As concerns over the COVID-19 virus shut down campus, students have been sent packing and returning home for the remainder of the semester. Students living on-campus had one week to move out before campus closes on March 22.
There are mixed feelings among students about having to leave campus and practice social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Moving out of my dorm last week left me feeling sad and disoriented. I was disappointed and frustrated because I felt like a part of my freshman experience had been robbed from me,” said Obi Ugorji, a freshman international relations major. “I felt as if I was moving out of a place that I just moved into.”
Most colleges and universities, including USC and UCLA, have also closed their campuses for the rest of the spring semester. Some campuses, like Cal Poly SLO, are remaining open while classes are online.
An LMU “community member” tested positive for COVID-19, according to an alert sent out by the University. The individual is reported to be self-isolating off-campus. The exposure is believed to be “very limited,” according to the same alert.
Throughout the U.S., restaurants, bars and other places where people gather are closed. Multiple counties in the Bay Area have ordered residents to shelter themselves in their homes for the next three weeks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It may not be pleasant for the average, healthy 20-something college student forced to shack back up with their parents in the middle of the semester, but it isn’t about us," said Mykelpatrick Hayes, a sophomore screenwriting major from Pleasanton, California, one of the cities under a shelter-in-place order. "For the sake of those most affected by the pandemic, the elderly, the young and the immune compromised, this was definitely the right move."
Maya Singh, a sophomore English major and Dance minor from Santa Clara, California, said at first she was upset at having to go home, but now realizes that it’s the best way to keep everyone safe. “I’m glad we’re on shutdown. I’d really like for people to stop dying. And it’s frustrating that that’s somehow controversial,” said Singh.
Both Hayes and Singh said they were concerned for family members who are elderly and/or immunocompromised but feel glad people are staying home to hinder the virus spreading further.
Madison LeNoir-Irwin, a freshman marketing and Spanish double major from Oakland, California, expressed frustration toward the University for the period of time allotted for move-out. “They should have or should still extend the move-out date considering people like myself, who live in Bay Area, are not allowed to leave their house unless they need essential supplies," she said. "It’s been an additional source of stress for me and my family.”
The Westchester campus has been reduced to essential services, while the Playa Vista campus and the Loyola Law School campus are open only to faculty with access and essential staff. Students living on campus were able to submit petitions by Mar. 17 to stay for the remainder of the semester.