LU Drops COVID-19 Regulations Starting Next Semester
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
On Wednesday, March 24th, Liberty University sent students an email announcing that campus would “return to normal operations starting in the Fall 2021 semester.” The email specified the current trend of decreased COVID-19 cases that played into this decision, although future COVID-19 policies on-campus will largely depend on state and local COVID-19 guidelines. The message closed by encouraging students to maintain healthy habits and to “look out for the health and safety of others."
The announcement made waves not only across Liberty’s campus, but nationally as well. On April 13th, popular conservative commentator Roger O’Handley, better known by his online username, @dc_draino, posted a picture of an article in The Liberty Champion talking about the move to normalcy. The post was captioned,“BRAVO @libertyuniversity🔥Let’s hope they start a national trend of no mandatory masks and no mandatory vax on college campuses🇺🇸#MyBodyMyChoice.”
The on-campus reaction to Liberty’s announcement has been largely positive, with many students expressing praise and excitement for the move. Some students have been critical of the university and its administration, not because of its decision to open back up, but because of its current COVID-19 policies. The Instagram account @real_fullsend_flames wrote a lengthy post in reaction to the news, saying, “Yeah this is great and all but when are the double standards going to end? Are you going to give back to the students who you ripped everything away from? The students who have been banned from on-campus dining facilities? And now have to eat off campus now. What about the students who have been harassed from faculty, staff, and even LUPD officers? What about the student who came to us and met with us and told us what you (@libertyuniversity and @davidnasser and @libertyupolice) did to him? You falsely detained him and brought him to the hospital falsely claiming he was suicidal because he wouldn’t wear a mask on campus. Ever since @jerryfalwelljr left this university has been going downhill quick. It’s sad to see a great university start to fall so rapidly. I hope you reach out to those you hurt and actually help them.” It is important to note that there have been conflicting stories of students being harassed by the administration, with some sharing similar stories as the one above while others have reported being able to walk freely without a mask and have not been targeted by any university official.
Many students have been critical of the university's COVID-19 protocol, with voices of concern growing the loudest in February of this year, as Liberty simultaneously lifted some restrictions on students visiting one another's dorms while also placing heavier restrictions on clubs and placing a ten-person limit on club meetings, a limit many students believe has not been fairly enforced. While these protests are sure to continue, it can be reasonably assumed that all students will be able to enjoy the return to normalcy expected after summer break.