ATTN: DRBU Fall Semester Classes Begin August 10th.
Last day of instruction will be Friday, Nov. 20th, 2020.
Monday June 15, 2020
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 understand that you may have questions about the details of these plans. We will hold a virtual town hall onThursday, June 18 at 5pm so that you will have a chance to ask questions and hear more details about what all of this will mean for you.
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.
Monday May 25, 2020
Hope you are enjoying the beginning of summer wherever you are sheltering in place.
As cities across the nation begin to reopen and the number of COVID-19 deaths approaches 100,000 in the United States, DRBU is looking ahead towards the Fall. DRBU Administrative Council formed a COVID-19 task force 3 weeks ago to study the various scenarios and associated impact and risks for the Fall semester. We would like to inform you of these possible plans and get your input on how each of these scenarios would impact your learning.
Please join us for a DRBU Townhall this Friday, May 29, 5 PM to hear about the fall semester plans and give us your feedback.
Professor Stacy Chen
Saturday May 2, 2020
In 1780, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her 13 year old son, John Quincy Adams, who would grow up to become the sixth president of the United States. She wrote, “It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.” It has now been almost two months since DRBU, along with most other American universities, had to send its students out into the world to continue their semester on computer screens. It has been stressful for everyone, and the continued uncertainty around the progress of the pandemic has not been easy to bear.
There are reasons to be hopeful. Mendocino county currently has just 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Four people have recovered, none have required hospitalization, and there have been no deaths. There is still no evidence of community spread in this county. Compliance with shelter-in-place rules has been very good, and it is heartening to see the many ways that people are reaching out to help each other during this challenging time.
DRBU classes have continued online, and administrative work continues with frequent Zoom meetings and phone check-ins. I know we all appreciate being able to see each other’s faces on the computer screen, and we are happy that the technology works--most of the time! But it is not the same as being together in person.
I can assure you that DRBU will be convening classes for the fall semester. While I know many of us are hoping we can hold fall classes in-person on the CTTB campus, we are not yet able to determine whether we can do so. To that end, faculty and staff are working together to gather data and make contingency plans for the fall. While we are putting together possible scenarios, we are waiting for more definitive guidance from state and local officials. CTTB remains temporarily closed to all visitors, and residents there, like the rest of us, are waiting to see how things develop before making decisions about re-opening the campus. We recognize that both new and returning students need to make travel plans and other arrangements, and please be assured that we will make our decision as soon as we possibly can and will notify you immediately once it is made.
Meanwhile, faculty are putting together course schedules for the fall, the admissions team continues to interview prospective students every week, and the campus life team is planning for new student orientation. Renovation work on the Women’s Dorm and the Sudhana Center is proceeding on schedule and both facilities will be ready for students in the fall. We are all eagerly awaiting the time when it will be safe and prudent to reassemble on our beautiful campus.
I look forward to the time when we will be together again. I know there will be many stories to share of how we coped and what we learned about ourselves during this time. Until then, please take good care of yourselves and the people around you
Dr. Susan Rounds
Friday March 13, 2020
Note: The following message was sent to the DRBU campus community on March 13, 2020.
As you may already know, there is a rapidly evolving world health crisis that requires new and unprecedented action. Nationally and internationally, we are in the face of a growing COVID-19 pandemic. Our utmost priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and community. We are taking very seriously the consequences of our decisions and will do everything we can to address your concerns.
We have a narrowing window in which to act, as the country is faced with a National Emergency declaration which may mean severe restrictions–even prohibitions–on travel, transportation, and public gatherings. With this sense of urgency, the DRBU Faculty met to respond preemptively and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community. We came to the following difficult decisions.
- DRBU dorms will close on Saturday, March 21, at 1:00PM.
- Students who are able to return home are expected to do so.
- Students who are unable to return home because of housing insecurity, travel restrictions, or other extenuating circumstances will be able to request Temporary Transitional Housing. Staff will work individually with those making requests and will ensure that they have housing.
- We understand that some of you might not have the financial resources to make rearrangements under such a short timeline. We are working on possible financial support for those who need assistance with travel expenses and relocations.
- Staff will be available to help make travel arrangements and coordinate travel funding.
- Classes are cancelled from March 16 - 20 to allow everyone to make necessary preparations.
- Spring Break will be on March 23 - 27, instead of March 30 - April 3, to allow for travel and other accommodations.
