The University of Lynchburg is set to resume hybrid classes on Monday, Sept. 7. At publication time there are 25 positive COVID-19 cases, 17 of which are on campus, and 80 students in quarantine.
University President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetler in an email to the campus community on Aug. 28 said, “ I remain optimistic and hopeful that we will begin to see a steady flattening of the number of positive cases and a decrease in the number of our students in isolation and quarantine.”
Mina Work, senior, said, “I was in isolation for 10 days and quarantined for 14. As soon as I realized that I could be getting sick I started to isolate myself and made an appointment at the health center.”
Virtual and socially distanced events are underway for University of Lynchburg students to enjoy safely.
Student organizations on campus are replacing some in-person events with virtual events in order to keep students having fun while staying safe at the same time.
Second-year student Ruby Grant is the PR and Marketing Coordinators for the university’s Student Activities Board. This organization is tasked with running recreational programs and events for students to enjoy where students need a valid student ID to attend.
The Westover Building’s terrace was named after Jerry Falwell Sr. last year. Why is the University of Lynchburg honoring a man that did not honor the inclusive liberal arts values that we cherish? I believe the Falwell name should come down and a better representative of our school, of which there are many, should go up.
Jerry Falwell Jr. gave a gift to the University of Lynchburg valued at 1 million dollars, and his father did attend Lynchburg College for two years. After that it would seem not much else ties these Lynchburg institutions to one another.
With the coronavirus there has been continued pressure on the University of Lynchburg’s Student Government Association (SGA) to create a home for their fellow hornets while prioritizing safety.
Davion Washington, president of SGA, has continued to meet with university administration and faculty weekly to advocate for the safety and concerns of the student body.
He explained that the SGA’s main focus for the 2020-2021 school year is “making sure this semester [goes] well” and “creating the proper messaging and educating students” on things surrounding the COVID-19 situation on campus. He also emphasized the importance of student involvement in keeping on top of reporting and monitoring the coronavirus on campus.
University of Lynchburg President Alison Morrison-Shetlar announced on Tuesday that the campus would remain at Alert Level 2 for another week.
At Level 2, classes will remain online as the campus seeks to lower the number of students impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
As of this Tuesday the campus had documented 35 positive COVID-19 tests among the student population and were managing an additional 76 students in quarantine and isolation. To date, the university has resolved 31 cases that have presented since the reopening of the campus community.
Students at the University of Lynchburg are navigating the news semester with a myriad of new rules and regulations as a result of the pandemic.
Restrictions on campus life increased when the university moved from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 19, after coronavirus cases within the campus community escalated.
B.J. Keefer is the director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development and is responsible for helping students become involved with campus life and hosting several student-centered events. This semester, her team has to come up with events that can be carried out either virtually or safely in person. “We’ve thought of all kinds of things, [like] buying white masks [to decorate]. Everything is running in our heads,” said Keefer.
According to an email from President Alison Morrison-Shetlar, there are currently five active cases of COVID-19 among the student population, 26 students in quarantine on campus and another 11 in isolation. The university is also awaiting awaiting test results on an additional seven suspected cases.
In the wake of certain events of last year that sparked a campus walkout, and the events of this past summer’s protests, the school has taken several steps to make itself more diverse and inclusive.
Davion Washington, President of the SGA, said, “Following racial insensitive events that took place last school year and the walkout, then President, Dr. Kenneth Garren launched the President’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which consists of faculty, staff, students and more.”
As classes at the University of Lynchburg resumed on Aug. 12, students are settling into a new routine that includes both online and hybrid learning.
In the interest of keeping the community safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face class instruction is limited for the fall 2020 semester. Some classes are being taught exclusively online, while others are hybrid, and include both online and in-person components.
As the University of Lynchburg returns to a new semblance of normality, Greek Life is also adjusting its protocols as a result of COVID-19.
Senior Malik Nowlin who serves as treasurer of Sigma Nu and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) vice-president of Internal Affairs said, “Naturally a friend group as close as we are want to be able to hang out together, but with the new restrictions, safety is our top priority.” Nowlin also said that as a group they want to promote social distancing in their fraternity while still engaging in their typical activities.