Dear Western Community,
As we look ahead to the days getting longer and brighter, I am also eagerly looking forward to bringing our Western community back together. The introduction of vaccines and a continued focus on prevention measures in our state and across the country gives us reason to believe that conditions will begin to improve as we approach fall quarter.
While the prospects for winter and spring quarters are not what any of us would have hoped for, based on current projections from health experts we are again looking forward to welcoming students back to campus for a fall quarter with in-person classes, the return of many more students to our university residences, and the resumption of more normal in-person services and activities. This, of course, depends on the effective distribution of vaccines and on each of us continuing to follow health guidance, including wearing masks and avoiding gatherings.
As previously indicated, summer session courses will be primarily remote.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, our decisions are guided first and foremost by the health and safety of our community, and by discussions with faculty, staff and student leaders, our incident command structure experts, and public health experts.
I am enormously grateful for your patience and understanding over the past year as we have had to navigate many difficult decisions to keep our community healthy and safe. I have also been inspired and proud of the care and concern you have shown for one another and for our larger community and neighbors.
I know, too, that Western’s faculty and student support staff have been working hard to find innovative ways to support your learning, wellness and success. That work will be even more important as we begin the transition to in-person courses and services this fall, especially as we continue to navigate the potential spread of new virus variants and vaccine distribution challenges.
I’m sure you have many questions about course schedules, vaccine requirements, athletic schedules and other campus activities. We’ll continue to communicate important news and post updates and resources on WWU’s coronavirus website over the next several months. Students at our Western on the Peninsulas and Everett locations should continue to follow their local campus guidelines.
I’ve also heard from some of you about unexpected benefits of remote learning and a desire to continue learning remotely in fall quarter. We will do our very best to create a safe and healthy learning environment, including accommodating remote learning wherever possible.
I remain optimistic that the days ahead will be much better than those behind us. Thank you, once again, for choosing to stay committed to your education at Western.