Live Q&A Summary: Aug. 27

A photo of the Western Oregon University sign on campus.

This is a summary of our Aug. 27, 2020 live Q&A session and the Sept. 1 town hall. We host these live Q&A’s for current students, incoming students and family members on WOU’s Instagram and Facebook accounts every other Thursday at 10 a.m. The next session is Thursday, Sept. 10.


What facilities and student services will be available for in-person student use for fall 2020?
We’ve listed many of the services and fall offerings in an announcement that we sent out earlier this week. You can read more here. And some departments and services are currently finalizing their fall plans so there will be more information to come. Are there any services you’re specifically curious about that aren’t covered there? We can try to find more information for you.


How would housing affect those who might take online from their home just for the fall
If you are a first year student, they are required to live on campus. If you have all online classes and wish to live at home, you could fill out a petition (available at You can mark on the petition if you want this request for just fall term or the entire year.


Are you going to discounting classes since they are going to be online?
Though online courses cost the university more to offer, online and in-person tuition will be billed at the same per-credit rate. The fees differ between those formats. More details are available here.


What happens if there’s a student on campus tests positive for COVID-19?
If we’re made aware of a positive case, we contact Polk County Public Health so they can begin the contact tracing process. We also help that student quarantine and help take care of needs, such as food and appropriate treatment, while they’re quarantined. We would follow public health guidelines in such a situation.


What campus dining options will be available and what will those look like?
Valsetz Dining Hall will be open. The space has been arranged to facilitate social distancing. There’s also a new online ordering system where students can order meals in advance. Signage will direct students to lines for meal pick-up and ordering.


What campus resources will be available after we switch to completely remote after Nov. 25?
Our resources are available now and will continue to be available virtually through the term and after Nov. 25. There will also be some computer labs available with social distancing.


What will the enforcement of our campus safety guidelines look like? 
We expect that students will practice social distancing and safety protocols. There is a form for people to report social distancing violations available on our COVID-19 webpage.


If a student has to finish their senior year with remote classes, what options are there to complete degrees?
We encourage students to talk directly to their major adviser about situations where degree completion may be a challenge if in-person classes are critical to completing a degree. Major advisers will work with students to find solutions to those issues.


Is the WiFi in the residence halls adequate for remote learning, or do we need to check out a hotspot from the library?
You don’t need to check out a hotspot. Our density in the residence halls is reduced by about a third, so there will be fewer people using the WiFi.


What is the decision timeline for winter term course delivery?
As fall term begins, we will continue to monitor circumstances. We expect to make a decision in advance of winter term registration, which opens in November, so students can make informed decisions when they register.


Can off-campus students and employees use the Student Health and Counseling Center (specifically to get COVID-19 testing)?
The SHCC services are available to students who qualify, which includes paying the health fee. If a WOU student is exhibiting symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please contact SHCC for triage and they will determine if the student qualifies for testing.


How will the Wolfstore operate during fall term?
The Wolfstore will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during fall term. You can also order textbooks and merchandise on the website.


When will we know what textbooks we need for class?
You can visit the Wolfstore’s website now to search by course to see a listing of required textbooks.


Will students be offering classes on Moodle or Canvas?
We are currently transitioning from Moodle to Canvas and not all classes are in Canvas at this time. Faculty will tell students which platform the class will be offered through.

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