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Office of the Provost

Fall Quarter Activities - Provost Letter to Students

August 6, 2020

Dear CWU Student,
There is a growing excitement on campus, as the start of fall quarter grows nearer. While the current COVID-19 situation has prompted us to change the ways we teach, live, and learn, one thing has remained constant—the commitment of CWU’s faculty and staff to providing you with the best quality education possible. 

With that in mind, I am writing to let you know that the modality of at least one course in your fall course section may have been changed. Not all in-person courses have transitioned to an online-only structure, so please check your fall schedule on MyCWU.

The 2020 fall quarter is only five weeks away. But despite the challenges, we are optimistic that the university can and will work through this challenge and gain strength and wisdom along the way. Campus life obviously will be different with residence hall accommodations moved to single occupancy with dedicated restrooms and student life and non-classroom academic activities limited to groups of 10 or less.

Pending additional guidance from state and county health officials, students will still have access to the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC), Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR), computer labs, and the library. The Office of Student Involvement is planning fun, engaging in-person and virtual events, such as Tie-Dye Mask Making, Drive-In Movie Night, Geek Out Game Night, and Haunting at Central, as well as weekly trivia and movie nights. All events and activities will exercise physical distancing, and conform to health and safety precautions such as wearing face coverings and following proper sanitization procedures.

Students also will have opportunities to engage in experiential learning activities, such as volunteer work through the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE), undergraduate research projects, and creative activities with faculty mentors. Activities and meetings for CWU clubs and organizations will continue as well. All such activities will follow best practices for health and safety, such as physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings, and proper sanitizing procedures will be followed. While these gatherings may feel different than in years past, their goal of bringing students together remains unchanged.

We recognize that some students will choose to live somewhere other than Ellensburg or the cities where our eight university centers and sites are located while they attend classes.  Fortunately, these students will still have access to all of Central’s resources, such as the library and health center. And because of the innovative nature of our planned events and activities, all students will be able to enjoy the CWU experience together.

Whether you are in Ellensburg, at a CWU site or center — or anywhere in the world — we want you to feel part of the CWU community during this difficult time. We will be offering support to help students adjust to online learning, CWU Libraries will be offering a variety of virtual and inperson resources to maximize learning opportunities, and our student clubs and organizations are working hard to develop a robust program of in-person and virtual activities.

The leadership team at CWU, in coordination with Kittitas County Public Health and Governor Jay Inslee’s office, have developed a plan for opening this fall that takes into account a wide range of eventualities while acknowledging the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that the changing nature of the virus — and, by extension, our university plans — is challenging for everyone.

Please know that the entire CWU community is behind you, and we are working hard to ensure a rewarding and engaging university experience for all of our students this fall, no matter where you are.


Michelle DenBeste
Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Life

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