- Classes will resume online on March 30. We want to reassure you that DRBU is committed to ensuring that you will be able to complete your academic requirements through online instruction.
We will hold a town hall meeting tomorrow, Saturday, March 14, at 1:00PM in the South Wing second floor lounge. We hope everyone will attend. Anyone unable to attend in person can join remotely.
We understand that this is not an ideal situation. We know that this is not how you expected to finish your semester at DRBU, and for graduating students, your last year at DRBU. However, along with hundreds of other universities around the nation, we realize it has become necessary.
Once again, our small, tight-knit community is working together to rise to an unexpected challenge with great spirit, wisdom, and an ethic of compassionate care—hallmarks of our school. We believe that the values that have brought us together and that ground us at DRBU will sustain us in the weeks ahead. And we hope that they will bring us all together again in person as soon as this crisis passes.
Sunday March 8, 2020 10:18 a.m.
Note: The following message was sent to the DRBU campus community on March 8, 2020.
Dear DRBU students, faculty and staff:
We want to give everyone an update on the current situation regarding COVID-19 and the steps DRBU is taking to safeguard our community. We know that it can be alarming to follow the news of COVID-19 spreading around the world.
As of now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mendocino County. Classes and activities at DRBU are continuing as usual. DRBU is monitoring the situation closely, taking preventive measures, and putting together contingency plans based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local public health officials. Our priority is to protect everyone’s health and well-being, and to find ways for the University to keep running safely in a variety of scenarios that may arise.
CTTB has been praised for the proactive measures it has taken to protect residents and the greater community. Since our last update, the following additional measures have been introduced:
- The Jyun Kang restaurant, CTTB bookstore, and donations department front desk will be closed from Sunday, March 8 until further notice. This will significantly reduce the number of day visitors to campus. The donation department can still be reached through email and postal mail. The CTTB Administration Office will remain open daily.
- For additional security, the CTTB front gate will be locked from 10pm to 6am. The gate code was shared in a separate email.
We encourage anyone with fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms (e.g. cough or difficulty breathing) to stay home and contact Donna Farmer at Health Services immediately.
As a reminder, these basic practices will help to protect yourself and others from respiratory diseases including COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, particularly with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick, informing Donna immediately if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Cleaning supplies have been placed at various locations in the DRBU building.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- If you have not done so, consider getting vaccinated for the flu.
We will be providing further updates through email and a new DRBU webpage dedicated to COVID-19 information: https://campuslife.drbu.edu/health-services/coronavirus
Thank you for your cooperation and for supporting each other as we continue to follow and respond to this evolving situation.
On behalf of Dr. Susan Rounds,
Stacy & Yuen-Lin
Sunday March 1, 2020 12:01 p.m.
Note: The following message was sent to the DRBU campus community on March 1, 2020.
Dear DRBU students, faculty, and staff:
We would like to share some important information regarding the global coronavirus outbreak.
We were recently informed by the Mendocino County public health department that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the county. The health risk at DRBU remains low, and the situation is being monitored closely.
To protect the City and the greater Ukiah Valley, CTTB has introduced a number of proactive measures tailored to the nature of the community. First, people entering the United States from all countries must quarantine themselves for 2 weeks before joining the community. The same policy applies to the Sudhana Center. Note that if you travel internationally (e.g. during spring break), you will not be able to return to DRBU until after 2 weeks following your return to the US. Second, large public events at CTTB have been canceled. Further measures are being considered as the situation develops.
This past week, four coronavirus cases emerged in the SF Bay Area, Oregon and Washington state in which the source of infection could not be determined. As this suggests that the virus is circulating in those locations to a certain extent, out of an abundance of caution, we discourage all non-essential international and domestic travel for the time being.
Further, we urge everyone to adopt the following best practices for the prevention of respiratory infections, including the flu. As a reminder, if you experience a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough or difficulty breathing, please stay home and immediately inform Donna Farmer of Health Services (email@example.com).
To protect yourself:
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick. The virus is thought to mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. This mitigates what is thought to be a secondary means of transmission.
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. If these are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
To protect others:
- Stay home if you feel unwell. Inform your instructor or supervisor. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, inform Donna immediately.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you have not done so, consider getting vaccinated for the flu. Flu season runs through April.
To learn more about COVID-19, the following are informative and reputable sources:
DRBU is monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with CTTB administration and the local public health department. We will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Farmer or myself.
Thank you for your cooperation and support!
On behalf of Dr. Susan Rounds,