Following the White House’s recommendation that gatherings of 10 or more people be canceled or postponed, Lipscomb University officials made the decision to extend online instruction for the rest of the spring semester in the wake of growing concern over the coronavirus.
“This difficult and unprecedented decision – one being faced by colleges and universities throughout the country – was made with the health, wellbeing and safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind,” said President Lowry in an email sent Wednesday afternoon.
In addition to the extension in remote learning, on-campus residence halls will no longer be available to students unless they have no other option for housing. Not only will on-campus residences be closed, but students will also not be able to return to Lipscomb to move out their remaining belongings until the university puts together a procedure to streamline this process.
For those students whose only choice is to return to campus, life will be much different as a mandatory curfew will be put into place and many on-campus locations will be closed.
“Dining options on campus will be significantly limited, primarily to grab-and-go options at one location, and recreational opportunities will be unavailable, including those in the Student Activities Center,” said Dr. Lowry.
While Lipscomb had already announced the cancellation of all university events through April 30th, adding to the list of cancellations is that of spring commencement, which was set to take place on May 2nd in Allen Arena. Degrees will still be conferred, but graduates will be unable to walk across the stage to reduce the number at gatherings of 50 or more people.
“We know this is disappointing to our graduates, their friends and family and faculty who were looking forward to celebrating this day together,” said Dr. Lowry. “We are currently in discussions about how to provide a meaningful moment to celebrate the academic achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students who are on pace to graduate in May. We will share more information about those plans in the near future.”
Lowry’s email went on to explain that many other concerns, such as refunds, move-out dates, maymester, summer school, and academic advising, would be addressed in the coming weeks.
Students were also reminded of health precautions to be taken and were encouraged to avoid going out in public and not to return to Nashville from home unless needed. More information on how to stay safe can be found at Lipscomb’s site.
In closing, Dr. Lowry included this note to provide a source of encouragement to students, faculty, and staff.
“We are Bisons. We are looking straight ahead as we navigate this unknown winter before us. We are tenacious as we take one day at a time in a world we cannot predict. And we are courageous in our journey as we know that spring always comes after even the bleakest of winters. No matter where you are during this winter, you are always part of the Bison Herd and together we will look forward to the spring that will come.”