Letter to the Editor: Welcome to the Cougar family

ASWSU leaders address, welcome incoming freshmen

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+Welcome+to+the+Cougar+family

COURTESY OF SEAN DOSTER

CURTIS COHEN and SEAN DOSTER

Dear Class of 2024,

We couldn’t be happier to welcome you into the Cougar family, even in the middle of challenging times. Coug alumni everywhere will tell you that once you’re a Coug, you will always be a Coug. This fact has not changed even as our beloved Pullman campus has moved online for the foreseeable future. But make no mistake, when the time is right, Pullman and your Cougar community will be here to welcome you with open arms.

Things are going to look different this fall — Martin Stadium will be quiet on Saturdays, Week of Welcome has moved online and many of you have chosen to fulfill your first-year, live-in requirement at home. We are sorry that your altered Cougar experience follows the abrupt end of your high school career. But this modified experience doesn’t make you any less of a Coug. The hallmarks of a Washington State grad will still find their way to you – resilience, adaptability, innovation and a chip on your shoulder that drives you to be a leader in your field.

Even as classes have moved online and the definition of normal has slowly changed, we are here to work for you as your elected student representatives. Now more than ever, student voices are critical to the decision-making process and we encourage you to get involved as frequently and as early as you can.

ASWSU is here for you to help navigate your university experience and advocate for you. As your elected student representatives, our job at the end of the day is to ensure that your undergraduate experience is the best that it can be. This mission has only strengthened with the transition online.

This mission includes expanding access to online mental health resources, representing students’ academic and financial interests and working towards providing an exceptional undergraduate experience even while classes have moved online.

As students, we know that mental health is directly tied to academic performance. This is why ASWSU is working to expand the resources available at Cougar Health Services to include anonymous, online peer listening — you will hear the phrase “Cougs help Cougs” many times and this is an opportunity to do just that.

The well-being of our fellow students is of the utmost importance to us, including academic and financial well-being. We are committed to voicing student concerns about the transition to a new method of educational delivery and the issues that will arise with it. Equally as important, we are exploring all of our options to reduce the financial burden, both internally and at the state level through our lobbying efforts.

Most importantly, we will work to preserve the Cougar spirit that has long defined Washington State Cougars. We encourage you to get involved virtually, be an advocate for your fellow student and make the most of the current situation. We will be, and we can’t wait for you to join us as we provide opportunities for students to connect virtually.

There is one thing that will hold true – your class is resilient, you can have anything thrown at you and you will overcome. There will come a day when you are in the position to make a mark on WSU in some form or another, and it will be shaped by some of the challenges you will face this upcoming school year. But we believe in you, we support you, we will advocate for you tooth and nail, and we can’t wait to see what you will do. Go Cougs!

Signed,

Curtis Cohen, ASWSU President

Sean Doster, ASWSU Vice President