Written by Gabriel Dillard
As more colleges announce plans to keep campuses closed in the fall, one local university is taking a different route.
Fresno Pacific University announced this week that prospective undergraduate students would be able to schedule campus visits once again starting June 15. Appointments would be required, along with masks and social distancing.
The Campus Life Division is also planning to make space for most first-year students in the residence halls on the main campus. Rooms will primarily be single occupancy, with some larger rooms open for two students. Some Fresno-area students will be asked to commute to campus in the fall to ensure social distancing.
These efforts all point toward Fresno Pacific’s intentions to provide “mostly” face-to-face instruction in the fall, while California State University schools and local community colleges will remain with mostly distance learning.
When students, faculty and staff return to campuses, administrators expect the “new”—what some are calling the “next”—normal to include social distancing and easily available personal protective equipment, according to a news release. Staff is measuring classrooms and ordering masks, sanitizer and cleaning items. Some blended instruction and alternative class and work schedules are being considered. Some facilities may be used in new ways.
As planning continues, university administrators continue to place the safety of students, faculty and staff first, to consult with other Christian colleges and universities in California and to be guided by the latest information from county, state and national officials.
“We know not everyone will be able to be on campus and will make accommodation for individual needs,” FPU President Joseph Jones, Ph.D., said. “Recent trends, however, such as the opening of businesses and public spaces throughout the Central Valley, have made us more optimistic than ever about prospects for bringing together this community to provide the education we know is most effective.”