COVID-19 and Campus Life

Students are responsible to know and follow all public-health protocols set by university, state, and county officials (including social distancing and mask requirements, handwashing guidelines, etc.). The Student Life office has provided each student with information about WWU’s COVID-19 Code of Conduct as well as any sanctioning protocols for conduct that is not allowed. 

Access to campus
Walla Walla University is strongly committed to lowering density on our campus and in our local community and to making our infection-spread footprint as small as possible in the Walla Walla community. This means that only students who are specifically authorized to be on our campus will be allowed in our spaces or to participate in our in-person activities.

How will this work? 

  • Students on our College Place campus who are either enrolled in in-person classes or residing in WWU housing, or who have official authorization to be on our College Place campus, will be coded as such in our database. 
  • Any student coded as authorized will be given a sticker to place on the front of their WWU I.D. card. 
  • That authorization sticker will be the key to receiving a clearance card that will allow a student to remain on our campuses and participate in our activities. No sticker, no clearance card.
  • The student (and faculty and staff, too) must receive a health pass card every day before they come into campus space for any reason. These cards will be provided daily at multiple health evaluation checkpoints. No health pass, no campus or activity access.
  • Students (and faculty or staff, too) who are not visibly displaying a current health pass will be asked to do so. If they can’t produce one, they will be asked to immediately go to the health evaluation checkpoint and receive a valid health pass before they enter our facilities or participate in any activities. Again, no health pass, no campus or activity access.

Health check-in stations

As a campus we carefully monitor our health through a daily health screening process that includes temperature screening. This process is required for all students, faculty, staff and any approved campus guests. Everyone is required to go through a health check-in station each day before entering campus and receives a health pass that must be visibly displayed. Learn about the daily health screening process.

Athletics

The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC)—the division of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in which Walla Walla University holds membership—announced on July 17 that it will delay the start of all fall conference sports for 2020. The CCC will look toward conducting delayed seasons for fall sports teams in winter or spring 2021.

The announcement affects WWU women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s soccer, and men’s and women’s golf. No decisions were made by the CCC at this time regarding delaying winter sports, which would include WWU men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The CCC has suspended intercollegiate competition for all CCC sports until at least Nov. 1 when the league will reevaluate circumstances. CCC committees comprised of coaches and administrators from throughout the league are working on proposed revised schedules and standard start dates for each sport to begin practices.

Each CCC member school will be allowed to make decisions about conducting team practices, conditioning activities, or other team activities in accordance with campus, local, state, and NAIA policies.

Read the full statement.

Classes

Classes are held in three ways: in person, dual modality, and online. Classes held in person are limited in size so that students can maintain 6 feet of physical distance during instruction. Learn more about what classes look like this year.

Eating on campus

Dining hall occupancy and traffic flow
The seating in the dining hall has been reconfigured for social distancing and for limited dine-in occupancy. Stanchions are placed throughout the dining hall to direct traffic flow, and signs on the walls and floor provide instructions and reminders for appropriate traffic-flow. The amount of seating available complies with Washington state guidelines based on phases of reopening.

Sanitization and employee training
There are an increased number of hand-sanitizer stations in the main dining hall and in the SAC. Each food-service station has a floor stand hand-sanitizer dispenser.

Sodexo employees have received specific training for COVID-19 protocols. They wear masks and gloves and have easy access to fresh supplies of these items. Sodexo employees have their temperature checked every day as they report for work and must sign a form attesting that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. The Sodexo organization has provided additional sick time for their employees to alleviate concerns about missing work, and Sodexo now employs more personnel in the cafeteria to clean contact points as people leave the dining hall.

Food options and service
Menus have been streamlined for easy and safe access to food. Changes include new dining options that have been prepared in advance, such as wraps and sushi, and complete salads rather than the self-serve salad bar. There is no self-service in the cafeteria. The foods that students love most have been reworked to reflect COVID-19 protocols. (Of course, there are still haystacks!)

Preordered takeout meals are available from the main dining hall. Simple to-go options, including a smoothie of the day, are available from the SAC.

Will dining hall hours be the same as last year?
Dining hall hours have been adjusted to allow more time for food service, fewer people in the dining hall at one time, and additional cleaning between meals.

Monday–Friday:
• Breakfast—7 to 10 a.m.
• Lunch—10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
• Dinner—5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
• Brunch—10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Dinner—5 to 7 p.m.

Read about Sodexo COVID-19 protocols and find daily menus.

Will I have to purchase a meal plan if I live in the residence halls?
Yes, you will still need to purchase a meal plan. Sodexo has created new options so you can take your meals to go, and they have very specific health measures in place when it comes to prepping and serving meals. There will be a 50% reduction in occupancy in the dining hall to allow for distancing, and they are working to add another 75 seats outside. The Student Association Center (SAC) will provide preordered takeout during normal meal times as well.

Fitness facilities

WEC facilities are available to students, faculty, and staff who are authorized to be on campus. We are not be able to accommodate guests or spouses of students, faculty, and staff. Hours are limited and capacity is reduced in all facilities to allow for distancing. Access is available by appointment only.

Will all WEC facilities be open?
The gym, fitness center, fitness center annex, table tennis area, and pool are open. The climbing wall and racquetball courts are closed. See specific COVID-19 hours, capacity limits, and guidelines for each area at wallawalla.edu/fitness. It is important that you read about specific protocols for each area.

How will the appointment process work?
Reservations/appointments for use of specific equipment can be made online at wallawalla.edu/fitness. Those who are authorized to be on campus have the ability to schedule an appointment for a cardio machine, the Nautilus circuit, the free-weight annex, a lane for lap swim, the table tennis area, or a court in the gym.

Can I bring a workout partner with me to my appointment?
Your workout appointment is for you only. Using the new appointment system, you will sign up for specific equipment use. COVID-19 protocols will be in place including masks and distancing.

Do I have to go through a daily screening station and have a daily campus pass to use the WEC facilities?
Yes. To enter WEC facilities, you will need your student I.D. card with a valid fall-quarter sticker and the daily campus pass that you will receive from one of the screening stations.

What cleaning procedures are in place in the various facilities?
Each workout appointment is for a 45-minute window. The facilities will be sanitized for 15 minutes following every 45-minute workout session with additional cleaning scheduled throughout the day.

Worship and CommUnity credits

This is all part of a new broad package regarding faith and culture on campus. Unfortunately, CommUnity as we have known it is canceled for fall quarter—you don't need to worry about getting weekly CommUnity credits for fall. Instead, we have two Convocation options that students will be responsible for engaging with.

What is Convocation?
Convocation is a special chapel service designed to inspire and unify our campus within the strict guidelines of state public health protocols. The first convocation will be held Sept. 21–25, and the second will be held Nov. 2–6. For both the September and November convocations, the programs will be available online and in-person at the University Church. For in-person attendance, students have a choice of attending the same program every day of the week—Monday/Wednesday/Friday at noon and Tuesday/Thursday at 11 a.m. Attendance capacity is capped every day at 200 people, and registration is required. Information for registration can be found at wallawalla.edu/convocation.

What about spiritual options and worship credits?
Vespers and worship credits look a bit different for fall. We are providing in-person options with reduced capacity and simultaneous live broadcasts. There will also be various student church options, such as Circle Church and Berean Fellowship. The University Church is holding First Service in person with reduced capacity, while Second Service will remain online for fall quarter.

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