Session is finished.
Part of this, I don't think no.
[SPEAKER] Thanks for components.
Ends with slash attendee.
To see you there.
Just like you can talk real quickly, checking.
How does my volume sound?
Does it sound good or do sound the great perfect.
Nice to have enough light.
[SPEAKER] You do have enough light.
I look good sound good.
[SPEAKER] I think that's it.
Is that I'm looking to the list real quick because anybody CAN anybody else who's should be coming in still [inaudible] captioning has started so [inaudible] and go ahead and.
So this would be the time to leave your camera on, but meet your microphone.
I'm going to show my screen and that will be up to for about a minute into we go live.
I'm going to redo that in a different way to get a little bit more resolution out of it.
Here we go.
So remember, look the camera, be.
Well, good evening, everybody.
Thank you all for joining us.
We're having our second of two Covid-19 town hall meetings here for Washington State University.
My name is Phil Weiler.
I'm Vice President for Marketing and Communications here at WSU.
I'm gonna be serving as the moderator for our hour session this evening.
As I mentioned, we did have an earlier covid-19 Town Hall at 11 o'clock this morning.
That first session was geared towards students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the public.
The event that we're doing right now, however.
Is really aimed squarely at students and family members of students who are either gonna be living on the Pullman campus in spring term springs semester, I should say, or our planning to attend in spring semester 20, so thank you.
Again for joining us.
The agenda for our meeting this evening has been.
Primarily created based on questions that people have submitted in advance.
So we had a number of people who submitted questions.
And so we thank you for that.
That's helped us figure out what the most important issues are for students and their family members.
In addition, we have the YouTube chat feature that.
We have to 12 staff members who are in the background, prepared to answer the questions that might be posted in chat.
So these subject matter experts will try and address every question they can.
There may be an occasion where somebody has a very specific question that's unique to them individually.
If thats the case, the subject matter experts may suggest that you make a call to an office in the morning.
So that we can work through your particular questions or concerns, but with that, let me introduce our panel.
We've got quite a few people who are making themselves available.
This evening to help answer questions.
First off, we have [inaudible] Gonzales, Vice president for the division of Student Affairs.
We also have [inaudible] [inaudible], who is vice president for External Affairs.
And government relations.
Craig parks, who is Vice Provost for, for system innovation and policy.
Dean of students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.
We have Bryan Dixon, who is Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services.
He is our Assistant Director of Environmental Services, Public Health and sustainability.
Curtis colin, who is president of the Associated Students of WSU here on the Pullman campus.
Jennifer Johnson, who is president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
Christians say, Shaffer, excuse me, who's president of the resident hall association.
And finally Jordan Press get who.
Is the Vice Chair for the Student Recreation Advisory Board.
So again, a big [inaudible] folks who are all experts in their field.
And looking forward to some great conversation with them.
Let me turn over to Mary Jo for some opening remarks and after that, I have a series of questions that I'll be asking our panelists.
So Mary Jo, let me turn it to you.
Oh, my Cougs it is so good to be in front of you today.
Me and my lamp or absolutely missing you.
I will let you know that there is competition happening on campus.
So you're gonna see them pop up a little bit more.
I do want to share with you a few thoughts before we begin today is I have had the pleasure of.
Intereacting with some of you online and it's great to still be connected to you.
I saw a few students hanging out last last Thursday with speed painting.
I'm going be looking at the [inaudible] DJ competition.
Been hanging out at e-sports events, the online classes are fun.
Some of the Speaker Series we've been having 400, five hundred people.
And what it means to me is that you will are finding ways to connect in ways that are successful for you.
So please remember we're here.
I also want to acknowledge to all of my Cougs out there.
I know you're tired of the Rhonna.
I said this earlier.
The Rona is just taken a lot out of us.
Some of you are fully in zoom fatigue.
We've heard from you that it's hard, it's really hard, right now not to be together in community and I know that you're disappointed that the plans for break won't be exactly what you wanted.
