Amid Wildfires and Days After Deadly Mass Shooting, Cal Lutheran University Will Not Cancel Classes

Mourners cry and comfort each other during a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Mourners cry and comfort each other during a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Despite a mass shooting followed by devastating wildfires, California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks will continue classes as usual on Monday — rejecting requests from students to cancel them.

After a shooting claimed the lives of 13 people at a Thousand Oaks bar and amidst wildfires that continue to force the evacuation of thousands, the university has refused to cancel classes, according to a statement issued by the college’s student government.

The governing body has made two requests to have classes cancelled and the university has rejected both, according to the statement.

An email to students from the university president, Chris Kimball, explains that classes will resume on Monday at campuses in Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills and Oxnard while classes in Westlake Village will be moved to Thousand Oaks. Kimball writes that some students are “anxious to get to their regular schedules” while others are not ready.

“We understand that some students may have a difficult time getting to campus due to the fires and resulting evacuations,”  Kimball writes in the email addressed to students.

“Faculty and staff will work with students to ensure that we all get through the challenging situations that we have experienced in the past week,” the email continues.

The message was also posted to the university’s Facebook page.

The Hill and Woolsey fires, which both started in Ventura County and continued into Los Angeles, have collectively burned through more than 135 square miles. The Woolsey Fire killed two people in Malibu and reached just 10 percent containment by Sunday evening.

Cal Lutheran’s student government has indicated it plans to make another plea for the university to cancel classes.

“We hope that the University understands that this is the best decision for students and implore them to listen to us and our needs at this time,” the statement reads.

Classes at Pepperdine, Moorpark Community College and Cal State University Channel Islands are all cancelled on Monday, with some schools extending the cancellations further.