It has been nearly six months since the novel coronavirus caused universities across the nation to close campuses and shift classes to an online format. Because the pandemic is still ongoing, the executive council at California Baptist University has implemented multiple changes to the school for the Fall 2020 semester that allows the campus to physically reopen as outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Some of these changes include limited in-person classes, outdoor dining, social-distancing markers on the floors around campus, limited hours at the CBU library and sanitizing stations throughout the university.
One of the significant changes to campus is the shift from in-person classes to a primarily live-synchronous format. This means students and professors meet at the same time but virtually from their separate locations. Professors may also choose an asynchronous format, which means the class does not meet all together online. Rather, students watch a pre-recorded lecture at a convenient time. Some classes were approved to meet in person with safety guidelines.
Because of the shift to a more virtual semester, students see each other on computer screens rather than in person, which also changes or delays the reunion of friends.
Kylie Page, senior commercial performance major, said not seeing her friends face-to-face was a challenge for her.
“The biggest change is not being able to see people in person all the time,” Page said. “Seeing people’s faces on the screen is very different than seeing them in person. I never knew I would miss not being in class with people.”
A major decision students were faced with over the summer was whether they would return to live on campus in the fall. Page said she chose not to live on campus because the cost and the lack of usual campus activity was not worth it.
“A part of living on campus and paying the money to be there is the events and community that you would feel. To me, with that being taken away, it wasn’t worth the money,” Page said. “We have to be more intentional now with community. The way we were designed was to be in community with people and we have to be intentional and creative with finding and creating that community.”
Rebecca Tucker, senior theater major, did decide to live on campus, but she said the atmosphere feels different without as many students on campus.
“Everything is so isolated and it’s hard being someone who learns kinesthetically but has to learn online,” Tucker said. “The safety measures to keep us all from getting and spreading COVID, while necessary, are super difficult. Especially for those who are separated from friends they are not rooming with.”
Dr. Ronald Ellis, CBU president, said in an email to the CBU community July 30 that the virus does not alter the university’s commitment to the education of its students.
“The vision of CBU as a University committed to the Great Commission continues despite the current global health crisis,” Ellis said in the email.
As the city and the university continue to adapt throughout the semester, students should monitor their LancerMail for important updates.