Students and employees required to sign risk mitigation form

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor


A statement from the university, published to the CWU website Aug. 13, announced that the form all students and employees will be required to complete has been put on hold and will not appear before logging in to MyCWU when it was expected to. 

“A new launch date will be announced next week with a copy of the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Compliance form,” the statement reads.

After the new launch date, students and employees will not be able to access their MyCWU account until they complete the form, which will be available to them after logging in. After completing the form once, individuals will not be asked to complete it again until winter quarter, 2021.


Students and employees of CWU will be required to complete a form, called an attestation, stating they understand and agree to the university’s COVID-19 prevention plans for fall quarter. Beginning Aug. 13, individuals must complete this form to be able to access their MyCWU accounts.

A statement from the university, released alongside the form, said the form will be a one-time confirmation. Once completed, individuals will not be prompted to complete the form again.

“This is a necessary step to ensure students and employees understand the health risks of COVID-19 as well as their roles and responsibilities in mitigating potential threats for themselves and others,” the statement said.

The form includes a total of five items students and employees must understand and agree to. They include an understanding that campus health and safety is a shared responsibility, that they must comply with required procedures and that they may need to be tested for COVID-19.

Also included is an agreement to comply with the risk mitigation strategies which the university will be employing this fall quarter. The listed mitigation strategies are maintaining a distance of six feet from other people, wearing a face covering on CWU property, avoiding travel to areas with large numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, and conducting a daily health check through MyCWU to report any symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, individuals must agree to remain off campus if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who experience symptoms must agree to not enter campus if they live off campus or stay in their room in one of the residence halls or apartments if they live on campus. In that situation, they must also contact their healthcare provider.

“I [the signer] understand that there are limitations in any pandemic prevention plan, including the possibility of human error and the lack of compliance with internal controls,” the form reads. “I will bring compliance concerns to the ‘Report Behaviors of Concern’ page in MyCWU.”

Legally, risk associated with opening during a pandemic will be assumed by the university. Indemnification, which the Cornell Law School defines as “to compensate [another] party for losses that that party has incurred or will incur as related to a specified incident,” is not likely, according to Assistant Attorney General Alan Smith. 

“Asking students and parents to indemnify the university is not going to hold water,” Smith said. “The best that we can do is advise students of what the risks are, how they can protect themselves and what they need to do to protect themselves and others, so there might be an assumption of risk that would work in the university’s favor in the event of a lawsuit.”

The completion of the attestation forms help the university claim that a student or employee harmed or killed by COVID-19 knew the risks they were agreeing to by attending school in the case of a potential lawsuit.

Waiver releases of liability are not expected to be upheld in court, according to Smith. However, some activities that are deemed voluntary, such as athletics, will still be utilizing them in the upcoming quarter.