Classes Moving Online to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect our campus community and beyond, Buena Vista University has moved Storm Lake campus classes online for the remainder of the Spring Semester beginning Monday, March 30.

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect our campus community and beyond, Buena Vista University is moving Storm Lake campus classes online for the remainder of the Spring Semester beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020. BVU’s student, faculty, and staff’s health and safety is our top priority, which compels us to move ahead with plans to mitigate spread of the virus as best we can. 

Moving Off Campus 

Students are strongly encouraged to remain at their home/permanent residence, and we will schedule time for each student to return to campus to gather any remaining belongings. We ask that all Storm Lake students please complete the Spring 2020 Accommodation Form by March 30, indicating your housing plans for the remainder of the Spring Semester. 

You may have questions about Room and Board charges; our Business office and Financial Aid are working on this, and more information will follow in the coming weeks. 

Returning to Campus 

Please be patient as we develop a safe, efficient way for students and families to return to campus. If students or their family members are not feeling well, have a temperature of 100.4°F or more, or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that they please do not return to campus until they are cleared by a medical professional. We will do our best to give students access to their belongings when it is safe to do so.  If students don’t have the necessary tools they need in order to move forward with coursework, we encourage them to please let their academic advisor know. 

We also understand that returning home is not an option for all students, and there are extenuating circumstances. In the event that a student is unable to return home and we can make an exception, BVU will accommodate. If you believe you fall into this category OR plan to return to campus, please complete the Health Screening Form. This select group of students will have access to essential services including Campus Dining which will reopen March 22, 2020 at 5 p.m. 

Students who remain on campus will follow social distancing restrictions and may be asked to remain in Iowa for the remainder of the Spring Semester. Additional details will be shared to remaining on-campus students in an effort to keep them safe as things progress. Please contact Portia Gresham, Director of Residence Life and Housing, at 712.749.2659 or if you have questions or concerns. 


Buena Vista University is committed to making it possible for all students to complete the academic work they already started this semester without losing financial aid or progress toward graduation. We will do so through our existing Canvas and Zoom (a collaborative online video resource) infrastructure.   BVU is a leader in online learning, and our online, hybrid, and graduate students have been using Zoom for several years. BVU staff and faculty training sessions and work to transition their courses to an online format will take place next week. 

More information on completing coursework online will be shared with students later next week as well. We realize this is not what students planned—particularly for seniors and those planning to graduate May 2020—but we are committed to ensuring our students who have met their academic requirements graduate on time. You may be faced with challenges such as internet access or have additional questions for your professors, and we’ll do our best to work with each student as challenges arise. 

Student Teaching and Credit-Bearing Experiences

We also recognize some credit-bearing experiences such as internships, student teaching, and practicums are out of the control of BVU. We do not know how every outside entity is going to respond to this situation, but know that BVU is dedicated to supporting our students and ensuring they complete hours and other requirements necessary in earning their degree and receiving designated licensures. We ask that students be in contact with their academic advisor if their circumstances change. 

University Events  

Based on social distancing recommended by the CDC, BVU has canceled all BVU sponsored events and events hosted at the University through May 29 except for Commencement. 


Commencement is currently on hold. We understand the significance of this day and the momentous achievements of our graduates, but because the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, we are considering all possible options regarding Commencement—including moving it to a later date. It is our intent that a decision on the character and nature of Commencement is to be made by the end of April. 

Building and Office Availability 

University offices will remain open, and faculty and staff are asked to continue operations as usual at this time. Lehnus Campus Bookstore and the Mail Room will remain open, but academic buildings and classrooms are closed with the exception of staff and faculty who require their offices. The following locations are also closed until further notice: 

  • Lamberti Recreation Center  
  • Weight room 
  • Finkbine Natatorium 
  • Peterson Field 
  • Rec House. Limited access will be provided for students who must stay on campus and are looking to utilize the outdoors and practice social distancing. 

Personal Resources 

We ask everyone feeling added stress or anxiety to please seek assistance from the University’s existing services. Mental Health Counseling Services and Center for Academic Excellence with Academic Success services will soon be available through Zoom. 

Going Forward 

We will continue to communicate information to students, parents, faculty, and staff as it becomes available. Please see our COVID-19 website for additional, recent information and links to reliable resources. We want you to keep in mind this difficult decision is rooted in our campus community’s health and safety first and foremost. Thank you for your understanding and efforts to protect our campus community.