CWU encourages students to stay on campus


Casey Rothgeb

Students are encouraged for health and safety to not travel home and back on the weekends.

David Hartless, Staff Reporter

When CWU decided to reopen the campus for this upcoming school year, students were encouraged to stay on campus and not travel home on the weekends. 

“If you look at the science behind the spread of [COVID-19], it’s important for students to create and stay within the environment they’re in,” Dean of Student Success Gregg Heinselman said. “With the age of the college population students tend to be asymptomatic, so students may be a carrier and they don’t even know it. So when they leave an environment and head home to their family and friends it could distribute throughout the community.” 

If you have to travel, Heinselman suggests taking some precautions. 

“If you have to travel, be aware, and practice social distancing. If you can isolate for two weeks, or monitor your symptoms and if you have any symptoms at all, go get tested.” 

Seeing what other schools did gave CWU a chance to learn from other schools that opened earlier. 

“Within two weeks, other universities were shutting down after welcoming students back and switching back to just remote learning. By watching other schools and what some did right also helped CWU to make the decision to end the quarter before Thanksgiving,” Associate Dean of Health and Wellness Shawnté Elbert said.

Other schools did not take this approach and are now operating fully remotely and have only essential employees on campus, Elbert said. 

With CWU being only two hours away from the west side, it’s tempting for students to leave campus. 

“It’s just going to be a mindset shift for students who only expect one type of college experience,” Elbert said. 

If you don’t travel, staying on campus offers some great opportunities. Recreation has created more programs, some virtual and socially distanced activities. 

“This is a chance for students to be engaged on campus, become active on campus instead of just going home on the weekends like students used to do in the past,” Elbert said.

Being involved on campus now can have a positive impact on students who are looking for internships and community involvement when students graduate from CWU. 

“Stay on campus, get to know your facility, and your peers, so when you go to interview for an internship you can show them what things you have done on campus and create experience people are looking for,” Elbert said. “In the past, students wouldn’t have the experience, but now is the perfect time to take advantage of everything that CWU has to offer.”