Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
On Dec. 10, President Barry Corey announced students would be returning to campus in three phases. Phase 1 consisted of student athletes, nursing majors and other pre-approved students. Phase 2 was made up of students who needed to attend in-person classes and gain access to on-campus resources, while Phase 3 allowed a general repopulation of campus that would attend mandatory in-person chapels.
Additionally, students were informed that they would be required to attend bi-weekly COVID-19 testing in order to avoid a $105 retesting fee.
In January, Phase 1 students returned to campus after winter break, but some student athletes had already been on campus for a full semester before.
On Jan. 29 Biola experienced its first outbreak. Los Angeles County defines an outbreak as epidemiological links between three or more confirmed cases.
Phase 2 students populated campus by Feb. 15, allowing those with specifically designated courses that require the use of labs, equipment and studios.
Phase 1 and 2 students were invited to attend the first outdoor chapel of 2021 after almost a year of virtual chapels.
Biola announced its first ever hybrid Missions Conference 2021 would take place between March 15-20. After Missions Conference 2020 was cancelled, the Student Missionary Union informed their theme would be “Compelled.”
On March 3, Biola experienced its second outbreak days after Phase 2 had moved in. The next day Biola had completed 200 new move-ins, finishing the three phases set by Corey.
On March 16, Biola announced frontline student workers would be eligible to get vaccinated on campus. These workers were outlined as janitorial, residence life and Caf staffers.
The next day, Student Government Association announced sophomore mathematics major Nevin Slaughter and junior political science major Laurel Wagner as their new president and vice president, respectively.
On March 25, Corey announced in an email that Biola’s campus would be reopening for the Fall 2021. In the email he explained that all students would be able to return for fully in-person housing and instruction by Aug. 30.
Biola finished March off by launching its Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan. The event was held on March 26, where Corey was joined by Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Malone to announce the theme of the plan “Unity Amidst Diversity.” The plan outlined 16 initiatives separated under four E’s: embrace, equip, engage and expand.
On April 1, the university informed seniors of an in-person commencement ceremony after the fall semester’s drive-thru graduation ceremony. The ceremonies will take place on Metzger Lawn over the span of three separate days to accommodate COVID-19 protocols.
On April 15, the Biola Health Center announced that all students 18 or older would be eligible to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on campus.
On April 28, Biola will host an Asian Americans and Allies event and will continue the 22-year-old tradition of denim day in support of sexual assault awareness month.