WSU announces plans for fall semester: ‘It will not be what you’re used to’

PULLMAN, Wash – Plans for the fall semester are starting to take shape at Washington State University, as Governor Inslee outlined guidelines this week for institutes of higher education.

PAST COVERAGE: State of Washington lays out plans for students to return to college campuses this fall

WSU will open  the fall semester with a mix of in-person and online instruction, then move entirely to online learning after the Thanksgiving break. That change after Thanksgiving is intended to protect the health of students as staff, as so many people travel during what is also the start of flu season.

“The most important message we need for you to hear today is that Fall 2020 will be different, it will not be what you’re used to,” said Mary Jo Gonzales, VP of student affairs.

WSU outlined its plans on a video town hall which you can watch at this link. 

The university will have reduced capacity in residence halls, with most rooms only have a single occupant. The university will have limitations on visitors and guests.

Classes with more than 50 students will be online. In-person classes will have assigned seats, with at least six feet separating students.

The university is also working on testing plans for the fall as well as “active surveillance methods” which are being evaluated.

There are budget concerns as well, the university notes. President Kirk Schulz said the university hopes to announce plans by July 15th for meeting a $37 million budget reduction.

Colleges and universities across the state are dealing with major budget reductions due to reduced state funding and declining enrollment. Universities will also lose money with fewer students living in on-campus housing.

You can read more about WSU’s efforts here. 

RELATED HEADLINES: How WSU’s president is leading the university through COVID-19