CBU accommodates students with limited options during pandemic closure
Riverside, Calif. (April 28, 2020) – While the campus at California Baptist University remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, some students are still living on campus due to their unique circumstances.
Kirk Bernal, associate director of Residence Life, said CBU accommodated some students’ requests to stay on campus. For instance, some international students wished to remain on campus since returning home might put them more at risk of contracting COVID-19. Other students whose parents who are missionaries or work overseas find themselves in similar circumstances as their international peers.
Luc Stringer, a journalism and new media sophomore, is one of the students still living on campus. His parents are missionaries with the International Mission Board.
“I keep expecting to walk outside and see the throngs of students rushing to class,” Stringer said. “Seeing people walk around in masks all the time is such a new experience.”
Stringer said he passes his leisure time through photography and connecting with his friends and family remotely.
“I have never spent so much time on my phone talking to people. I think I might even talk to people more now that everyone is trying to keep a semblance of community electronically,” Stringer said.
To better serve the students remaining on campus, most were moved to The Point or Lancer Arms, Bernal said.
Relocating the students has made the campus feel less empty, said Adeline Charley, a graphic design senior. Most of her time is spent doing schoolwork by remote instruction. In her free time, she watches TV or plays video games.
“I stay connected through phone calls and messaging or FaceTime,” Charley said.
Bethany Brodwolf, a graphic design sophomore, also is living on campus during the closure.
“Seeing campus almost empty is so strange. It's so quiet and there are no skateboarders zooming by,” Brodwolf said.
Brodwolf said she is filling her days with prayer, art, Disney movies, exercise and Zoom meetings.
“I've been so grateful for technology, because that is how I've been keeping in touch with family and friends,” Brodwolf said.
Daron Hubbert, director of Residence Life and Housing Services, said his team is encouraging all students—those still on campus and off—to stay engaged and connected through social media with the communities that were formed in the living areas before the pandemic.
“We have been trying to just remain in contact with students. A personal phone call or email goes a long way,” Hubbert said.