Coronavirus/COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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Last update: 5/14/2020 @ 5:09 p.m.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions we have heard from students, faculty and staff at UW Tacoma. If you have question that isn't answered here on the other UW FAQs, please let us know at uwttownhall@uw.edu.

Other UW Coronavirus FAQs

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

How will money from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund be distributed?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. For more information about the UW disbursement of these funds, see the CARES Act FAQ.

Will tuition for spring quarter be the same since classes will be given remotely?

For information about tuition at the UW during spring quarter, please see the question on tuition at uw.edu/provost/springquarter.

What will UW Tacoma do about fees we have paid for spring quarter, some of which are for services we won’t be able to use?

Even though we are delivering instruction remotely, we continue to offer services and activities such as student counseling, health and wellness programs, software and cloud services, and student-parent assistance. As a result, the fees that support these programs must continue in order for these services to continue to be offered.

U-PASS FEE

In consultation with ASUWT, the University has waived the universal student U-PASS fee for spring quarter 2020.

For those who have not yet paid their tuition statement, the U-PASS fee will be reversed and removed from the charges owed. For those who have paid their tuition statement, the resulting credit balance on your student account will be refunded.

With the waiver of the fee, your U-PASS will be deactivated* for spring quarter. Almost all transit agencies participating in U-PASS have stopped collecting fares on their significantly reduced services for the duration of the COVID-19 response.

More information is available here or contact transit@uw.edu.

* Academic Student Employees will continue to have an active U-PASS under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.

Y FEE

At UW Tacoma, students pay the UWY fee, which supports the operation of the University Y Student Center under contract with YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counties. On March 16, YMCA closed its buildings, including the University Y.

In consultation with ASUWT and the Services & Activities Fee Committee, the university has waived the Y fee. The Board of Regents approval for the waiver applies only to spring quarter 2020.

The refund of the $180 fee has been applied to student tuition accounts. Students with no other outstanding charges on their account or financial aid holds have received a direct deposit to their U.S. bank accounts, if established in advance, in the amount of the fee or will be sent a paper check.

For those receiving paper checks through U.S. mail, please note that delivery will take 7-10 business days. Ensure that your local and permanent addresses in MyUW are places where you can receive mail.

Since we are working/learning remotely and are not coming to campus, will parking permit fees be refunded?

Yes, parking pass reimbursements are being processed now. Because instruction will be remote for all of spring quarter, 100% of the spring quarter permit fee will be refunded. For those who already received a pro-rated refund through April 27, additional refunds totaling 100% of the permit fee will be provided. Refunding is a manual process. Once a refund is processed it can take up to 10 business days for funds to transfer.

What resources are available to help UW Tacoma students who may be experiencing financial hardship this quarter?

Students experiencing hardship during spring quarter are encouraged to connect with the UW Tacoma Office of Student Financial Aid, and to review the comprehensive financial aid FAQ published by the UW in Seattle. Emergency aid is available to help enrolled students with unexpected needs such as emergency medical costs, housing expenses, family emergencies, loss of income, and other situations.

Are there fees for paying tuition online?

There are two ways to pay your tuition online: webcheck or credit/debit card. Webcheck comes directly from your bank account and there is no fee for this service. Paying with a credit or debit card is done through a third-party vendor who assesses a 2.24% convenience fee. Contrary to information that was recently published in the student newspaper, this fee cannot be waived.

Housing and Student Life

Since courses will be delivered remotely, what are my options for living (or not living) at Court 17? Will I be held to early termination fees?

We want to be as flexible as possible to meet your needs. If you want to continue living at Court 17, you can. If not, you can check out of your room as early as March 24, but no later than 6:00 PM on April 3. Because we don't want to penalize you financially for a choice you make based upon circumstances you couldn't foresee, we will not hold you responsible for early termination or spring occupancy charges.

How can students continue to experience student life activities such as clubs?

During spring quarter, the Division of Student Affairs will offer a wide variety of virtual opportunities for students to meet new people, learn about UW Tacoma and get immersed into Husky culture.

The best place to start is the Center for Student Involvement, which offers Welcome Days. Be sure to check out Dawg Den, UW Tacoma’s online home for registered student organizations.

