Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash
On Dec. 10, Biola announced that the university would welcome students back to the spring semester in phases. The university set the last phase in March, with hopes that students with no in-person classes would be able to experience on-campus living.
A LONG-AWAITED REENTRY
The phases were successfully completed in the first week of March with over 200 new students moving onto campus. This brings the total of around 680 students living on campus, with an additional 300 students commuting for in-person classes, according to Vice President of Student Development André Stephens.
Stephens shared that most protocols are to remain the same, including social distancing, bi-weekly testing and no visitors on campus. These rules, put in place when President Barry Corey began the Biola University Reentry Team, will remain until county guidelines are changed and cases go down.
“We continued that work this spring and that included developing a close to 40 page strategic plan––repopulation plan––covered everything from health safety protocols, state and county guidance, cleaning and sanitation, signing and faculty groups who are helping to train faculty how to teach in a remote format,” Stephens said.
Although California is still in the most restrictive purple tier, county and state numbers are on a downward trend. Biola is in the process of preparing its plans if the state and county were to move to a less restrictive “red” tier, Stephens explained.
Additionally, Stephens highlighted that the county is beginning to allow certain majors, such as music and art, to use practice rooms if necessary. Certain amenities such as the Biola Store and the library will now be allowed to open.
“We’re working with the dean of the library right now, Dr. Gregg Geary, to make sure that they’re prepared to open for 25% occupancy,” Stephens said.
No new classes will be held in person other than the ones approved for Phase 1 and 2 students.