difficult enough as it is, without including the fact that we got 49 days of a freshman year of college with a tuition bill of a full year.

I am not asking for complete and undivided attention to the students of CGS and the state of the program during this time. I am only asking for the university to show compassion and humanity towards the faculty and students who have been left in the dark on the recent decisions regarding the future and for fairness in future decision-making. 

 

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