Frequently asked questions about the WWU response to COVID-19

— Updated Aug. 7, 2020 —

 


Will in-person classes be held on campus for fall quarter?
Yes. Walla Walla University will resume face-to-face instruction for fall quarter 2020. View the revised fall quarter schedule

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What do I do if I have plans that prevent me from being back on campus on the new start date?
In order to give students the full advantage for successful completion of fall quarter 2020, it is our hope that they can return to campus:
• No later than Sept. 7, 2020, for first-time freshmen.
• No later than Sept. 13, 2020, for all other undergraduate students on the College Place campus.
If you are unable to be in attendance by the date listed above and are planning to attend fall quarter, please complete the Fall 2020 Late Start Petition Form so we can explore options for your return to campus. Each request will be reviewed on an individual basis.

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Will all students be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus?
No, students will not be required to be tested prior to coming to campus. However, we will encourage students to begin their daily self-assessment and contact-tracing routines before coming to campus. Education and instructions will be provided from the university via a mandatory webinar that is in development.

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Will parents be able to help students move into the residence halls?
Yes, parents will be able to help students move in during their allotted scheduled time.

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What will happen to students who develop COVID-19 during fall quarter?
Walla Walla University is working closely with local health professionals and the Walla Walla County Health Department. Students with symptoms and/or those who test positive will be appropriately isolated/quarantined and will receive care through our local health system. Medical personnel and WWU personnel will stay in contact with these students, and our WWU Care Team will help with care items during that time. The university will work individually with students impacted by COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis to create an academic plan for completion of courses.

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How will students who test positive be able to isolate from their roommates, and how will it be determined when it is safe for them to go back to having contact with others?
Roommates are treated as members of the same household. Health care professionals will determine the level of isolation/quarantine that will be required between roommates.

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I am concerned about the level of protection in the dorms. How will students room with someone and social distance?
Roommates are considered family groups, and masks are not required in residence hall rooms. The room sizes meet the recommended standards for two-person occupancy, or in cases where rooms are smaller, we have adjusted the occupancy of that room to one person. The sanitization within each room is the responsibility of the residents. WWU Custodial Services will sanitize common spaces in the residence halls, and resident assistants will provide additional sanitization on high-touch surfaces in hallways, such as door handles, every day. To learn more about the Washington state guidelines for residential life in higher education, which are the minimum standards WWU will follow, please see the Campus Reopening Guide from the Higher Education Reopening Workgroup. If you have a COVID-19-related accommodation request, please complete the COVID-19 Accommodation Request Form.

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Where will the infected students be isolated or quarantined, and how will they get food? Will parents be allowed to take their student home to care for them if they test positive for COVID-19? 
Students will be isolated/quarantined in spaces specifically set aside for COVID-19 care. WWU personnel will ensure that these students are able to get their meals and other care as needed, and a WWU Care Team can help with errands upon request. Our academic team will work with students on arrangements for classwork during isolation/quarantine as appropriate. Students who wish to isolate/quarantine at home should follow appropriate leave request procedures.

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What precautions are being taken in the cafeteria?
The cafeteria is being reconfigured for distancing and will have dine-in occupancy limits. Menus are being streamlined for easy and safe access to food. Students will be able to order to-go meals via a convenient app.

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Are students required to be in certain groups to promote contact tracing?
Students may be arranged in groupings, depending on the situation and need.

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What is the name of the app that will be used for COVID-19 contact tracing this year?
Contact tracing will be implemented for students, faculty, and staff via an app called SaferMe so that our local health departments have easy access to information about who might need to isolate or be tested for COVID-19. Learn more about contact tracing at Walla Walla University.

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What if I don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to install contact-tracing software on a personal device?
The university is working on an option for daily manual contact tracing. Stay tuned for more information!

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Will there be extra time to study for fall-quarter finals given that exams will be held on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (Nov. 22, 23, and 24)?
In order to help students feel like they can truly rest on Sabbath, WWU will not hold classes on the Friday before final exams for fall quarter. Students can use that Friday as an extra study day before exams begin on Sunday. They will also be able to study on Saturday night after sundown for any exams they have first thing on Sunday.

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How does tuition differ between in-person classes and online classes?
Tuition and general fees will cover the added cost of adjustments and flexibility related to COVID-19, including university investments in technology upgrades, surveillance testing, contact tracing, space for isolation and quarantine, and other needs. No refunds for tuition or general fees beyond the WWU stated tuition refund schedule will be given based upon how courses are completed. Fees for online labs will generally be charged at the same rate as in-person labs since costs associated with online labs often equal or exceed costs for in-person labs. Fees for labs that normally have significantly lower costs overall will be adjusted proportionately.

