Changes made to Spring 2021 calendar over COVID concerns

Changes made to Spring 2021 calendar over COVID concerns

As the beginning of the semester looms near, Lipscomb has made adjustments to its upcoming calendar in order to maximize student and faculty safety as COVID case numbers rise. Among these changes is a delayed spring break, online final exams and three periodic “Bison Breaks”. “With another semester on the horizon, we draw upon our experiences and lessons learned in the fall that help us prepare for a spring in which the COVID-19 virus will continue to impact our community,” said Lipscomb’s Incident Management Team in an email to students on Dec. 18. “We are planning for another exceptional on-campus student experience this spring —one that will be enriching, fulfilling and life-changing as well as one for the history books.” Lipscomb’s Bison Breaks will occur on the following days: Feb. 10 March 2 March 25 Spring Break is scheduled to take place April 12-16 and is set to be immediately followed by undergraduate classes transitioning to a remote format for the remainder of the semester. These changes are being made as the CDC ranks Tennessee as one of the worst states for COVID cases per capita after the post-Thanksgiving surge. “If we have another surge over Christmas, it will break our hospitals,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercy in a news conference on Dec. 20. In response to this case surge, Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee announced an executive order limiting indoor gatherings to ten people and encouraging Tennesseans to keep holiday gatherings to just those in their household. Executive Order 70 pic.twitter.com/ly2CuE8X1Z — Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) December 21, 2020 Lipscomb’s return to campus plan states that the university will continue to...
418 Diplomas awarded for the December class of 2020, as COVID concerns bring yet another commencement virtual

418 Diplomas awarded for the December class of 2020, as COVID concerns bring yet another commencement virtual

Throughout the semester, graduates and faculty optimistically hoped for the return of an in-person commencement. However, as COVID cases spiked throughout the nation, Lipscomb made the call for December’s ceremony to yet again go full online. Through this online format, faculty congratulated students and gave words of encouragement as their time at Lipscomb comes to a close. “The world around you has been difficult: the worldwide pandemic, the disruption of your work, the transition to online learning, the greater demands of family and just getting through the day,” said Lipscomb President Randy Lowry to graduates on the livestreamed ceremony. “But in spite of all of those challenges you did it. We’ve congratulated you today because you deserve it.” Lipscomb awarded 168 undergrad and 250 graduate degrees during the ceremony that echoed past traditions, including a reading of every graduate’s name, recorded messages from Lipscomb faculty and the signature sound of Nashville Pipes & Drums. Among the names of graduates is Lipscomb’s first graduating class in the School of Physician Assistant Studies. The 33 students are making history as the first-ever graduates to receive the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from Lipscomb University. In his final remarks, President Lowry expressed his hopes for the December 2020 grads by saying “I hope you leave with a sense of compassion for the world. Understanding how privileged you are, how rich you are, how educated you are, and how compassionate you can be for those that have not had those opportunities, I hope you leave with a sense of always doing, or at least trying to do the right thing whatever your...
Students react as Electoral College meets for formal affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory

Students react as Electoral College meets for formal affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory

After a tumultuous election season, the country’s 538 electors met Monday to formally cast their votes for the next President. Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially surpassed the 270 votes needed to secure the presidency and is on his way to meet his projected total of 306 votes, defeating the incumbent President Trump. President-Elect Biden maintained his victory with votes from the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona. “It was like waking up on Christmas morning!” says nursing major Sarah Feldman on the moment she realized Biden was set to become the next President. “Biden isn’t perfect, but I have a glimmer of hope for our future now, and hope he keeps his promise of uniting both parties. We are a nation divided and I believe the president should bring people together, not tear them apart.” “I’m looking forward to the next four years as a stepping-stone to more progressive policies,” says Lizzy Bailey, a member of the Lipscomb chapter of democratic socialists. Bailey is relieved for Biden’s victory over Trump but remains hesitant on his policies. She says “I don’t expect a Biden administration to fulfill the American people’s needs. But on a social level, Trumps defeat makes America feel a little safer for minorities in my opinion…and we plan on holding Biden accountable in the same way we criticized Trump.” Despite tensions throughout the country over unsupported claims of voter fraud and President Trump’s numerous court cases, the electoral process moved smoothly with little to no conflict. President Trump has yet to concede but the timer is running low for other Republicans who haven’t yet acknowledged...
As national and local COVID-19 cases climb, Lipscomb preps for upcoming months

As national and local COVID-19 cases climb, Lipscomb preps for upcoming months

As of Nov. 29, Davidson County has 2,900 active cases of COVID-19. This increases the number of cases that Nashville has had since the start of the pandemic to 46,000. Concerns over hospital capacity and the number of cases per 100,000 residents have led the mayor’s office to implement new restrictions, some of which could affect Lipscomb in the upcoming months. “For the last several of weeks our number of cases have inching up,” says Kim Chaudoin, assistant vice president for public relations and communication at Lipscomb. “We’ve had about three or four weeks where our numbers have really spiked…it’s interesting because it seems like there’s a correlation with as Nashville’s numbers have increased, ours have too.” Over the past few weeks, Lipscomb’s COVID-19 numbers have steadily climbed from zero cases the week of Nov. 2 to 33 cases in the last set of reported numbers on Oct. 23. This rise in cases and the increasing number of students in quarantine prompted Lipscomb to discourage students from returning after Thanksgiving break. “I get that [the correlation of Nashville and Lipscomb cases] makes sense because we have a lot of students who live off campus, people go to eat, they go to church and do a lot of activities,” added Chaudoin.  As students go online for the remainder of the semester and most students are now at home, campus cases are sure to decrease. However, the continued national and local increase in cases could signify changes in Lipscomb’s plans for graduation and the upcoming semester. Chaudoin says “the logical question might be what happens with graduation in December and I think we’re just going to kind...
Trump explores legal avenues, as world leaders acknowledge future Biden presidency

Trump explores legal avenues, as world leaders acknowledge future Biden presidency

For many across the world, the 2020 presidential election has come to a close. After former Vice President Joe Biden was called as the projected winner last Saturday morning, his supporters rejoiced in the streets. Since then, many world and religious leaders have acknowledged Biden’s victory, yet current President Trump has not yet conceded and is exploring legal avenues to hold onto the presidency. “I mean it’s a pretty complicated issue but there were over 300 lawsuits that were filed prior to election day. Those kind of ran the gamut, but mostly the concerns were in regard to the changing rules surrounding elections, the presidential election obviously specifically,” said Dr. Susan Haynes of Lipscomb’s political science department. “Basically, the efforts that states were making, and the changes that they were making in light of the pandemic really faced a lot of legal scrutiny.” Last Saturday, President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani stood before the later viral backdrop of Four Seasons Total Landscaping to claim [without current evidence] that Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania was due to voter fraud. The conversation of voter fraud is a huge proponent of Trump’s argument against current election results, yet currently, there remain substantial claims. “At this point, there has not been evidence of systematic fraud,” says Haynes on the allegations “I think that what’s being reported right now is pretty idiosyncratic and singular. However, I do know that in Georgia the margin at least as of yesterday was 7000 votes and the Governor wants to have a manual recount.” “Those types of efforts are done because the idea is that the manual recount is kind of one of the most...