And that fall has not been exactly what you planned.
But I really need you to keep fighting for WSU and for our community.
Your hands, make sure to keep that six feet distance and please make sure to wear your mask.
We need you to keep fighting in order to keep us healthy and safe.
And if you're planning to go, if you're living here [inaudible] in Pullman right now and you're planning to return to your residents, please do not come back to Pullman.
Really important that you begin to stay in your spaces just as the governor has said that we're really trying to minimize non-essential travel.
So we want to make sure that you're staying in the place that you're going to.
I've also want to let you know that we broke some records today for our guests for testing.
It's about 500 people that were tested today.
So we know that you're doing exactly.
What you need to make sure that your community is taken care of, including your family, that you're going home to.
So please continue to does that.
I do want to share a little bit of good news with you.
And this is something that I have the pleasure of working with students who you're gonna hear from some today, that they really engaged in this process because you asked us to reflect.
On the student fees and the students fees that we were charging you, both for mandatory and student services and activities fees.
We conducted a variety,.
Variety of boards and those boards, as students were able to actually sit down and really think about all of the budget and finance issues that went.
Live with it.
About 250 students from across our wSU system is pretty impressive.
And that's everything from our student health advisor committee to our advisory board.
Are media media fee board or media?
Student media board, as well as our Student Senate.
And these were referendums that you all have voted in or your prior students had voted in to make.
Sure that you have the services that you need.
Jen, would you mind Jen Johnson was is our current chair for the services and activities, feed love would love to hear from you about the process and how it went for you as students.
Mary joe Yes.
Good evening, everyone.
So [inaudible], I am.
Current chair of the committee and I want to kind of put it out front that the goal this year was very different than it's been in the past.
This is my second year serving, but we had heard from students right.
We had sent out surveys and listen to concerns that the services are because they're not being offered in person.
Students were feeling like their fees weren't going to as many options as normal.
And so the goal of our committee, this year was to really try to find a balance between ensuring that the groups who received these fees are able to continue to support our students to continue to provide those online, virtual, or any programs and services they can.
While also addressing that student input right over reducing those fees that they're paying.
So as a committee, I will say we were really impressed with how innovative the groups are being in order to continue to provide those services and programs to our students.
And I'm really excited to see actually what comes about.
In spring and how they use those fees.
And I know the committee were really glad we were able to lower that total fee being collected in the spring, but just know there was a lot of deliberation.
It was a hard discussion for sure.
But we really feel that what we came to will allow those groups to continue to provide the services and also help our students.
So yeah, I think I think overall it was good.
It was good input from the students, from faculty, staff, and administration.
[SPEAKER] In the great news is that several student board, made the decision to offer either credits for this fall or credits for the spring in terms of reduced collection of that fee.
So many of you.
See on your your statement for the bills will see that it says, here's a credit for for example, the [inaudible] fee or a credit for SRC or credit for the Health fee.
Just plan and remember that you're going have that on your statement and those will count towards credit for your spring bill.
So the great news is that you'll have some of that refunds.
It will be about $75 for the Tri-Cities campus.
If you're on here, it's about a 146.
So those are some great numbers and some great opportunities to give it back.
So if you don't have any other questions.
Assuming you'll have questions for me later on.
But I think I definitely wanted to announce that pretty early on about fees.
So Mary Jo, I'm looking at the chat function and someone is asking in the chat if they get more than $75 off their fees, if they're willing to sing the fight song.
I would say we need to take that under, Advising.
That's an interesting, we might have to explore that further.
[SPEAKER] There you go.
So, Jen, thank you for giving us a background on the student services and activities fees.
I think that in my experience, I think sometimes people are not clear on how those fees are set.
Who votes for them, are they things that the administration puts in place?
These are essential like students decided to tax themselves.
Is that it can maybe spend just a minute kindof giving us services and activities fees, 100, so we really understand what it is we're talking about.
[SPEAKER] Yeah, absolutely.
