June 19, 2020
Dear students, parents, and families in the Class of 2024 and new transfer students,
Hello from St. Louis! My colleagues and I were able to speak with many of you on a webinar on May 28th. This week we launched a new website to provide insight into our planning process for the fall. I have been working closely with our teams on our “housing/dining working group” as well as our “public health principles and community behavior group.” Both of these teams, as well as our other committees, are developing plans for our campus guided by the latest recommendations from public health and medical professionals on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In order for us to have a successful fall semester, all of us will need to work together. As part of the college experience, WashU students have always spent their first fall semester making new friends, exploring the campus, learning new ideas and experiencing the many events and activities provided. These things will still happen this fall, but in order for us to have a successful semester life on campus will be different. Most of our courses will include both in person and technology-driven alternative instructional models. We will ask everyone to follow basic public health principles – wearing masks on campus when you are not in your private office or residence hall room, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding large gatherings. We know this will not always be easy, but if we can all agree to share responsibility for each other’s’ safety, I am confident we can come together this fall as a Bear family.
I wanted to remind you of a few upcoming opportunities to connect with us in the next few weeks. Students, you should have heard from your Washington University Student Associate (WUSA) by now. Your WUSA will serve as a contact and peer mentor from now through your entire first year. In addition, your academic division has provided you with information about your academic adviser, course registration, and other engagement opportunities to learn about the robust curricular experiences WashU has to offer. For our parents and families, we encourage you to join us for the Family Webinar Series including a conversation with the Habif Health & Wellness Center next week on June 22.
As Chancellor Andrew D. Martin shared in his May 27 letter to the community, we will announce our detailed and updated plans by the end of July including more specific information about housing assignments, move-in, and fall welcome.
To our new students, my colleagues and I can’t wait to meet you and get to know you during these next four years. One thing is certain, the start of your WashU journey is going to be historic. We look forward to seeing what each of you will accomplish.
To our new families, please know that we are here to be your partner as your student begins their WashU journey. While we may not be able to spend as much time with you in person for our fall parent and family welcome as we are accustomed to, we are planning a virtual program to provide information and resources about how you can help support the success of your student.
And, you will continue to hear updates from me during the weeks ahead.
Robert M. Wild, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs