Images of an empty, COVID-ready campus

It may be hard to remember three weeks into the semester that FPU had originally hoped to offer in-person learning for Fall 2020. This was the plan, that is, until Governor Newsom’s order mandated distance learning for schools and universities in COVID-affected areas like the Central Valley. This order only allows for schools to bring back in-person classes if the number of COVID cases in the city or county becomes few enough. 

Before this news, FPU had invested in plastic shields and other precautions, but sadly these are not being utilized very much with the current situation. 

This article features a collection of images taken at the Fresno Pacific main campus at various times in recent weeks. They aim to capture in some way the strange feeling that comes from being on an almost empty campus. While the facilities may look bleak and empty, they may also carry fond memories of the past semesters, and promises for the future.

A closed Hiebert Library, viewed from the outside. The reflected statues of the readers almost look as if they have taken our place studying inside the walls. 
Water stations covered in plastic to remind staff, residents or visiting students not to use them.
Photo Credit: Edwardo Cazares
While the tables are no longer here, just the sight of various places like this can bring back memories of chatting with friends and classmates, or of commiserating after class over a particularly difficult exam. 
The benches in the Forest (Alumni Plaza) and all over campus have dropped in capacity due to social distancing precautions.
Photo Credit: Edwardo Cazares
Sunset over North Hall.
A lone cat keeps watch over campus in the fluorescence-filled night. Something about that stare seems to say “This bench is taken”. Does the limit apply both above and beneath the bench? Perhaps bunk benches will be part of this new normal. 
In any normal semester, students would undoubtedly be populating these desks and aisles, making use of some nightly study time. Now the dark windows reflect light from the small businesses across the street, more visible as of late due to the tearing down of empty campus housing to make way for the incoming Culture and Arts Center. 
All is quiet in the Forest. The bright lights encourage smokey air to masquerade as fog from a Fresno winter. 
Upper photo credit: Edwardo Cazares
Kiana Espinoza closes up shop for the day at the Academic Support Center. Although tutoring is done via Zoom this semester, the ASC is still ready and able to help with all manner of assignments and subjects. As can be seen in this photo, plastic shields and cleaning supplies are now a common sight on campus.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”  
   “…A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…”
        “…God seeks what has been driven away”
            [selected content taken from the context of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 ESV]
A look at the area behind the Seminary House prepared for the Culture and Arts Center. The groundbreaking celebration is set for 10:30 a.m, Friday, October 16, 2020.
A closer look, in the dark, at the area cleared out behind the Seminary house. What will the building-in-progress look like when students return to in-person classes?
AIMS Hall and the Rebecca Fountain as viewed from Marpeck Hall.
2020 has been full of difficulty testing our sympathy and our unity
May we all do more than cope
and help another find true hope

Author: Timothy Miracle | Features Editor

Photos by: Timothy Miracle

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