I will say as a student, my first years I really didn't know what those fees.
[inaudible] went towards.
And it really wasn't until I got involved with [inaudible].
But yes, that's exactly it these R groups and organizations.
Mary Jo can correct me, but 15 groups on campus that reserve received these fees that students pay and they use them to provide services and programs.
And events to the students.
So some groups that you see on this call, such as GPSA and AS WSU, receive a portion of these fees so we can help our students provide programs, services, events, same with Access Center, Women's Center, all these groups that provide really valuable services, I think that really.
Help our students are using those fees.
So the money you pay, hopefully in the end, some of that comes right back to you.
[SPEAKER] That's a great description.
As I've talked to students about these services and activities fees.
What I've tried to explain is the fact that it is the students.
Who decide what the fees should be and it's I think appropriately, we asked the students to decide if we're going to make a reduction in fees.
What are those services that do you think that you can live without as a student?
What are those services that we should not be funding this time around?
So I know from experience that it is a huge job to serve.
On that committee.
You all have really long meetings and have many, many people who come to you searching for funding.
And so thank you for being willing to do that and for chairing that group mitchell, I want to go back if I could just quickly.
You mentioned about the idea of the holiday break.
Thanks giving break coming up.
I think it bears repeating.
If someone is choosing to travel back to their permanent address, what should they be doing?
What should they be thinking about over the next eight to ten days?
If you're planning to return home and frankly, we know a lot of you are.
It really wish I could actually travel to California and see my family.
So I'm excited for you to do that, but you really need to be thinking about being gone from campus for two months because if you go, we want you to stay there so that you're not bringing any of that disease possibly back to the pullman community.
We also are remember all of our clients.
We did have some courses that we're gonna be were in-person up until November 20th and they moved to remote.
So all of our operations in terms of the academic side and Craig can talk about some of that are moving to that remote environment.
So we want make sure that you're going somewhere.
You're gonna stay there.
You also want to make sure when you pack your packing.
Your chargers, those are classic.
Any textbooks that you think you might need from now until December or January when you return to campus.
I also want to make sure you get tested.
One of the things that we are important to know your status, it's important to know if your positive it's important to know if you're negative and it's important to act.
As if you have the disease at all times, which means of course, wearing the mask and doing all that.
We're asking you to do.
So pack for two months, make sure that you know what you're going to be doing.
Really travel safely because we also know winter weather is not that easy to navigate here on the mountains.
And we always want to make sure that you're taking care of yourself in that.
But again, pack as if you're gonna be going for two months because often folks are forgetting that as part of the process.
[SPEAKER] Well, one thing that I mentioned at our earlier town hall today and I'll say again to right NOW, YOU will BE gone from your if you are in an apartment or a rental house here in Pullman and you're going home.
And not coming back til January.
Makes sure you clean out your refrigerator because if you don't buy too much, too much time, that refrigerator is gonna be pretty nasty and it's gonna be a really disgusting job to clean it when you get home back to back to your apartment.
Thank you, Mary Jo, I'd like to move on to some other folks if I could quickly at and I'm going to.
Turn to our Jill If I could Jill there was a conversation a couple of weeks ago about the idea that we would be looking at expanding the number of students who could be living on campus, either in residence halls or apartments.
I understand the deadline.
The first deadline.
For that was on Sunday.
Can you just talk to us a little bit about why did we decide to add additional people in our housing facilities?
How many people did we have this semester and what's our hope for next semester?
I am really excited that we're gonna be able to welcome back any first-time, first-year student who'd like to live on campus with us for this spring semester.
This is really different than what we did in the fall.
And so I want to first think are fall semester residents for doing exactly what you needed to do to keep your communities safe.
We had really strict.
[inaudible] the residence halls related to required face masks in public spaces.
Limitations on the number of folks that could be in one residence hall room at a time, limitations on how common spaces could be utilized.
And those will be continuing into the spring.
But because our fall residents were able to demonstrate that they were.
