Presidential greeting

CWU President, James Guadino


CWU President, James Guadino

CWU Community,

On behalf of the Wildcat family, I would like to welcome you to the start of the new school year. We begin this year facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we have had to change the ways that we teach, work, live, and learn.

But we are on the right path. We have instituted common-sense protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Anyone on campus is required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet—which our health experts tell us is the most effective way to control the spread of COVID-19.

We have also reconfigured our learning spaces by removing chairs and desks. Each classroom was analyzed to see how many students can safely be seated at a minimum distance of six feet. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been stationed at the entrance to each classroom and we’ve installed signage reinforcing the twin messages: wear a face covering and maintain your distance from others.

Additionally, we are restricting the number of students residing on campus to 2,000; typically, about 4,000 students live on campus. We are also consolidating how many buildings we are using for classes. Some buildings, such as Lind Hall, will still contain faculty offices but no classes will be taught there. This allows the custodial staff to concentrate on high-traffic areas for their deep cleaning protocols.

Only about 10 percent of classes will be in-person, with the remainder taught online. To accommodate the need for learning spaces with proper distancing, we are incorporating some non-traditional spaces like the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) ballroom for larger classes.

As you wander the campus, you will also see other changes that have been implemented to prevent spreading the virus like plexiglass shields installed in public areas such as the front desks at the library and in the Wildcat Shop. Signage has been added throughout the campus indicating directional foot traffic circulation, maximum room occupancy, and other essential messaging.

Key to successfully reopening our campus is your participation and cooperation. In order to contain the spread of the virus, we need every member of our campus community to practice appropriate behavior such as following the distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings. It means practicing regular hand-washing and avoiding crowded environments.

All of these changes have been made to ensure the health and safety of all members of our campus community.

It is clear that, for at least the time being, campus life will look and feel differently. Your Board of Trustees and I remain committed to being as fiscally responsible as we can be to ensure the sustainability of the university. Difficult times still lie ahead but by acting responsibly and working together we will get through this.