GPSA discusses continued mitigation of COVID-19

Guest speaker said campus services will return in coming months; Cougar Health Services vaccinating qualifying students

Mary+Jo+Gonzales%2C+WSU+vice+president+of+Student+Affairs%2C+said+there+is+not+much+WSU+can+do+in+terms+of+disciplinary+measures+outside+of+student+conduct+interviews%2C+which+are+confidential.

SCREENSHOT OF MEETING

Mary Jo Gonzales, WSU vice president of Student Affairs, said there is not much WSU can do in terms of disciplinary measures outside of student conduct interviews, which are confidential.

TIMOTHY FAIRBANKS-CLOUSER, Evergreen reporter

A university official answered students’ questions on timelines for reopening certain campus services and vaccinating the student body during the GPSA Senate meeting Monday evening. 

Mary Jo Gonzales, WSU vice president of Student Affairs, said WSU Pullman might begin to see certain services open as soon as June. Students can expect the Graduate School office to open before the start of the fall semester. 

She said campus libraries would likely not reopen until students return in the fall. 

“We are working literally double and triple time to have in-person experiences,” Gonzales said. 

No one is required to get vaccinated for COVID-19, but WSU strongly encourages students to do so. Cougar Health Services now offers vaccinations to qualifying students, Gonzales said. 

CHS has vaccinated over 100 students and more clinics will be popping up around campus soon, she said. Students within the priority group for vaccinations on campus already have an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 or have pre-existing health conditions, she said. 

“We have enough [vaccines],” Gonzales said. “We are going to continue to be getting vaccines.”

The return of in-person classes at WSU does not mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gonzales said students need to continue practicing COVID-19 precautions, even once vaccinated. 

She said cold and flu rates have been down in the past year because of the public’s precautions during the pandemic. Everyone should continue to wear masks, wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.

Some GPSA members raised concerns about the lack of consequences for students who are hosting parties during a pandemic. Gonzales said there is not much WSU can do in terms of disciplinary measures outside of student conduct interviews, which are confidential.

Pullman is now in Phase 3, which permits gatherings of 50 people in outdoor settings. She said Greek chapters operating within the constraints of the phase are within legal grounds. 

“Phase 3 allowed a ton of latitude that I don’t think we were ready for,” Gonzales said.

Phase 3 opened the door for larger gatherings to occur but also brought the opportunity for theaters, restaurants and other businesses to reopen. Spikes are going to happen and the university is addressing them as they come, she said. 

While Gonzales recognized the threat Greek Row gatherings could pose to the community, she empathized with the students. These students are in critical developmental periods and deserve empathy just as anyone else, she said. 

“Think about how much grief you’re holding in for all the things you lost as well,” Gonzales said.