You may have seen the phrase or hashtag, #CWUTogether, but what does it really mean? It refers to the fact that whenever faced with a challenge—such as the teaching and learning changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic—the CWU community always comes together to find solutions. It means that by working together we are stronger and more capable of overcoming any obstacles.
In the current climate, #CWUTogether also means we each have a responsibility to follow practices that ensure we keep our community healthy and safe.
For students, this means continuing to do the things that are working. Wear a face covering. Practice physical distancing. Wash your hands regularly. Complete the daily health checks. Participate in COVID-19 testing.
It is essential that each of us follows the best practices for controlling the spread of the virus. For staff and faculty, it’s particularly important that students see you wearing your face covering and practicing physical distancing.
Take advantage of opportunities to educate others on the importance of following best practices such as wearing a face covering or maintaining physical distancing. By following proper health and safety guidelines, we can—working together—overcome the challenges posed by the virus. Be safe and stay healthy.
James L. Gaudino
While plans must remain flexible to allow for responses to new information and changes in public policy, Central Washington University will continue to follow best practices for operating in a safe and effective way.
Your health and safety
remain our first priority
Classes will continue
to be delivered in-person, hybrid,
online, or real-time hybrid
What Winter Will Look Like
Classes will begin January 5 and end on March 12 (with finals March 16-19). All classes will be held online the first two weeks of the quarter. First in-person classes can begin on January 19.
CWU’s goal is to ensure everyone on campus and in the community stays safe and healthy. Please take a moment to review the mandatory items you must complete, as well as the list of resource guides, FAQ pages, and safety videos so everyone can enjoy a safe and successful quarter.
All students must complete:
- COVID-19 return and prevalence testing
- An online attestation form via MyCWU
- A Daily Self-Health Check on MyCWU, prior to each campus visit
- A COVID-19 Self-Reporting form*
Questions about the quarter or COVID-19? Check out these resources:
- COVID-19 Updates
- Student FAQs
- Emergency Notifications
- • CWU’s social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
And these videos:
- Mask up on campus and around town
- Campus safety guidelines
- Remember to fill out the daily health check form when coming to campus
- Watch all videos on CWU’s YouTube Channel
* Only complete the COVID-19 Self-Reporting form if you are currently being tested or have tested positive for COVID-19.
Faculty & Staff Readiness
Faculty and staff will attest to their willingness to abide by the risk-mitigation directives of the university. Many staff and some faculty will continue working from home. Others will return to campus on a daily or rotating basis and observe university-wide face covering, distancing, and hygienic protocols along with the students. Prior to coming to campus, all faculty and staff will complete the Daily Health Check.
Physical spaces across the campus, from restrooms to classrooms, from offices to residence halls will be professionally cleaned and disinfected regularly, with all necessary supplies having been received and stored in advance.
Throughout the campus, for both exterior and interior spaces, authorized pedestrian travel routes have been mapped to create optimal traffic patterns to reduce density while preserving access and flow.
The university has adopted a hybrid learning plan that provides faculty and student with four options, including: hybrid; real-time online; and online. The hybrid model invites but does not require students to be in residence; reduces population density on campus; and favors first-year students, and laboratory, studio, and performance classes for in-person slots.
Experiential learning in the form of service learning, internships, student teaching, and student research projects, and field and studio experiences will continue this fall to distinguish our educational practice. These experiences are listed as hybrid in the course schedule and may have special health and safety protocols in place.
The University Centers and sites will adhere to their respective county’s and host college’s health and safety protocols. It seems likely that most instruction will be online, with the exception of some labs. CWU-Sammamish will follow protocols established by the Ellensburg campus and will receive the assistance needed to do so.
In-person dining will occur only under conditions favorable for physical distancing and cleanliness. Seating capacities will be reduced overall and at individual tables. Barriers will be installed at all service touchpoints, and no-touch technologies, including remote ordering are scheduled for implementation. Most self-service areas (salad bars/buffets) will be eliminated, utensils and containers will be single-use, and take-out, catering, and delivery will play an enhanced role in dining options. Dining Services also offers Mobile Ordering using the GET Mobile app, which supports the modified services and helps mitigate the amount of congestion you may typically have experienced. You can mobile order from two locations on campus:
- Central Marketplace: Order from your favorite concepts, as well as two new concepts, Panini and Fresh Bar.
