DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
The majority of WSU Pullman on-campus housing will be open in the fall semester with the exception of some facilities.
There are currently over 4,200 students planning to live on campus in the fall, which includes incoming freshmen and sophomores who were unable to live on campus last year, said Brandon Brackett, director of Housing and Residence Life.
“It’s going to be a pretty full campus,” said Brackett. “Gannon-Goldsworthy will be offline and maybe the McEachern halls, but most of [the buildings] will be online at this point.”
WSU plans to continue utilizing McEachern East as an isolation hall for those with COVID-19, Brackett said.
WSU plans to reach residence hall building capacities in the fall and will allow students to have roommates, unlike this past year because of COVID-19 guidelines, Brackett said.
“Roommates, full floors and social activities,” he said. “The whole point is to rebuild this on-campus experience, hopefully better for the sophomores that didn’t get to get an experience last year as well as for first-year students.”
Residence halls are expected to be almost completely like pre-pandemic housing because of WSU’s recent COVID-19 vaccine policy, said Sean Greene, interim associate vice president of Facilities and Operations.
“We are planning on assigning all housing with limited COVID-19 restrictions,” Greene said. “Meaning that most common areas will be open without limits.”
Dining halls will also face fewer restrictions than in the past year. Students will be able to order food within the hall rather than on the GET application, which will also still be an option, Greene said.
“A lot of students have found that they like the GET app,” said Greene. “But they will also be able to just enter the dining centers and order food directly from the platforms.”
Greene said that WSU is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and working with the Whitman County Health Department to create a safe and fun environment for students living in residence halls next semester.
Brackett hopes for continued guidance from Gov. Jay Inslee that would allow for buildings to reopen study lounges and recreation areas within the residence hall.
WSU housing is currently in the process of cleaning and disinfecting all residence halls in preparation for the fall, Brackett said.
“Over the summer, every room gets deep cleaned by our custodial staff,” he said. “Then they come back through real quick before the students come and make sure everything looks good.”
There has not been a decision on whether vaccinated students will have to wear masks throughout residence halls, in communal restrooms or in recreational areas, Brackett said.