Willing to do whatever they do to keep the community safe as possible.
We're able and competent that we can add more students for the spring semester.
There are a few things that are still going to look very different than a non pandemic year.
The first is that there will be no roommates.
Everyone will be in single rooms.
And so if you have heard stories about roommates that have.
Amazingly well and have been best friends for the next eight years.
You may also heard stories about folks who really had some struggles with their first year roommate.
So regardless of those stories, your story will be that you got to live in a single, your first-year.
We're also keeping the bathroom ratios very low, meaning that we are limiting our bathrooms to approximately.
Four students to each bathroom unit.
And so that gives us some more flexibility terms of how many folks are in populations and certain spaces.
And we will be opening more physical halls with low capacities for this coming spring.
We are still maintaining a [inaudible] Residence Hall for anyone who may need to isolate or quarantine.
Due to Covid-19 exposure and students in that space also have concierge meal service available to them and direct contact with a lot of staff.
And we're opening our halls for two reasons, really.
One is we heard from you.
We heard that you want to be here.
We heard that you're missing your Cougs experience and we heard that you think you can be more academically successful., if you're here, so it's important for us that you have the space that you need, including infrastructure like strong internet in order to get your academic situation in a place where you want it to be.
But also because we heard you want to connect with other cubes.
And so again, because we learned that our curves here, we're able to do that with low infection rates in the retina.
We're again, we're welcoming back any further first-year student who would like to join us.
We did have a priority deadline passed this weekend, but we still do have space available for anyone who would like to be here.
So please do submit that application at [inaudible] and we'll be able to connect with you.
Now if you did have an application that you deferred.
From the fall semester to the spring and you haven't yet told us what you want to do, please do that as soon as possible.
As long as you have made the appropriate choice before January 18th, we are able to offer some refunds from your initial payments into that you made in the fall, but after the 18th, so January 19th.
Than our contract looks a little bit different.
If you are coming onto campus that you can expect to take an arrival tests for covid-19 before you move into your residence hall room, you can expect to quarantine until you receive that result, which we're hoping to get to you very quickly.
And you can also expect targeted screening and additional testing for residents.
Throughout the spring semester.
So I think those are the big highlights for spring semester and residential housing.
And if you're joining us, we really look forward to meeting you.
Thank you for emphasizing that if people are still interested, there is still space available so we can hopefully our I'm looking at our looking at our chat here.
Hopefully the subject matter experts can put a link into the chat for YouTube.
So if somebody does want to learn more about.
Opportunities to live on campus where they can go for that.
Christian I'd like to turn to you.
You are the president of the Residence Halls Association.
Can you talk a little bit about what what the experience has been like for those students who are in residence halls.
This fall semester, what have we've been doing to help build community?
It all really starts with just trying to adapt the cube spirit and kind of adapt the Ku mentality moving into a new kind of atmosphere under the era.
So students coming into the halls [inaudible] that they know that their living by.
Predominantly for academic reasons, they're coming in and living alone.
So one of the big things that we've tried to encompass in the Halls has just providing a level of connectivity, providing a level of just the normal things that would happen.
Just obviously, in a safer area.
One of the real big things that we've tried to push as an organization is not only giving opportunities of resources from mental health in connectivity of events and programs on but we're really trying to adapt the way that students view the situation.
We really want to give.
Ways that being the your more then just coming in and just basically trying to give that sense of community and a new way.
We've seen a lot of efforts to or housing Residence Life department trying to build upon this foundation.
We're trying to establish.
And one of the big struggles that we've seen in the past few months as it gets into those wonderful [inaudible] and winters is that the weather does affect student's mental health.
And so not only is us partnering with groups trying to give these connectivity resources, but we're really.
To keep that connection and the Coug spirit moving forward.
And so what that be from residential advisors to everyday passes throughout the halls and masks, really just trying to keep students together and keep students moving forward.
In a way that.
Keeps the sense of Pullman and that community basis that we all know and love moving forward.
