The spring 2023 semester has officially begun, bringing with it the arrival of midyear students and the start of classes. As we start a new semester, the Brandeis community also continues to grapple with and process last November’s shuttle accident that led to dozens of injuries and the loss of student Vanessa Mark’s life. In light of these added strains to the start of a new term, this board would like to offer support, resources, and reminders to our fellow students. 

Although it has been over two months since the Nov. 19 bus tragedy, most of that time was taken up by Thanksgiving break, finals period, and winter break, leaving only a couple of weeks on campus to process the accident together as a community. Indeed, the crash remains at the forefront of our minds as students. We were all affected on different levels and in different ways, and there is no set time period after which we will have “moved on.” This board supports all Brandeis community members as we process these events at different paces. While the following resources are by no means an exhaustive list, we hope that students can take advantage of on-campus support systems if and when they need to: the Brandeis Counseling Center; the Prevention, Advocacy, and Resource Center; Brandeis Health & Wellness Promotion; the Center for Spiritual Life; and in case of emergency, Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps, Brandeis’ student-led emergency responders.

This board would also like to point out that some of these organizations are mostly or entirely student-led, and with that in mind we urge the Brandeis community to be patient with fellow student-workers who are providing these resources. This board , also calls on the University to provide better support (both financially and emotionally) for student-run campus organizations, which have provided vital resources to the community especially in the wake of the Nov. 19 crash.

This board would also like to welcome midyear students to campus — we’re so glad you’re here! We hope you can settle into the semester and find a balanced routine at Brandeis. Especially in light of last semester’s events, new students might find it difficult at times to find their footing in campus life. The Brandeis events calendar is a great place to find different activities happening around campus and get acquainted with other Brandeisians. Also, Campus Groups is a great way to explore the many different clubs on campus and find out when events and meetings take place. 

As students settle into the semester amid the dreary New England winter weather, this board recommends that students try to go off-campus, whether into Waltham or beyond, for a change of pace and take a break from studies. However, we recognize that for some, taking the Brandeis-operated transportation into Boston and Cambridge might be difficult, and so here are a few alternative ways to get off campus and explore the greater Boston area. The 70 MBTA bus line goes between Market Basket in Waltham and Cambridge, just north of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Fitchburg Line of the Commuter Rail runs regularly to North Station throughout the week and stops on campus at the Brandeis/Roberts station just past the practice fields on South Street and at the Waltham station near the Common. Although the Commuter Rail can be expensive ($7 for a one-way trip), you can purchase a weekend pass for $10 and have unlimited rides for the weekend.

As we head into 2023, this board hopes Brandeis students, new and old, can find the peace and support they need this semester.