All university-sponsored international travel this coming spring break is canceled due to the coronavirus.
Domestic trips during spring break and summer are still scheduled as planned.
Lipscomb Director of Missions Tyler J. Kemmerer informed the student population Tuesday via email.
“As a spring break team leader, my heart goes out to all of you and the disappointment we are all experiencing,” Kemmerer wrote. “I understand that my words may be of little consolation to you, but please know that we have been closely monitoring this situation for several weeks and I assure you that we have not made this decision lightly.”
Speculation over these cancellations began last week when fundraising deadlines were extended around the same time that the university relocated the students studying in Florence to Vienna because of the coronavirus cases in Italy.
Barstool Bisons tweeted about the rumored cancellations Monday night in a since-deleted tweet, which sparked discussion across campus. Less than 24 hours later, Kemmerer sent the official cancellation notice, although many teams had already been notified by their respective team leaders.
Belmont, Pepperdine, Trevecca, the University of Alabama and many others have all made similar decisions to cancel study abroad trips.
Due to these cancellations being so last minute, with some teams having been scheduled to depart in less than 10 days, University Missions will have a number of situations to sort through, including financial concerns over the money that had been raised and was being applied to travel, lodging and food.
Kemmerer said the university will be looking for solutions that are best for both the community and students.
“Financially, we have a lot to work through,” Kemmerer wrote. “Every team has a different budget and being so close to departure, we will be working on numerous ‘non-refundable’ purchases. This is a daunting task.
“We are working on possible ways to support our Nashville community over spring break and will update you on those opportunities in the coming days.”
Lipscomb plans to continue consulting the advice of the CDC and others organizations.
“As this situation unfolds, we will continue to call upon the guidance of the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and International SOS along with monitoring local news available in the host country,” Kemmerer wrote. “Sadly, the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to have a presence around the world with numbers of cases increasing in multiple areas.”