So that's really what we're trying to do.
And really what we've seen.
And we're really hopeful with the testing numbers.
And the sense of this programming moving forward and getting people on board.
Thanks, Christian, I appreciate all that you're doing to help the residents who are in the residence halls.
Though this is interesting.
Jill, like to piggyback a little bit on something Christian said and also something that Mary Jo mentioned at the beginning and it's actually in reference to a question that a parent had submitted, Mary Jones.
Mentioned that she is going to be she's been participating in some events that are available remotely for students.
And it sounds like she got something going on this evening as well.
We heard from a parent who was concerned that their student was not aware of the option.
The opportunities to be involved, even if in a virtual kind of setting.
So can you talk a little bit about support services, connection opportunities that might be available for students who aren't able to be on campus.
And living in the residence halls.
The vast majority of our students services have remote engagement available for all students, right now.
Including spaces like the Access Center.
If you're in need of an accommodation, spaces like the Office of the Dean of Students.
If YOU need direct student support, counseling, and psychological services, and our medical clinic within cougar health services are open right now.
Some remote appointments are available depending on your need.
Our rec center has done some amazing work with online fitness courses.
As has our [inaudible] students enter.
And a number of other places around campus.
You'll look at our Women's Center.
They've done a femme scouts program that's digital.
Even our Center for Civic Engagement.
A bunch of our election events online.
And it's virtual town squares which were highly successful and highly attended.
The favorite one I like to keep out is our student entertainment board and our student entertainment board is something that is funded by student fees and they've put on a [inaudible] of different exclusive programs for WSU students that had been really fun and well.
The land one I saw Jesse Eisenberg, who is an actor, did a Q&A with students.
I know I saw the schedule for spring as it's taking place.
There are comedians, there are musical artists.
I think I saw a mentalist on the list.
And so there's a lot of different ways to participate in those types of events.
But I think most of, in January, we have a new system, a new technology coming online called presence.
And presence is digital suite that allows our students to engage with each other across different clubs and organizations.
So when presence comes online, students will be able to go into that system and fine clubs and organizations that are interesting to you.
Connect with students that are a part of the interest that you want to be in.
And there's going to be opportunities for virtual meetings, spaces as well.
So I want students who have chosen to stay home to remember that we're here for you and I know that it's really hard to think about what that connection looks like because it does require a little bit more energy to.
And I know it can be really overwhelming to just to look at the large number of choices and then just become overwhelmed by looking at not wanting to do that.
So one website where you can go to find centralized information is the new Coug experience.
And that's a great opportunity for you to kind of go, oh, there's this one list of things.
That might be where you start.
But if you're feeling lost or feeling really overwhelmed, that even where to begin, you can always start with Office of the Dean of Students, and you can work with a staff member.
We can help you find the pockets where you might fit.
The other recommendation that I always make the focuses, make a study group.
All of you are in online classes right now.
And there's a lot.
Of folks who would like to make this connections.
So you if you don't have a group project, it'd be really great to use those connections to meet other people that are academically interested or academically in the scene core courses that you are.
So the information is out there.
I know it can be tricky to find.
So again the new [inaudible] experience website.
Is the first place I would direct you.
And then in the spring when presence comes online, that'd be a good place.
[SPEAKER] Two really good pieces of advice there.
New Cougs experience that website.
Also I really like that idea of using the opportunity to create a study group with, with some of your classmates.
As a way of getting know them outside of the actual academic setting.
I think that's a really good idea that kind of thing we would do if we were in a face-to-face experience and we should take advantage of it, particularly now that we're in a virtual experience to get to know some folks who you wouldn't have a chance to talk to otherwise.
So thank you.
I want to turn now, to [inaudible].
Calling has been helping lead an effort to put together a pretty comprehensive testing plan for covid-19 so that when we do have people return in a limited basis back to Pullman.
In the spring that we've got a testing plan in place to really address the needs of the individuals to keep them healthy and really to protect the community as well.
