I’m just going to come out and say it.
The Fenway Campus deserves your respect, your attention, and your love.
It’s easy to forget about the new Fenway Campus, the former home of Wheelock College. Comprised of just a handful of street blocks along the Riverway, this previously private institution features classroom buildings, a library, a dining hall, a student theater, a variety of housing options for on-campus residents, and more. This was not some extension built to fill the needs of the larger Boston University: this was a fully developed college that thrived for decades before merging with BU.
Alright, so at least now you know the Fenway Campus exists. But what makes it worth your visit?
For starters, the recently-built Campus Center and Student Residences, simply abbreviated as CCSR, offers a complete dining hall, preparing a wide selection of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The physical size and number of food options of this dining hall may be inferior to that of its Charles River Campus counterparts, but I prefer to see it as a matter of quality versus quantity. The CCSR dining hall serves significantly fewer students on average than the Warren Towers Dining Hall, Marciano Commons, and the West Campus Dining Hall. Therefore, the staff can devote more time to maintaining the quality of their meals and tailoring their cuisine to the individual who will be consuming it. Not only that, but the decreased demand means that food lines are shorter, tables are always available, and the overall dining experience is much more relaxed. Oh, and they have lemonade, frozen yogurt, and the good fries. You know what I mean.
Away from its dining hall, the Fenway Campus presents a plethora of quiet study spaces, including the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, another modern building with comfortable seating, a third-floor outdoor terrace, and few regular occupants. The Wheelock Family Theatre presents several series of shows throughout the year, and is capable of holding a larger audience than the popular Tsai Auditorium on BU’s Central Campus. There are also multiple green spaces available where students can get away from the speed and sound of city living and spend some time sitting in the fields before leaves and snow come to make the grass disappear.
Students often blame their ignorance of this additional campus on the distance it sits from the Charles River Campus. However, let’s try to put this walk into perspective.
From Marsh Chapel, which is commonly regarded as the geographical center of Boston University, a southbound walk across the St. Mary’s Street bridge, through the BU’s South Campus, and down Park Drive to the Fenway Campus will take the average student 15 minutes. A 15-minute trek headed west from the same starting location will see students only get as far as Agganis Arena, which is still well short of the residences and athletic facilities that Central Campus dwellers regularly frequent without a second thought. So, does that 15-minute walk to the Fenway Campus still seem so intimidating?
As a former Warren Towers resident now living in the aforementioned CCSR, I understand the feeling that everything a student could possible need is on the Charles River Campus. However, the BU Bubble is real, and it will not take long for students to start feeling that this fall. So, when you need to get away from the familiar confines of Commonwealth Avenue, always keep in mind that your new friend, the Fenway Campus, will welcome you with open arms.