Aaron received a package this week from Brigham Young University. He has completed his degree in Mechanical Engineering! What a wild and crazy last semester he and all the students across the country have had. With just a few weeks left of his college experience, university life as he knew it ended.
BYU’s transition to remote education essentially happened over a weekend.
“We shut down classes and courses on Friday (March 13) — and on the following Wednesday (March 18), everything, with some rare exceptions, had been moved to remote education,” said President Worthen. “That was a remarkable undertaking.”
Aaron moved back home and set up his study place in John’s office. For the next 6 weeks, learning took place isolated at home.
This is what a “Zoom” session looked like:
In spite of the challenges, Aaron went out with flying colors. Here is his last final exam score:
Here’s Aaron’s take on this unusual final semester:
“Doing the last couple weeks of the semester remotely wasn’t that big of a deal for me and my schedule. I was only enrolled in 3 classes this semester: the first was a group project every day, the second was once a week, and the third was already online. That first class we already met as a team remotely 2/5 days of the week, so all we had to do was bump that up to 5/5 days a week. The second class turned into a Zoom call on Tuesdays. The third didn’t change at all (although the professor stopped taking away points for late assignments and canceled a lab, so if anything, it got easier). So I was lucky to have a very adaptable schedule!
“As far as graduation goes, I have a sense that I missed out on some emotions that I would have only felt as I joined all my fellow classmates and heard my name called out. I say “I have a sense,” because everything has felt completely normal going from non-graduate to graduate. Every day has felt just like the one prior (although maybe with a little less to worry about). I’m sure that if I had been able to walk, then perhaps there would be a happy disturbance to the normalcy; I guess I’ll never know.”
Congratulations, Aaron! You’ve excelled and you make us proud!
Aaron has accepted a job offer at Qualtrics which will begin in a couple of months (after his planned and cancelled graduation trips to Palmyra, NY, to Europe, and a cruise to the Caribbean).
Here’s a historical look at how campus began to close down by the end of March 2020. In April the campus was virtually closed and all students were encouraged to return home and study from home. Here’s how things began to unfold:
The BYU campus has changed drastically due to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country and the world. Find out how the campus is functioning, what’s open, what’s closed and what’s new.
Today’s campus updates:
The following are closed for the rest of the semester:
- Milk and Cookies
- Cougar Cafe
- Taco Bell
- Papa Johns
Still open, Monday-Saturday:
- Cougar Express 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
- Chick-Fil-A 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Aloha Plate 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Open restaurants in the Cougareat are only available through “walk-thru” service. People can order through a speaker and then wait in the designated area to pick up their food.
According to the Cougareat website, all restaurants except Taco Bell and Cougar Express will be closed during the spring and summer semesters. The Taco Bell and Cougar Express hours are to be “coming soon.”
Starting today, BYU Food-To-Go will offer grocery pickup.
The Cannon Center, Legends Grille and all Creamery locations will remain open, according to an email sent by BYU. However, all other dining locations will be closed for the semester.
The Jamba Juice in the Wilkinson Center is open on Monday-Fridays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., but the Jamba Juice at the Student Athlete Building is closed.
The Harold B. Lee Library is open during its regular hours of operation, but services are limited. Starting tomorrow, all service points will be closed and patrons will be referred to virtual platforms such as email and chat. The library hopes to eliminate as much face-to-face interaction as possible.
Equipment at the Media Center is currently unavailable for checkout, and the production rooms are also unavailable.
The Family History Center and family study room are closed.
The library is also offering special resources for faculty as they adjust to teaching remotely. According to the library’s website, group study rooms will no longer be available to students; instead, professors can use them for online class instruction.
Re-enroll in withdrawn classes
BYU is giving students the opportunity to re-add the classes they withdrew from after March 12. The change was made because of BYU’s recent announcement about new grading policies for winter semester.
An email sent out to students who withdrew from a class said, “If you would like to have a class or classes added back to your current registration, please fill out and submit the following form no later than Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m. MDT.”
Other updates regarding COVID-19:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced all temples will be closed until further notice.
Information that is still in place:
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe has temporarily made Creative Cloud available for all students. Any BYU student can access adobe.byu.edu and use their BYU Net ID to set up an account.
Bowling and Games Center
The Bowling and Games Center is closed until further notice.
According to BYU’s website the Harris Fine Arts Center, the Tanner Building and the Engineering Building are adjusting their hours to better secure the campus. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Most remaining academic buildings not specifically listed here will be open from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The website also states that all buildings will be closed on Sundays except to ecclesiastical leaders who will be provided with updated building assignments and other information from their ecclesiastical leadership lines.
All BYU athletic events have been canceled.
All single game tickets will be automatically refunded.
Mens volleyball season ticket holders will be contacted by email regarding a refund for the final home match of the season.
Gymnastics season ticket holders will be refunded for the final match of the season.
Baseball season ticket holders will be refunded for the whole season.
For questions or concerns contact email@example.com.
The BYU Store is open, but operating on new hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with distribution services only being open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A Y News email sent out March 25 gives the following directions for working on campus:
“Employees whose work requires them to be on campus should stay home if they have symptoms of illness. Before going to work each day, employees should specifically self-assess for signs of fever, cough or difficulty breathing and report their status to their supervisor.
