Azusa Pacific University halts in-person classes

Despite zero cases of COVID-19 on campus, APU moves to online instruction.

Ashley Grams, Deputy News Editor

Azusa Pacific University announced the cancellation of in-person classes on Thursday, March 12 as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. The university will move to online courses starting March 16 and continuing through the remainder of the semester.

“Our strategies align with public health guidelines and reflect an abundance of caution. Currently, we have NO reported cases of COVID-19 in Azusa or Glendora, on the Azusa campus, or at the Regional Campuses or Sites,” said APU President Paul Ferguson in a statement on the university’s website. 

Although classes at APU are cancelled, dining halls, dorms and “living areas” will remain open. According to the statement, university officials are monitoring the status of the virus and will continue to assess future decisions affecting the university and its students. 

This closure comes after over 2,000 APU students signed a petition to move classes online. Freshman Derek Darnell created the petition several days ago in an attempt to promote stricter safety measures across campus. 

“We can focus on preparing and being safe if we have online classes,” Darnell wrote on the petition page. 

However, in an interview with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Associate Director of Public Relations Rachel White said the student petition was not a factor in moving to an online-based learning environment. She said APU officials were considering a transition to online classes prior to student feedback and the university already had strategies in place.

Ferguson stepped into the presidency at APU this academic year, after serving as Biola’s dean of science, technology and health for the last three years.

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