The event I decided to cover was Chancellor’s chat led by interim Chancellor Greg Cook.
Cook led off the meeting by stating “It has been very gratifying walking around campus and see so many students and so many faculty and staff observing the safety measures.” Cook stated a couple of times that the goal is to reach November 20, (this is the target date before Whitewater goes remote for the rest of the fall semester.)
Cook then took questions from students.
Cook on how should a faculty member respond if a student tests positive for COVID: Cook said the following “The important thing is to show your support for the student, they test positive doesn’t necessarily mean they are seriously ill…
Most younger people have minor symptoms or are asymptomatic it is important to encourage them to call the COVID hotline because we want to make sure we get that positive result recorded onto the dashboard so we have an accurate spread of the virus.”
Since campus shut down in March UW-Whitewater has 370 total cases according to the recent reports in the week of September, 20 to September, 26 Whitewater has 46 new cases. In the previous week Whitewater had 121 new cases. This information comes from the new Covid-19 dashboard that was unveiled earlier this month.
Last semester when UW-Whitewater went remote, spring commencement was cancelled and COVID not going away soon there is supposed to be a graduation in December but according to Cook no decision has been made on that but has been in contact with the commencement committee for him to see an outline of what a ceremony would look like.
COVID has been tough on students who live in residence halls because of the small rooms and close captivity to other people. If a student tests positive in the residence hall they move the student to Clem Hall and encouraged to stay there then move back home.
Over the summer there was a meeting regarding spring break between Cook, and the governance group and at the time the consensus was to leave the spring calendar the way it was but, now they are re discussing what to do about spring break and an survey was sent out by Wisconsin Student Government (WSG) to everyone on campus in regards to what they prefer to do for spring break.
Winter sports has been postponed until January 1. This is what interim athletic director Ryan Callahan had to say about the postponement:
“We just had a call with fellow athletic directors and we are looking at what the schedule would look like for the respective sports…
I can provide this much if we do have competition in the spring it will be conference competition to make sure we return minimums but we are still investigating what that will look like and figuring the testing components the NCAA will put out and I expect in the next couple of weeks we’ll have some finalized decisions on that as well.”
That was the last item on the agenda, to summarize the goal is to make it to November, 20 before we go remote, COVID positive students in residence halls are being transferred to another hall to quarantine. At the moment there is no plan for spring break and winter sports are cancelled until January 1. This situation at Whitewater is fluid but, if anyone has a plan for getting us through this pandemic its the leaders at UW-Whitewater