From Orientation to FYSOP

Micah Baum (Homelessness and Housing Coordinator) and Nicole Tivnan (Elders Coordinator)

Both of your dashing authors LOVE leading Common Ground groups during Orientation sessions this summer. We are spending our Thursday afternoons following our students as they locate some of Boston’s sweetest landmarks, including the Massachusetts State House, Boston Public Garden, and Mike’s Pastry (get it? sweet?).


At first, Common Ground can seem disconnected from the rest of the Orientation grind. After all, what does a field trip have to do with registering for classes or learning about which clubs to join? In reality, BU’s integration within Boston is part of what defines our student experience. This historic, gorgeous, hyperactive city is our campus. BU doesn’t have a quad—we have Copley Square.

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Part of this connection to Boston isn’t just enjoying our city’s pleasures, but confronting its challenges. Some of our communities and populations are struggling to remain vibrant, often because of past instances of neglect from others who had the power to enact positive change. Being a BU student is a marriage to Boston—we stand by it through sickness and health, through good times and bad.

FYSOP creates these opportunities. You will go to places you never would have considered and meet amazing people who may not otherwise have entered your life. Most importantly, you will support those people in times of need, not out of pity, but because only when this city stands together are we truly Boston Strong. Boston’s best team isn’t the Red Sox or Patriots…it’s all of us.


Following our outings in the city, we all congregate to watch an excerpt from the play Baltimore to reflect on what it means to be a college student today. Baltimore brings all the experiences of Common Ground into the bigger picture, which is exactly what FYSOP is.

FYSOP is built on the pillars of education, service, and reflection.  This is your opportunity to intimately engage with your city, have fun, form relationships, and become a true Bostonian, but also to come together with your peers and reflect on the experiences you’ve had and how we can move forward from here.


Within your focus area, you will continue the conversations and relationships that began at Orientation and bring them into the realm of community service and city engagement.  FYSOP puts our thoughts and ideas into action in a community that fosters growth and reflection.  We want to have meaningful conversations about Baltimore, about social injustices, about change.

These experiences and conversations don’t end after Orientation.

They continue through FYSOP and they continue through you.

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