AU, along with countless other organizations and colleges, has recently had to cancel various planned events, trips and programs to counteract the growing COVID-19 epidemic that is rapidly stretching across the world.
The growing concern over the virus has forced AU to declare numerous unexpected changes to students’ and staff’s spring break plans, most notably AU’s planned Tri-S trips. The Iceland trip, the Antigua and Barbuda trip and the Costa Rica trip were all canceled in accordance with the various international travel bans put in place over the last few weeks.
In a statement released on AU’s website concerning COVID-19, AU expressed the toughness of the decisions that had to be made regarding the cancellation of numerous events and Tri-S trips.
“There have been hard decisions we’ve had to make already, like postponing trips, canceling or rescheduling events, and moving classes temporarily online,” the statement said. “These are not decisions we make lightly. We know these events and activities are important to students. They’re important to us, too.”
Senior computer science major Davis Peterson was prepared to travel with the engineering department to Costa Rica for a spring break Tri-S trip before the trip was canceled.
“I knew there was a good chance that our trip was going to be canceled once the COVID-19 outbreak became more and more of a global issue,” Peterson explained. “To be honest, the couple days before we were told our trip was ‘postponed,’ which was Thursday, March 12, I was getting anxious about going on the trip. There were just too many possible bad scenarios that were playing in my mind, and I didn’t want any of those to happen. Plus, the trip we were taking was especially mission and serving oriented, and I didn’t want us to enter Costa Rica with only an attitude of self-preservation. In the end, while I was greatly disappointed, I felt good about Tri-S postponing the trip, and I wasn’t at all surprised when Tri-S later decided to cancel all trips. It just doesn’t make sense to travel internationally during this time.”
Peterson went on to express his satisfaction with how AU was handling the epidemic and the challenging decisions that were having to be made.
“While this is such a disheartening way to end the semester and my college experience, I know the steps the school is taking are necessary,” said Peterson.
Future Tri-S trips, such as the planned summer Tri-S trips, are currently being assessed as the COVID-19 situation develops.