In-person classes and Missions Conference canceled

In the midst of COVID-19 outbreak, the university transfers all classes online.

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Photo by Thecla Li/ THE CHIMES

Lacey Patrick, Deputy News Editor

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classes will be transferred online for the remainder of the semester, effective March 23, Provost Deborah Taylor announced tonight via email. 

The email came right after Azusa Pacific University announced it is transferring to all online courses. Biola and Azusa follow several schools across California in this precaution, including: UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, USC, San Jose State University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Palo Alto University, Whittier College, Pomona College and Point Loma Nazarene University.

Housing and food services will remain open. In addition, faculty will continue to have open hours and provide academic advising.

Classes will be suspended March 16 and 17 in order to test and transition onto online formats. 

The email stated that university officials will continue to assess courses that require hands-on work, such as music, art, film, science and others, in order to ensure academic continuity. 

Missions Conference and chapels have both been canceled for next week. Conference credits will not be required this semester. Conference topics will be integrated into online chapels. 

Chapels will be streamed starting March 23, not March 16 as mentioned in previous emails. They will be streamed for the remainder of the semester. An additional two credits will be given to each student to make up for lost chapel credits this week. 

The email said more information will be sent out later tonight for students that wish to return home during this time. 

Last night, Gov. Gavin Newsom advised that all gatherings with more than 250 attendees should be postponed. Biola leadership is still assessing whether Spring Commencement will take place in May, as scheduled, and will update graduates as soon as information is available.

Students participating in international study programs like the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities Best Semester programs will return home and finish their courses online, with the exception of Living and Learning Ecuador. Students in this program will have the option to stay in the program or return home.

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