Sep. 24, 2020
Fall 2020 Welcome Message from CWU President James L. Gaudino
The start of a new academic year is an exciting time. Many incoming students are experiencing life on their own for the first time while returning students are getting reacquainted with friends and expanding on what they have learned before. But unlike previous years, we begin this year facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had to change the ways that we teach, work, live, and learn.
In response to the pandemic, we have instituted university-wide common-sense protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community. I think we have all become familiar with the new norms: everyone is required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet. Learning spaces have been reconfigured to provide more physical distancing and hand sanitizer dispensers have been stationed at the entrance to each classroom.
As you wander the campus, you will also see other physical 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.
While important, these measures will not be effective unless we all act in a responsible manner. In order to contain the spread of the virus, we need every member of our community to practice appropriate behavior such as wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance. It also means avoiding crowded environments, especially parties or group activities where distancing and face coverings are not possible or ignored.
We also are requiring all students, faculty, and staff to complete:
- An online Attestation form by September 18, which is a pledge to follow a set of behaviors that will help control the spread of the virus. The form can be accessed through the MyCWU web portal.
- A Daily Self-Health Check, prior to visiting any CWU campus. Just log into MyCWU and click the Health Check banner.
- COVID-19 training. Faculty and staff trainings can be accessed from the Fall 2020 SharePoint or at CLA Online; student training is available on CANVAS.
All of these changes have been made to ensure the health and safety of all members of our campus community.
One thing that I have noticed over the years about Central students is their inventiveness and resilience. While this school year will be different from previous ones, it will continue to call upon the strengths that make CWU the best learning environment in the West. By doing so, we can continue to enjoy the traditions and activities that help to define the college experience and make it so memorable. It will also foster new traditions and memories that will make the coming year special. It’s the Wildcat Way.
Stay healthy and stay safe.
James L. Gaudino