Managers and supervisors should also direct employees to return home if they are observed with any of these symptoms while at work. Supervisors may contact BYU’s Compensation Department for guidance regarding employees who do not have sick leave as an option.
Where possible, supervising units have the discretion to allow student, part-time and full-time employees to work from home.”
The Cannon Commons
“The Cannon Commons will be open for students with meal plans and will provide boxed meals for pick up.” according to an email from University Communications sent out to students.
Commencements and Convocations
The university has canceled all gatherings for this year’s commencements and convocations, but individual colleges can stream their convocation.
BYU announced it’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 23.
In an email sent out to students from University Communications it stated “BYU received a notification that a student enrolled in classes on campus this semester tested positive for COVID-19. The student has returned home.”
The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies
An email was sent out to Kennedy Center students saying, “Until further notice, the Kennedy Advisement Center and student lounge in 273 HRCB will be closed.”
The email said that they will still be advising students through phone calls and the video software Zoom.
The Kennedy Center will not be streaming their convocation.
Devotionals and Forums
The April 7 Devotional with Estela Marquez will proceed as a broadcast through BYUtv. The March 24 Forum with Dambisa Moyo has been postponed. The March 31 Performance Devotional and the April 14 Unforum have both been canceled.
Starting on March 27, Enterprise CarShare will be unavailable until further notice.
College of Family, Home and Social Sciences
Departments and faculty are making determinations on a case-by-case basis regarding practical and lab-based requirements including things like licensing and accreditation.
There has been no final decision regarding convocation, although a delayed convocation is being considered.
“In preparing finals for W2020 faculty may choose to employ standard examination modes, adapted to remote delivery. They might also approach final exams in novel ways and are authorized to do so,” according to BYU’s website.
“Until further notice, BYU is prohibiting all in-person gatherings of more than 10 people in accordance with a Utah public health order. This broadly applies to any on- or off-campus gathering of BYU employees. This also applies to any on-campus student or visitor gatherings,” according to BYU’s website.
In an email to students Academic Vice President Shane Reese addresses decisions to fairly evaluate final grades.
“At the end of this semester only, faculty will submit a letter grade for each course as per the standard grade submission protocol. After the grades are submitted by faculty, students can choose to keep the standard grade given or move to a pass/fail for each specific course.
Pass and Fail grades will not affect GPA. A ‘Pass’ will count as a passing grade and a completed academic credit. For this semester only, a ‘Fail’ will not adversely affect GPA and no credit will be given for that course,” according to the email.
According to the International Cinema’s website “all in-person screenings have been cancelled for Winter 2020 in response to the COVID-19 virus.”
An email sent to students said “We are currently working with film distributors to acquire permission to stream films through hummedia, the BYU Humanities Department’s content streaming platform.”
The Ira B. Fulton College of Engineering
The Engineering Building is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the Clyde Building is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. According to the college’s communications manager Jordyn Watts, Dean Michael Jensen is strongly encouraging all classes, including those with lab work and research done primarily on campus, to move online.
Lost and Found
BYU’s Lost and Found will be open 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center.
The Museum of Art, Monte L. Bean Museum and other similar venues used for gatherings will be closed until further notice according to BYU’s website.
Students can park in any Y or G lots without a paid parking pass, but A lots and specialty stalls will still be monitored as normal.
Recreation and Fitness Facilities
All recreation and fitness facilities on campus are closed. This includes the gyms, pool, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor track and racquetball courts.
Research and Writing Center
The Research and Writing Center will continue to offer virtual help via Zoom or email appointments. Visit their website for details.
The writing consultant application deadline for spring, summer and fall has been extended to March 30. For more information and to apply, visit the employment page on their website.
For any other questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone has free access to Sanvello premium during COVID-19. Sanvello is a mental health support app that is meant to help with stress and anxiety.
School of Communications
According to an email sent to students in the School of Communications, “The School of Communications main office will remain open for the rest of the semester. School leadership and office staff will be in the office and available, during regular office operating hours.”
The Brimhall is currently closed except for those with key-card access.
The free campus shuttles are still running on their regular schedules.
Kevin J Worthen announced in an email sent out March 24 that Spring term at BYU would be held remotely.
“In all other ways, spring term will proceed according to the previously established schedule,” according to the email.
For more information about how this affects on campus housing, student jobs and grading visit the announcement BYU’s website.
Student Health Center
The Student Health Center is still open to treat students. Its hours are Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Visit BYU’s Health Center website for more information.
If you have a respiratory illness or suspect you have COVID-19, please call 801-310-0438 before coming to the clinic.
Study Abroad and Performing Tours
All study abroad programs and performing tours that were scheduled for spring and summer terms have been canceled.
The Testing Center is closed until further notice.
The Wall has been closed until further notice.
Wilkinson Student Center
The Wilkinson Student will maintain its regular hours, but specific offices within the building may be closed.
BYU tweeted that the withdraw period will be extended by one week. The new deadline was March 24.
Women’s Services & Resources
Women’s Services & Resources sent out an email on March 18 stating that their office in the Wilkinson Student Center is closed until further notice. The email also stated that WSR Director Dixie Sevison is available during normal business hours at email@example.com or 801-422-4455 for anyone in need of immediate assistance.