Optimism and Caution Mark the Return of Students to Campus This Week
Seventeen months and 18 days after the Covid-19 quarantine began (not that anyone is counting), students returned to the CGU campus this week to begin the fall semester.
“We are back on campus!” exclaimed President Len Jessup in an email welcome message sent to the university community. “I’ve been waiting a long time to say those words.”
Jessup acknowledged the work and continuing diligence that resulted in an in-person return this fall.
“I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding in adapting to the requirements necessary to make this campus opening possible,” his message said.
This semester CGU is offering some in-person classes along with the “online flex” model format that the school developed last year in response to the pandemic. (Read here for more on the online flex model.)
Following county health guidelines, other measures in effect this fall include required masking inside all university buildings and vaccine requirements for any CGU community member on campus.
An ongoing weekly testing program is underway for a small number of CGU members with approved vaccination exemptions (for medical or religious reasons). For more on CGU’s policy on returning to campus, read here.
What’s happening at CGU is similar to what is taking place on many other campuses across the nation as administrations attempt to move forward with plans for a “normal” fall semester with familiar routines—that is, as much as current circumstances and public health guidelines will allow.
Signs of familiar routines at CGU include the traditional welcome events for new students to campus, which Jessup and the CGU leadership team attended last month during New Student Orientation. CGU welcomed about 450 new master’s and doctoral students this fall, and they attended special online events and one in-person event that was held outdoors just south of Harper Hall and catered by In-N-Out Burger.
In his welcome message to the CGU community, Jessup didn’t minimize or ignore the pandemic. Still, he offered a silver lining and a special charge to the university’s faculty, staff, and students.
“Let’s double down this year in our commitment to make this world safer and more just,” his message concluded. “For example, our world still faces a global public health crisis—our leadership team is diligently monitoring the situation and providing important updates—and our campus is the ideal place where solutions to such crises are being created.”