- Cat Trax East: Mobile order café beverages and Freshens Smoothies.
About 1,600 students will be housed in the residence halls or apartments. Campus arrival dates and move-in times may be scheduled and staggered to support a safe and orderly move-in process. All residence hall accommodations have moved to single occupancy with dedicated restrooms, and face coverings in rooms will not be mandated by the university.
Well-Being & Counseling
Unsurprisingly, reports from colleges and universities across the country indicate that more students are suffering from anxiety and depression in the COVID-19 environment. CWU’s Student Counseling Services is prepared to address this need should it manifest among our students.
The clinic also offers WildcatCare 365, an online service for students that provides no-charge, immediate, and unlimited access to medical and professional mental health support visits at any time of the day. Additional services include scheduled short-term individual psychotherapy and health and wellness coaching appointments for students and 24/7 consultation for faculty or staff concerned about a student’s well-being.
Health & Safety
Physical distancing, face covering, hand washing, and surface disinfecting—these are the four most important ways to inhibit the spread of the virus. There should always be a 6 foot bubble of separation among individuals in any gathering, in any setting. All students and all faculty and staff members will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except in private offices, semi-private offices with appropriate physical distancing, and residence hall rooms or apartments. Face coverings will be provided free of charge to faculty, staff, and students.
Technology & Internet
CWU provides free WiFi across the campus. Additionally, the coverage area has been expanded through a partnership with three local government offices and a nonprofit to provide free internet access through a program called Community Wi-Fi. The group effort between the university, the City of Ellensburg, Kittitas County, the Ellensburg School District, and Northwest Open Access Network (NOANET) allows students and other community members to use the internet at designated locations in the community while remaining in their vehicles.
CWU’s Wi-Fi hotspot, in the paved parking lot outside of Tomlinson Stadium is available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Community Wi-Fi hotspots also can be found in the community at: Ellensburg City Hall, Ellensburg High School, Morgan Middle School, the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, the Upper Kittitas County District Courthouse, and the Adult Activity Center.
Computers, Laptops, Printing & Scanning
The Multimodal Education Center offers a diverse lineup of multimedia equipment ranging from personal use MacBooks and PC Laptops to GoPros and professional level Canon DSLRs. Equipment checkout is free to all members of the CWU community with a current CWU Connection Card.
Campus Recreation & Fitness Center
Recreation Facilities are currently not open per state guidelines. The center will reopen whenever it is permitted to do so under state guidelines. Keep watching the Recreation Center's website for updates.
While class formats may look different this quarter, we want you to know there are many ways to connect to the campus community through events, clubs and social media. We’ll have opportunities for in-person and virtual participation so you can enjoy the Wildcat experience at your comfort level. We are #CWUTogether.
Campus Activities and other departments are working hard to plan a fun lineup of events throughout the year, including movie nights, goat yoga, open mic nights, Geek Out Game Out, magicians and jugglers, haunted escape rooms, and many more activities.
The Diversity and Equity Center is open in person Monday through Thursday from 1-5pm, located in Black Hall 101. Staff are available M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., virtually as well by appointment and during designated drop-in hours. Winter programming will feature Parade of Nations, Find Your People, community mentoring programs, Black History Month and more! Visit the Current DEC Events page for details.
Check out Clubs and Organizations
CWU has more than 190 clubs and organizations that you can get involved with during your time on campus. Many clubs are hosting virtual meetings and activities. Visit the Club Resources & Information page to find a club that interests you.
Join Your ASCWU Student Government
There are many ways to get involved with your student government, including the newly formed Student Senate, ASCWU public meetings, and university committees. Visit the ASCWU website to learn about upcoming opportunities to join ASCWU activities.