April 8, 2020 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
This will be a very different Easter for all of us. As a nation and world, we are all facing this unprecedented health challenge together and no one has a complete map for navigating the road we now travel. In the current COVID-19 crisis, universities across America are responding with policies designed to protect the health and safety of their people. At Liberty University, we began our response over a month ago with prayers. We then created a robust, across-the-university crisis response that safely follows the public health guidelines and government mandates.
Liberty prioritizes how we can best provide our support for our student body, employees and community. From the beginning of this crisis, Liberty’s administration has fulfilled its pledge to constantly adjust to the changing realities of fighting this virus, making tireless efforts to follow — and in some cases go well beyond — the executive orders from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
As you may already know, Liberty moved all courses online so it could continue classes without interruption on the first day back from Spring Break. Liberty also ensured that there was housing for students, many of whom do not have another safe place to live, do not otherwise have access to the high-speed internet to continue their education, or are international students without a choice to travel to their home countries. Other adjustments were made to campus life to enforce social distancing, prohibit gatherings of 10 or more, convert meals to takeout only, close indoor recreation and fitness centers, hold Convocations and Campus Church online, end student organization activities, suspend team sports competitions, provide enhanced sanitation of touch points throughout the day, work from home where possible, close campus to visitors, and postpone Commencement. To every extent possible, Liberty strove to honor its commitments instead of simply choosing to shut down.
This is what Universities should do for their students — and Liberty is proud of how we make sure to support and protect our entire community. Thankfully, thus far no on-campus student has tested positive for COVID-19, but we have the facilities and plans in place to be helpful should the need arise. For ongoing updates on our coronavirus response, visit Liberty.edu/COVID19.
While we are gratified by this success, we also respect and salute the flagship institutions of higher education including Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and Arizona State University, who have done the same as Liberty, keeping their commitment to their students by providing the same type of opportunities for them to continue their studies online and live on their respective campuses, too (even if they did not get quite the media attention that we did) … as you can see in this chart: