CDSP to Close Dorm, Continue Online-Only Instruction

Update (March 16) – See below for original announcement

The City of Berkeley and six Bay Area counties have issued a Shelter in Place order effective at 12:01 tonight and for the duration of the order (currently through April 7). You can read the whole thing here.

We know that many of our students, faculty, and staff are concerned about what this order means for their activities. We encourage you to read the whole document if you can, but to facilitate your continued planning we wanted to point out a few forms of activity explicitly allowed:

“Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the City. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the City remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.”

“To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.”

“To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.”

“To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, or running.”

“Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.”

In light of this order, the GTU Library has announced its closure, though online services will continue to be available.

Update (March 15) – See below for original announcement

We have some important updates to share as our COVID-19 response continues to unfold:

(1) We have worked with all CDSP students who had nowhere safe to relocate upon the closure of Parsons Hall on March 25. All now have appropriate relocation plans. Many thanks to everyone who made this happen.

(2) We are finalizing arrangements with UC Berkeley for Easton Hall to begin serving as an isolation center for students who are ill. These students and their professional caregivers are not authorized to be present anywhere else on campus. Rooms in Easton Hall have their own bathrooms but NOT their own kitchens, so these rooms were not appropriate for our students’ ongoing self-sufficient social distancing.

(3) We are working to support our students moving out of Parsons Hall. In addition to helping with relocation planning, we are providing clear move-out procedures as well as expedited room and board refunds to students moving off campus.

(4) We are preparing updates for our students’ bishops and for CDSP alums about these and other developments. Please continue to watch our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and email newsletters for more information about how our community is adapting to our challenging and fast-changing circumstances.

Original Announcement (March 14)

Earlier today CDSP announced to students, faculty, and staff new measures to respond to the deepening crisis associated with the spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area and elsewhere.  

We will be closing our dormitory facilities, though not our single-family apartment facilities, as of Wednesday, March 25. We are working with our dorm residents to support them during this transition, including expedited room and board refunds and additional assistance in extenuating circumstances. 

Faculty and staff will be working from home until further notice. Courses will continue in online-only format through the end of the semester.  

We will make a decision the week of March 23 about whether to cancel or postpone baccalaureate and commencement activities, and how to proceed with the June intensive term for low-residence students. We are committed to celebrating our graduating students and to making it possible for low-residence students to continue to progress toward on-time degree completion. 

We make these decisions to support social distancing practices in accordance with guidance from public health experts about how best to slow the spread of the virus and ease the growing burden on our nation’s healthcare infrastructure. Other area schools, including UC Berkeley, are taking similar action. For our setting, we believe this plan represents the most appropriate Christian response to the call to love our neighbor and protect all who are vulnerable.  

Please continue to pray for CDSP, for each other, and for all who need the healing, comforting presence of Christ in these difficult days. May we continue finding creative ways to share God’s love with one another and the world.