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WSU emphasizes experience with distance learning, availability of resources

WSU administrators participating in a virtual town hall on August 19, 2020.
WSU hosted its ninth COVID-19 online town hall Aug. 19, 2020.

Washington State University has nearly three decades of experience delivering education at a distance and is using its expertise to make the upcoming fall semester as seamless and enriching for its students as possible.

To that end, WSU is making its vast array of student services, including academic advising, tutoring and career services, available online for students. These and other resources can be found on the Academic Success and Career Center’s website.

Student services as well as the university’s plans for the upcoming fall semester were discussed during WSU’s 9th COVID-19 online town hall. The event is available for viewing in its entirety online. Past town halls can be viewed on the Experience WSU website.

It is vital that all members of the Cougar community follow the state’s guidance to combat the spread of COVID-19. That includes wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, frequently washing hands and staying home when sick.

Everyone must make the decision that’s best for their health and the health of those around them, Mary Jo Gonzales, vice president of Student Affairs, said. If just 0.3 percent of the 30,000 students in the Cougar community contract COVID-19 and die, that’s 90 students, she said.

“I’m asking you to think about who is in that 90 and will it be you, will that be someone in your fraternity or sorority, will it be someone who is in your student organization?”

She continued, “I need you, we need you, to fight for Washington State and all of our Cougs.”

Gonzales was joined by WSU President Kirk Schulz, Provost Elizabeth Chilton, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer Stacy Pearson, Chief Human Resource Officer Theresa Elliot-Cheslek, and Global Campus Chancellor Dave Cillay. Phil Weiler, vice president for marketing and communications, moderated the discussion.

Aside from following public health guidelines, it’s vital that all WSU students, employees and visitors attest to their health prior to visiting a campus or work location. This can be done through the university’s attestation website.

Meanwhile, it was announced that late fees on outstanding unpaid charges for undergraduate, graduate, veterinary medicine and pharmacy students will not be assessed until Sept. 22, 2020, several weeks later than usual. Students in need of financial assistance are asked to visit the Student Care Network website for information on available resources.

Faculty and staff were recently sent a survey about their experiences so far coping with the impact of COVID-19 and asked to check their emails and respond as time allows. The purpose of this survey is to help gauge faculty and staff familiarity with resources and to determine additional areas employees may need assistance due to COVID-19 impacts. More information can be found on the Human Resource Services website.

Details about the university’s next COVID-19 town hall will be made available closer to the event.

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