Mixed feelings flood students as they scurry to make plans to leave campus

 

Azusa Pacific’s decision to shut down university housing, dining services and suspend classes for one week has been met with a wave of emotions. 

From fear and disappointment to concern for the safety of others, students are having to process their feelings while simultaneously making hurried arrangements to move out of on-campus residential areas by March 22 for residence halls and March 27 for apartments. 

Natalie Day, a sophomore communications major, said the news has been crushing.

“I’m a little overwhelmed with all of it. The hardest thing is moving so quickly, and leaving my friends behind,” Day said. “I understand why they’re [APU] doing it, but it doesn’t make it easier.”

Many have relied on their faith to navigate the sudden measures that the university has adopted as a precaution towards the evolving status of Covid-19. 

“I think God’s putting everyone through a time right now where we have to trust in him and rely on him in ways that we haven’t before,” said Abby Slaughter, a sophomore liberal studies major. “It’s hard because so much of the community that APU has feels like it’s breaking apart.”

Many out-of-state students like Slaughter are worried about finding a place to store their belongings on such short notice. Some international students are worried about not being able to return to their home countries due to travel bans that have been adopted world-wide. 

Shino Simons, vice president of student affairs, said in an email that APU recognizes that “‘going home’ may be impossible for some,” and the university “will give special consideration to international students and those “experiencing extraordinary circumstances.”

Some students like Randy Osoti, a sophomore computer science major from Kenya, said the email was ambiguous, as it did not give students information on what resources will be available to them. 

“I have different options, but I don’t know what’s going to be best for me,” Osoti said. “We’ll see what the school has planned for students.”

Other students recognize their privilege in having a place that they call home to go back to, as some students do not.

Juliana D’Aoust, a senior psychology major, said she is concerned for those who are displaced right now and don’t have access to resources.

“Not just those who are vulnerable to Covid-19 but those who just on the streets or may not even have a safe place to go to right now,” Aoust said. “Just the fact that I have a home to go home to right now and I am able to be with family, I’m really grateful for that. My heart just mourns for others in the moment.”

Online classes will resume on March 23.