UCLA extends online instruction through end of spring quarter
UCLA’s campus will remain open for international students and research. Students who live on-campus can cancel their housing contracts early and receive refunds. (Daily Bruin file photo)
This post was updated March 16 at 11:08 p.m.
Classes will be moved online for all of spring quarter, one of several changes made to campus operations as the threat of coronavirus looms.
All UCLA libraries are now closed to the public. Students, staff and faculty with BruinCards will be allowed access, UCLA officials announced in an email Monday.
Powell Library, Charles E. Young Research Library and the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library will be opened temporarily for the next three days, from 7 a.m. to midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. They will close entirely after Thursday.
Residential restaurants have also shifted entirely to “to-go” operations. Food at each buffet station will be served in to-go boxes, and dining hall staff will encourage students in line to keep at least 6 feet apart, the email stated.
Associated Students UCLA food options on campus also have either closed or moved to takeout operations only.
Tables will be removed from on-campus dining locations to spread diners out, and signs will be posted reminding students and visitors to stay 6 feet apart, the email stated. Restaurants closing include Veggie Grill, Wolfgang Puck Express, Northern Lights, the Music Cafe and Cafe Synapse.
All nonessential meetings and events are now suspended through spring quarter as well, and student workers are encouraged to work remotely wherever possible.
The email also asked faculty to consider the impact of coronavirus on students when making final grade decisions.
UCLA made the announcement it would move classes online in a Friday email.
All students were encouraged to return to their homes with their personal belongings for the rest of the academic year, said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter, Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Monroe Gorden Jr. in the email.
Students are still allowed to remain in on-campus housing for the duration of spring quarter and can keep their belongings with them.
Students who live on campus but return home for spring quarter will be allowed to cancel their housing contracts early and be refunded for their spring quarter housing and meal plan expenses. Students who cancel their contracts must bring their personal belongings home with them, the email stated.
All remaining UCLA study abroad programs were canceled. UCLA also suspended all nonessential university international and domestic travel.
The campus will remain open for research and international students. However, UCLA Recreation announced Sunday it would be closing all facilities until further notice starting on Monday.
Likewise, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center and Counseling and Psychological Services will remain open.
F1 and J1 visas for international students will not be affected by the move online, the email read. Students receiving accommodations from the Center for Accessible Education have been informed of any changes or alternative accommodations, the email read.
UCLA had previously canceled in-person classes until just April 10, two weeks into spring quarter. Chancellor Gene Block announced Friday that he would be self-quarantining for 14 days after coming into contact with a person with the coronavirus.
Additionally, UCLA Health suspended all volunteer programs indefinitely.
The coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and has since spread to at least 140 countries.
Los Angeles County has 94 confirmed cases. LA mayor Eric Garcetti ordered that bars, restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment facilities close Sunday at midnight, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
Ayla Dvoretzky, a second-year civil and environmental engineering student, said while attending lecture on Zoom, a video conferencing platform, sounded fun at first, it quickly lost appeal when she realized it was going to be used for the entire quarter.
Dvoretzky added that she plans to take four very difficult and very collaborative STEM classes next quarter, which she was planning to tackle by working with her peers.
“I was already really worried about the workload,” she said. “And I was planning to rely a lot on getting the help and support of my peers. And I know that that’s going to be a lot more difficult now.”
She said the whole situation makes it difficult to focus on finals.
“I’m talking to my friends who I thought I was going to have another quarter with and trying to figure out who’s leaving when and who’s living where and how we’re going to see each other,” Dvoretzky said. “And it’s just a lot to think about and also worry about finals.”
Dvoretzky said she thinks she’s grown from the leadership positions she’s taken on, the peers she has access to and the environment at UCLA, which can be lost in an online setting.
“Much more of UCLA’s value to me is that stuff that’s not quite as quantifiable, rather than the academics of it,” she said. “And so I feel like I’m losing the more important part of UCLA, like on paper, sure, I’m still getting taught by UCLA professors, but I don’t feel like I’m getting the UCLA education that I worked and paid for.”
Antonio Uyemura, a second-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics student said he was particularly frustrated with the way the information was communicated to students since he is an out-of-state student from Texas.
After the first announcement that canceled classes through April 10, Uyemura’s parents booked him a flight home for Saturday. However, since the second announcement that UCLA would be moving all of spring quarter online came on Friday, Uyemura was forced to move out in 24 hours.
“It was slightly frustrating to see how fastly the response escalated because it didn’t really feel calculated because it was like, if you already had the intention to put it off for two weeks, why wouldn’t you keep that and then reassess afterwards?” Uyemura said.
He added he is now considering whether to defer for spring quarter and enroll in summer session C instead.
“I pay all this money to go to this school in California,” he said. “So why would I take the school in Texas?”
Simon Zhang, a fourth-year applied mathematics student, said he was happy when he first heard the news, but slowly realized some of the larger consequences.
“Slowly I realized that like, oh no, that means like I won’t be able to experience everything in spring quarter as I would have,” Zhang said.
He added there are a lot of moments that he is missing out in as a senior.
“I always had this picture of what my last couple weeks of my UCLA experience would be like, but obviously that’s not gonna happen,” he said. “I haven’t taken my grad photos yet. So I think that’ll be really sad that I won’t have photographed memories with my close friends. … So it’s just a lot of moments that I would have wanted to experience for the last time that I won’t be able to get anymore.”
Students can view updated information on the UCLA website. Students can reach a student support line at 310-825-3894 starting Wednesday for any issues they face regarding COVID-19 and its impacts. It will be open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.