From the President, June 2020

Jul 5, 2020

The following Fall 2020 update was sent to DRBU students by DRBU President Susan Rounds. It is in regards to housing and online learning during CoVID-19.

Dear students,

For the last several weeks, DRBU faculty and staff have been working hard to come to the best decisions about how to proceed for the upcoming fall semester. We know that you have all been waiting patiently to know our decision so that you could make your own plans accordingly. On behalf of the DRBU Faculty, I would like to convey our plan for what is going to happen.

Without a vaccine or a prophylactic, and with the presence of a high-risk population at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the risk of COVID-19 viral infection and outbreak is simply too high for DRBU to return to CTTB for in-person classes and residence this fall. To reduce this risk, we will be offering a hybrid mode of instruction for the Fall 2020 term: Students will have an option to attend classes online and Sudhana Center will be DRBU's sole physical campus to host in-person instructional components and small-scale student dormitories for men and women. The Office of Campus Life will provide information on the application process to stay at Sudhana Center for the fall semester, including the shelter-in-place protocols that all residents will need to rigorously observe to ensure everyone's health and safety.

We have also decided to change the academic calendar for the fall semester, beginning earlier than usual so that those residing in the dormitories at Sudhana Center can leave campus before the Thanksgiving Holidays. Many colleges and universities in the US are taking this step. Public health officials are warning that a possible second wave of Covid infections is expected to overlap with the usual seasonal flu outbreaks. The earlier end to the fall semester will allow the semester to end before the expected peak of infections beginning in December.

As a result of this decision the first day of classes for Fall semester will be Monday, Aug. 10th, 2020. The last day of instruction will be Friday, Nov. 20th, 2020. The student conferences will be scheduled from Monday, Nov. 30th through Friday, Dec. 4th.

We all look forward to the day when all of us can assemble on our beautiful campus at CTTB and hold classes and other activities together again. But in the meantime, I know that the spirit and heart of the DRBU community is strong enough to maintain our community even though most of us must remain physically separated for now.