A community-wide email sent Wednesday morning explained the university’s decision to deliver all classroom instruction through a virtual medium in response to COVID-19.

By Zach Walker

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Bethel University announced this morning that all academic instruction will be moved online March 31 and will continue through the end of the spring semester.

All residence halls will close March 28, and students must be fully moved out by that date. Students who can not easily transition to off-campus living, such as international students or those at risk of housing insecurity, may appeal through a process that will be explained later today.

Information about housing and dining refunds will be communicated at a later date.

All Bethel events have been canceled through May 31 and no new events will be scheduled. A decision regarding commencement ceremonies will be announced by March 31.

“I know this is not the way you expected to spend your final weeks on campus,” Jay Barnes said in the email statement. “Still, a good education should prepare students for the unexpected.”

As part of the statement, President Barnes invited Bethel students and staff to a virtual community gathering that will take place March 20 at 10 a.m. Today’s decision will be discussed in-depth at the gathering and Pastor Laurel will share a devotional.

The Center for Wellbeing will be posting daily Instagram updates until April 13 with information about staying physically and mentally healthy during the transition. The updates can be found at the Center’s account, @wellbeing.bethel.

“It is my hope that this time will allow the Bethel family to continue to share support and encouragement even as we are spread out across the world,” Barnes said.

This story will be updated as more information is announced.



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