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Lyon College to start fall semester with full remote learning – KTHV

According to officials, the Batesville college is the first school in Arkansas to announce all classes will be online this semester.

BATESVILLE, Ark. — According to officials, a Batesville college is the first school in Arkansas to announce all classes will be online this semester.

The president of Lyon College, Joseph King, said they believe it’s the safest and best choice for their students and faculty. 

“It’s really a difficult decision, but I think ultimately, we wanted to make it for ourselves instead of having it made for us,” he said. 

A decision that according to King, didn’t come easy.

“What you’re really weighing is your students’ health and welfare against their desire, and our desire frankly, for them to be in residence and on campus, to have access to social events, to participate in athletics,” he said. 

King said the board of trustees voted unanimously on Thursday, July 23, to be fully remote for fall 2020 and cancel all sports. 

“We spent all summer trying to figure out how to do this in-person and we really, I think, explored every option,” he said. 

According to King, the administration put all the factors together. Including where their students come from, the close quarters of the residence halls, the availability of testing on a timely basis, and their location as an institution. 

“If we had an outbreak that spread across campus— or worse, all over town. That was another consideration, just even the access to healthcare facilities we might need,” he said. 

Student services like counseling, health and wellness, and academic support will still be offered and have even expanded since last semester.

The college is also giving a grant to each student to acknowledge their resilience, according to King, which will reduce each student’s remaining balance for their fall tuition by 15 percent. 

“We know that our students need aid from us that goes far beyond the classroom and we are there and ready to provide it,” he said. 

Senior Allison Mundy described it as bitter-sweet. 

“In a perfect world I would never want this to happen, but I also understand why and I respect it even though it’s not what I want it to be for my senior year,” she said. 

Not being able to experience her favorite parts of Lyon and Batesville with her friends is what is hitting Mundy the hardest. 

But she is remaining optimistic and is glad to be a part of a university that cares about her safety. 

“The whole situation is very sad and as much as we all wish to change it, we’re all doing the best of what we got, so trying to make it through,” Mundy said. 

King is optimistic about being on campus for Spring 2021, as long as there is a vaccine. 

The spring semester will start three weeks later than usual.

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