SCREENSHOT FROM EVENT
WSU students and staff spoke about the impacts of COVID-19 as well as a new Community & Equity Certificate offered by the university during a diversity, equity and inclusion summit Thursday afternoon.
COVID-19 has caused many families financial burdens, said Sam Lopez, junior political science major at WSU Pullman.
Lopez said he and his family are struggling to figure out how to cover tuition for next year, especially because his family now has two children in college.
“It has been really hard to put into words how COVID has hurt my family,” he said.
He said he has had family members who passed away from COVID-19, and friends who have contracted the virus or lost their lives to it.
Many people are feeling fear and a loss of hope during the pandemic, Lopez said. Some of his friends have considered dropping out of WSU because of this.
After listening to other students’ stories, and being able to share his story, Lopez said he has a more positive outlook because other students are going through the same thing.
“It has given me hope that one day we will make it out of this, and we will be better for it,” Lopez said.
Faculty and staff have the opportunity to participate in workshops to better understand students who come from different communities as part of a new certificate WSU offers, said Merrianneeta Nesbitt, assistant director of WSU’s Office of Outreach and Education.
These workshops were requested by students, she said.
The workshop topics include allyship and skill development like cultural interaction and communication, said Courtney Anderson, coordinator of student diversity and international life.
Some workshops are already available, and more will be added during the spring, she said.
Spokane Street Medicine
WSU set up a program called Spokane Street Medicine, which helps homeless people receive the care they need, said Luis Manriquez, assistant clinical professor at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
The program was set up as a response to the pandemic and allows students to interact and serve a community that is generally avoided by the public, Manriquez said.
“We were able to set up these programs where we do testing for COVID, but we also provide care for everything else,” he said.