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Will my WWU scholarships be affected if I chose to go to another college for fall 2020?
Yes, your scholarships will be affected. If you are a continuing student, you would lose any of your WWU scholarships that you have received should you choose to enroll at another college outside of summer quarter. If you are a first-time freshman, you would no longer be eligible for the entering achievement scholarships, out-of-area grant, or leadership scholarships and would only be eligible for the WWU transfer scholarship program. Make sure to check with WWU Student Financial Services should you have any questions about how your scholarships would be affected by attending another school.

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Will there be student mission opportunities for the 2020–21 year?
We plan to offer student mission opportunities for the 2020–21 academic year and are actively monitoring safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department. The WWU Student Missions office is also in ongoing consultation with the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

We will adjust student missions plans as necessary to prioritize the safety of our students and the safety of our host locations. Alternate service opportunities will be offered to students who aren’t able to serve in their preferred locations due to COVID-19. Students who need to delay their mission service due to public health considerations can use their funds for WWU-sponsored mission experiences for the duration of their time at WWU.

Updates will be available on the Student Missions page on the WWU web site, and questions can be emailed to student.missions@wallawalla.edu.

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Is the cafeteria currently open? 
The cafeteria will be closed until fall quarter. Students currently living in the residence halls can charge meals using their I.D. card at The Express grill, which is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday through Friday. If you have questions about meal arrangements, please contact the Office of Student Life at (509) 527-2511.

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Is the campus open for students, faculty, and staff to return?
The Walla Walla University campus is closed at this time. Access to campus buildings is available only for authorized personnel as identified by WWU Campus Security through university vice presidents or the university human resources office. If faculty or staff must retrieve something from campus, they must receive permission from their supervisor prior to coming to campus, or their name must be on the approved employee list. Students should not return to campus before their assigned move-in date for fall quarter. 

Though our physical campus spaces are closed, our service offices remain open to serve you. Call us at (800) 541-8900, and we will guide you to the best resource.

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Can students, faculty, and staff access facilities in the Winter Educational Complex?
The Winter Educational Complex—home of the WWU gym, pool, fitness center, racquetball courts, and more—is currently closed.

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Is the WWU Bookstore available for questions about textbooks or other supplies? How can I return rented textbooks?
Books and supplies can be ordered through the WWU Bookstore website at wallawalla.bncollege.com. UPS domestic ground shipping is free.

Rental books can be returned to the Bookstore via UPS. Prepaid return shipping labels can be generated at the Bookstore website at wallawalla.bncollege.com by scrolling down and clicking the Textbook Rental Returns banner. You will need your email address and rental order number, which can be found in your email order confirmation or rental reminder email.

If you have questions about textbooks or supplies, or other questions related to the WWU Bookstore, please contact Matt Heinrich at matt.heinrich@wallawalla.edu or (509) 527-2441.

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What if I don’t have internet access or a computer to use for online classes?
To effectively participate in online classes, students need a computer or mobile device with the ability to send and receive video and audio. Students will also need access to a reliable internet or data network connection. The technical requirements for basic class participation are relatively low, but a smart phone will not be sufficient to complete regularly assigned coursework. Most computers manufactured within the last three years should be sufficient to complete the majority of tasks, though some more hardware-intense software (typically used in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes) may have greater requirements.

Students who cannot access tools such as the internet, email, Microsoft Teams, or D2L should contact the help desk at the WWU Information Technology department at support@wallawalla.edu or (509) 527-2317.

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I’m having trouble using Microsoft Teams. Are there any training resources available?
Many WWU faculty and staff are using a cloud-based collaboration tool for online classes called Microsoft Teams. Teams is a part of Office 365 and includes messaging, calling, video meetings, file sharing, and screen sharing. You can access tutorials for Teams or other tools and start learning at wallawalla.edu/onlinetraining. You can log into Teams within Office 365 using your WWU login. You can also download the app for your smartphone. You will automatically be placed in a Team for each of your courses. If you have questions about Teams, please contact the WWU Information Technology department at support@wallawalla.edu or (509) 527-2317.

If you have questions about your classes, please contact your instructor. They welcome the opportunity to connect with you.

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Will computer support be available during summer quarter?
Yes. Please e-mail your computer-related questions to support@wallawalla.edu. This is the best method for getting computer support.

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Have another question?

We have a team on standby, ready to answer your questions. Click the “Ask a Question” button below to submit your query.

If you are the parent of a current student and would like to speak to someone at the university, please contact Claudia Santellano, director for alumni and parent relations, during normal business hours at (509) 527-2644 or (800) 541-8900.

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