So calling I'd love if you could just spend a few minutes talking to us about that plan.
I know there four main components and I think this.
Be new information for some folks.
So let me let me let you take it away.
We can talk more when you're done Thanks [inaudible].
It's nice to see everyone.
Thanks for having me.
Thank you Mary Jo and your team for all the work you've done for our students.
So Jill talked about this a little bit.
So let me just build on what She already talked about.
First of all, there can be lots of there's any of testing available for students.
So I want to take that off the mind as and families.
The first part, the first component really as a rival testing.
So this is as those of us who are coming to Whitman County.
As you are coming there will be some testing for those of us who are interfacing with campus, either through.
Living on campus or using WSU facility is participating in debbie sports.
We're gonna asking you an offer you working with you to have robust arrival testings that will happen before you use WSU facilities and before you move into your halls of residence.
The second type of testing is also a type of testing that will be familiar with and it's diagnostic.
So cougar health services is going to be devoted in spring semester today testing.
So diagnostic testing really captures two different, two different instances.
One is if you have any symptom that call that falls under the categories that the CDC or the State Department of Health, have listed for Covid-19 then you would go to cougar.
Health services or if you've been in close contact and realistically in January and February and March, we know that many of us will fall under those two categories.
So students should always feel welcome and able to go to your health services for their testing for diagnostic testing, or for any other type of testing.
We will also be offering two.
Types of other testing very similar to what we've been doing.
One of them is very similar to what we've been doing this fall.
So that's gonna be a volunteer screen testing.
So we will be working to have a location once or twice a week that will be moving around Pullman so that we can get students who are living on campus.
We can get employees who are living and living proximate to campus.
We will also make an effort.
Out into the communities so that it's easy and accessible.
And so this is if you want to covid-19 test for any reason, we want you to have a covid test.
And so we will be offering that very similar to what we're doing now.
We're doing it this semester with Army National Guard were actually hopeful that we will continue continue to be able to do with Army National guard.
But if not, we have additional healthcare.
Partners that we'll be working with so.
The fourth type of faceting is the newest and most exciting type of testing targeted, testing, and wastewater sampling.
So if you are associated with WSU building, we are going to be testing wastewater [inaudible] WSC buildings and if the wastewater turns from negative to positive.
Then we're gonna ask everybody in that building to have a screening test.
And so we can quickly identify quarantine and isolate and keep our population safe.
The other thing that we'll be doing for targeted screening testing, which Jill also talked about, is that some academics programs.
So if you're an academic program that has a clinical program in in Whitman County on the Pullman campus, or you're participating in research.
And the Office of Research has some concerns about the Lab and the [inaudible] to maintain physical distances, then we will be asking you over the course of the semester to participate in screening testing and targeted screening testing, which is a little bit different and voluntary because there'll be.
A specific time that we asked you to come in with a certain frequency over the semester and we have a group of extraordinary faculty.
I really wanted to give a lot of recognition to our faculty and to the areas of expertise that WSU has in this who had been an [inaudible] testing plan.
So I'm happy to take any questions, but there'll be lots of testing in, spring 2021.
One is called and speaking of testing, it's worth noting that the testing is taking place now is considered voluntary testing as of Monday, we've completed more than 8 thousand tests.
So since the first week of September, we have tested more than 8 thousand students, faculty.
D here on the Pullman campus, [inaudible] I know that a testing isn't just happening in Pullman.
You talk a little bit about some of the opportunities that are available on our other campuses.
So the testing plan that we have right now actually applies to both Pullman and Spokane and the reason for that is.
It's different and equally important.
So in Pullman, we have a residential campus and we have a rural county.
Whitman County is a rural county with limited access to health care for those of you who are in the medical school.
This is the reason why we decided to pursue medical schools because we have access to help health care issues and rural Washington for our students.
And our faculty on our Spokane campus.
That's a clinical student population.
And those students are in environments where there is perhaps an increased risk of disease spread.
So we will be offering both arrival testing and