Due to COVID-19, APU has shut down student housing, dining services, classes for a week, and has canceled commencement and summer programs.
On Tuesday, Azusa Pacific President Paul Ferguson announced a series of changes that will impact the APU community. According to Ferguson, students will need to move out of university housing, dining services will shut down, classes will be suspended for one week, and commencement, summer action teams and study away programs will be canceled.
There are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases within Azusa, APU’s Azusa campus or the regional campus, according to the email. However, APU is working with its government and health partners to help stop any potential spread. The President’s Cabinet and the APU Critical Incident Response Team (CRIT) are moving forward with additional actions.
Students are required to move out of all university housing by the end of March. Those who live in University Residence Halls must leave by March 22. Those in University apartments must leave by March 27. The email said that there will be an “exception process for cases of hardship, which will likely involve moving to a different residence.”
Vice President Shino Simons will update students with further details.
Students within campus housing will receive a “prorated housing credit for the 5 weeks remaining in the spring 2020 semester,” according to the email. This housing credit can be applied to fall 2020 housing fees or can be refunded for seniors graduating in May.
Additional information from Student Financial Services will be provided to students and parents before May 1.
Commencement was originally scheduled for May 2 but is now canceled as well.
“In keeping with many other colleges and universities, the prospect of significant restrictions to travel and gathering of people means we cannot guarantee our ability to deliver in-person Commencement activities during this period,” Ferguson wrote.
According to the email, Interim Provost Rukshan Fernando and the Office of the Provost will work with the SGA to create a way to honor graduates. However, there will not be an in-person ceremony before the next scheduled Commencement on Dec. 19, 2020.
Dining services will also be closing on March 25, as opposed to the previously scheduled May 1. To comply with state and county guidelines, pick-up and/or mobile orders will still be made available on select East and West Campus eateries until March 25. Non-seniors who currently have a dining plan will have unspent dining points allocated toward a Fall 2020 dining plan. Graduating seniors will be eligible for a refund.
According to the email, all classes will be suspended for the remainder of this week, from March 17-22. This break will allow students an opportunity to return home before resuming school.
“Given the anticipated disruption for a large number of undergraduate students moving out of University housing, faculty are asked to take a pause from course activities,” Ferguson wrote. “We would like students to use this time to immerse themselves in their new learning environments and work out any changes or challenges in their living/learning circumstances.”
Classes will resume online on March 23.
Summer Action Teams and Study Away Programs
All 2020 summer action teams and study away programs have been canceled. This is due to the “restriction on movement across international borders,” according to the email. With the progression of COVID-19, these restrictions may not let up soon, leading to these decisions.
President Ferguson concludes the email with his thanks and appreciation for the resilience and teamwork of APU faculty and staff. He acknowledges the frustrations felt by the APU community and as it navigates this health crisis.