Students forced to regroup after Pepperdine University switches gears from in-person learning to online classes

Pepperdine University students are having to quickly regroup ahead of the fall semester after the school prepares to hold all of its classes online instead on in person.

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Saturday, July 25, 2020
Last minute changes leave Pepperdine University students scrambling for housing
Pepperdine University students have to quickly regroup ahead of the fall semester after the school prepares to hold all of its classes online instead on in person.

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- Pepperdine University students are regrouping ahead of the fall semester, as the school prepares to hold all of its classes online. The decision is affecting students who already moved into nearby housing, expecting in-person classes.

Incoming Pepperdine juniors Heather Chaffin and Rachel Stenz, like college students everywhere, are preparing for the upcoming fall semester. Pepperdine had been planning for on-campus learning to resume...until this week, when it was announced otherwise.

"Pepperdine said, oh just kidding never mind, we're not sure what's happening," said Chaffin.

While the announcement to focus on online learning isn't unique, the girls' housing situation is a bit more complicated. They say the university had encouraged students, because of COVID-19, to find housing off-campus. Thinking they'd still be attending class, they've already paid their $1,000 deposit at Malibu Canyon Apartments in Calabasas.

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"It was not the situation that we expected, and we were kind of misled in what we were getting into for our next semester of college," said Stenz.

"It just seemed like they were more interested in the money, you know, delaying these decisions so that they have people registered with them," said Chaffin.

Weighing all the options, Heather, Rachel and their other roommate have decided they'll stay put; even though they maybe wouldn't have had they been given better warning of the fall closure.

"It's very stressful for me as a student and also for the rest of my family because they're bearing the financial burden of this," said Stenz.

"Something they forget is not everybody has the million dollar trust fund," said Chaffin.

Pepperdine told Eyewitness News that the difficult decision underscores the priority to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

In the meantime, the girls can at least study here, physically distanced and create the best college experience they can for themselves during this unprecedented time.

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