Jerry Falwell Jr.: Concerns ‘Overblown’ on Libey Opening Dorms

Libey University President Jerry Falwell Jr. complained Wednesday that repos the Lynchburg, Virginia campus is reopening its dorms during the coronavirus crisis are overblown and that most students have not returned to campus after spring break last week. 

“Libey did not reopen,” he told CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota. “Libey has between 1,000 and 2,000 students on a campus built for 15,500 and almost a thousand are international students who have nowhere else to go. Others have no place else to be except in their dorms.”

University spokesman Scott Lamb said about 1,900 students have come back to campus, but university officials are ready for 5,000 to return. Falwell said Wednesday he does not know how many have come back to their apaments off-campus. 

Falwell said that the university will be enforcing social distancing, and while academic buildings will be open, all classes will be online and professors are working from home.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Noham has ordered strict social distancing as of late Tuesday, and his press secretary said Libey is “no exception” to the rules.  

Falwell said, through his university’s news service, that the mayor of Lynchburg and the city manager were favorable about the students returning, but both said they were not. 

“Libey University is an impoant pa of this community; however, I believe it was a reckless decision to bring students back on campus at this time,” Mayor Treney Tweedy said in a statement. “It is unfounate that President Falwell chose to not keep his word to us and to this community.”

City Manager Bonnie Svrcek told The Daily Beast that she’d thanked Falwell for offering online classes, but the city was misled about plans to allow students back into dorms. 

“We believed he meant that students would be told to not come back to campus with a few exceptions,” she said.

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