Students are willing to make sacrifices to stay on campus

An interview with students revealed their insights on new COVID-19 guidelines.

Caleb Britt, Staff Writer

Going into the fifth week of classes, Biolans still enjoy the feeling of in-person classes, chapels and life in general. Events take place around campus and clubs meet throughout the week, providing opportunities for students to engage with their community and make memories together.

An investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sept. 17 revealed that Biola took appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to the university’s coronavirus updates page.

Nonetheless, Biola continues to increase its mitigation efforts to prevent the return to distanced learning. Although these changes are reasonable and somewhat predictable, the school experience differs from what Biola hoped for students in the summer when it announced that classes would be in person. 

In light of these mitigation efforts, several students who live, study and work on campus shared their thoughts on recent preventative measures that Biola implemented. 

SOCIAL LIVES 

Freshman engineering physics major Peter Otoshi shared that he had some friends who contracted COVID-19. 

“My preference is to stay in person, but I’m glad that Biola is willing to act before things get too out of control and the state or county has to step in,” Otoshi said.

If Biola had not done what it has to this date in order to keep coronavirus cases at bay for the sake of keeping students happy, Sept. 17 could have been the last day of in-person classes for the semester or even the entire school year depending on the verdict from the LACDPH. Fortunately, that was not the case.

“I don’t know if distancing and moving to Zoom are necessarily the most effective way [to prevent COVID-19] because there are other events or interactions where COVID would get spread more easily,” he said.

Otoshi was referring to off-campus activities or on-campus interactions where students may not take the same precautions.  

Sophomore music major Benjamin Taylor agreed that preventative measures like social distancing in classrooms would not prevent COVID-19 from being transmitted between students due to choices students make when not under watch. Taylor recognized that current mitigation efforts allow classes to remain in person. 

ACADEMIC LIVES

These procedures not only affect students’ social lives, but their academic lives as well. Junior elementary education major Grace Brooks prefers learning in person or in a hybrid format because it is easier to focus and engage with class material, as well as with peers and professors. 

Brooks enjoyed the flexibility to complete assignments while on an online format, but was willing to do anything to stay on campus, even though she thought masks were annoying at times. 

In-person learning brings advantages, like the opportunity to collaborate closely with classmates, learn directly from professors as well as remain focused during lectures. Students are willing to pay thousands of dollars in order to learn in person. That fact alone reveals the extent to which students would likely go to in order to attend school on campus if learning in person was in jeopardy. 

That situation became an unfortunate reality for students, and it is everyone’s hope that each person will play their part in keeping one another safe and maintaining Biola’s reputation with Los Angeles County so that they can enjoy the benefits of learning in person with friends and faculty.

SURVIVING THE PANDEMIC

Students on campus have to make many unexpected sacrifices both socially and academically in order to continue to enjoy the facilities, programs and resources that Biola provides while attending classes in person. Flexibility is required for anyone that attends school—especially for anyone attending Biola where the school’s mission is to equip students in mind and character to impact the world for Christ.

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