“Firestorm” About Liberty University Reopening

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jonathan Whatley, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus, Too: The decision by the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., to partly reopen his evangelical university enraged residents of Lynchburg, Va. Then students started getting sick. (Elizabeth Williamson, The New York Times, March 29, 2020)
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Each one of those students is an adult with agency. Each can decide whether not to return to Petri Dish University.

    But that does not absolve Fallwell from responsibility, blame, and (hopefully) liability.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This has been going back and forth for a week or two. I don't want to defend Falwell but one of the quieter stories that I've been tracking is that some students really don't have any other place to go. Their school is their home. I lived like that for almost two years. I don't know what Falwell's motivations might be. If done properly in a low-density manner it might be no more dangerous than living in a city apartment building. I'm not a big fan of Liberty, in general, but if I was a student there I might be happy to be something other than homeless.


  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Some schools have closed their dormitories while making exceptions for students like these. It's not a binary question; it's a challenge to be managed. But opening the doors to all comers is irresponsible.
    Maniac Craniac and SteveFoerster like this.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I'm reading this from a dorm. If I couldn't return to Toronto but they would close the housing, that would be painful.
  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

  8. faoweiraodu

    faoweiraodu New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2020
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Just some Norwegian guy who wants to talk about Boy Meets World

    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    I am taking online courses at Liberty right now. I have to say this is even more concerning because Liberty has absolutely massive online education infrastructure and support. It isn't like they would be establishing online programs from square one. Pretty dumb.

    In other news I have been extremely impressed with the education and the students. I expected to have to fend off hardcore fundamentalist viewpoints and over the top conservativism but I have experienced none of that. Everyone has been... Nice. That is in stark contrast to Northeastern University, which was brimming with judgment and you could feel the hate in the air for anything or anyone that was viewed as non-liberal.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    No objection from me :emoji_heart_eyes::emoji_blush:
  12. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    This! I am not a fan of Falwell's nor Trump. However, I think Liberty is more opened and welcoming than a lot of these secular schools. I said it before, a lot of liberals are only welcoming of those who agree with them. I'm happy with my choice to attend Liberty despite its alignment with Trump. The faculty and support staff are what matters in my educational experience, not the administration.

    That said, I'm filling out the paperwork to start my dissertation in the summer. It feels surreal, don't know if I'm excited or sad... (mixed emotions).. when did we get here?!
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It (Covid19) was bound to happen and some alternative version is bound to happen again. You have to project yourself through the crisis.
  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Maybe I sent the wrong message. I was just getting caught up in the reality that I am about to begin my dissertation after the thoughts of quitting were plaguing me during my first course in Fall 2018. So, when I asked rhetorically "when did 'we' get here," I was talking about me getting to this stage of the journey. Last night when I was filling out the paperwork, for some reason, I felt a bit sad.

    The last thing I'm worried about is Covid-19. I hate the fact that I'm stuck at home, teaching from home, the possibility that I won't get to see our class of 2020 graduate, and that I might not get to go on the Hershey Park trip this year.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sorry but right now that is a stupid attitude to adopt. If you don't care about your own health then at least care for the health of others.
  16. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    In Chris's defense, I didn't read it that way - I thought it was just a figure of speech meaning that he was so busy at home that the virus isn't preoccupying his thoughts, not that he wasn't taking it seriously or taking proper precautions. I feel the same way - I'm isolated, go out once a week to the grocery store - have taken the dog out a few times in the past two weeks. Avoiding people...and honestly, I'm very lucky that my job can be done from home - but I've been so busy with work and my side business (also from home!) that I'm not preoccupied with thoughts of the virus. I check in with the awesome leadership we've had here in Ohio (even though I disagree with our governor politically, he has shown why experienced, principled leadership is a must during a crisis. He's done great - and we have Dr. Amy Acton giving us the facts.), and I do what I'm required to do - and check in on friends and family through the internets.

    That said, both Liberty and Regent have some attractive programs and (sometimes) pricing - but I could never in a million years associate myself with institutions that are in anyway associated with the likes of their founders. (Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson) - I just couldn't. I'm sure that I would be surprised at the actual diversity of views at both of these institutions, and that the programs are probably sound- but for me, they are tainted in a way that I just don't think I could live with - but that is just me. Congratulations on finishing your doctorate - I know it took a lot of dedication and work.
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I hope you're right.
  18. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    And what if he's not? I feel no need to convince you otherwise though.

    I'm not quite there yet, but thanks in advance.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    You don't need to convince me of anything but in general you seem interested in presenting yourself as intelligent and thoughtful. Or maybe not.
  20. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Jerry Falwell Jr. says warrants are out for 2 journalists after critical stories on coronavirus decision: The president of Liberty University, which he partially reopened to students during the pandemic, accuses a NYT photographer and ProPublica reporter of trespassing. (Caitlin Oprysko, Politico, April 8, 2020)

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