Stay tuned for more announcements from the Division of Student Affairs on innovative ways students can connect and get engaged with virtual campus life.

Where and how can new UW Tacoma students get Husky cards?

New Spring Quarter students can get their Husky card through the UW Tacoma Online Husky Card Submission Portal

Follow the instruction to upload your photo, documentation and personal information. Husky Cards will be printed and mailed to the address provided within 10 business days.

To get started you will need: Name, Student ID number, Current mailing address, email, color photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc), current color photo for ID.

For questions contact the Office of the Registrar at reguwt@uw.edu.

Is the Pantry still open for students who need food assistance?

Yes. The Pantry has transitioned to new order and pickup practices to better align with Gov. Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. We have implemented a pre-order, pre-packaged bag model that is in alignment with the practices of other local food banks and food pantries. In addition, to better meet the needs of our students in this time, pre-packaged bags will include 15 food items instead of the usual limit of 10 food items.

Students should order online ahead of time for pre-packaged bags to be picked-up at set times on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Students can pre-select omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher bags and provide any specific instructions regarding food allergies or a desire to also receive hygiene items. Delivery is temporarily available within a 10-mile radius of campus.

Admissions

Is UW Tacoma still admitting new students?

Admissions at all three UW campuses is continuing. At UW Tacoma, enrollment management staff are retooling their procedures to work remotely. New-student orientations are occurring online. Admissions advisors are holding live webinars and scheduling one-on-one appointments via phone and video meetings.

Teleworking for staff

What is the policy during spring quarter on teleworking?

The UW is currently on restricted operations. Although UW Tacoma never completely shuts down, all campus buildings (with the exception of Court 17) will be closed through at least May 31, 2020, or longer if Governor Inslee’s proclamation is extended again. Most UW Tacoma employees who can work from home are already doing so. With Gov. Inslee’s order, teleworking is now mandatory for employees who can do so without hampering critical operations.

How can I remotely access my UW Tacoma office workstation?

Most UW Tacoma-owned Windows and Apple workstations can be configured for remote access. To access your workstation remotely, you must first request access. Once the request has been made, a technician will configure your workstation and provide instructions on how to connect remotely.

How can I access my office files remotely, without remotely connecting to my office computer?

To access your files located on the H: or S: drive, you can log onto the Remote File Access system. Please use the following format for your user name when logging in: Your_UWNetID@tacoma.uw.edu. Your password is the same password you use to log into your workstation.

How can I forward my desk phone to my personal cell phone?

You can forward your office phone to another phone by dialing *72 9 + [your phone number starting from area code].  For example, *72 9 253 123 4567.  You can see more detail on call forwarding here or a Youtube video here. Alternatively, you can set email notification so that you receive an email if someone leaves a voicemail. To do so, please visit Web Access to Mailbox and Functions.

I need to schedule a meeting remotely. How do I use Zoom?

Zoom has been made available at no cost to all faculty, staff, and students, and will allow for meetings of up to 300 attendees. Instructions on how to access and use Zoom can be found here.

Campus Facilities

I need temporary access to my office or other campus facilities. What do I need to do?

Governor Jay Inslee has issued a "Stay Home" order for citizens of Washington extended through May 31, 2020, and UW President Ana Mari Cauce has made telework mandatory. UW Tacoma seeks to protect the health of all students, staff, faculty, and community members and has moved to restricted operations. This means campus buildings are generally only accessible to critical personnel. Access is limited to Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m only.

For faculty and staff in academic units:

  1. Before your visit, inform Academic Affairs of the date(s), rooms(s) and purpose of your visit by emailing acadaff@uw.edu. This information is shared with Facilities and Campus Safety and provides a record to support cleaning, security and contact tracing purposes. You’ll be approved as long as the visit meets the UW criteria for a campus visit.
  2. On the day of your visit, email uwtsafe@uw.edu with the location on campus you will be visiting and the approximate time and duration of your visit so that they can plan resource use and cleaning protocols around your visit.  
  3. On the day of the approved visit, complete the Workday attestation to confirm you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Please don’t come to campus if you are not well or think you’ve been exposed to illness.
  4. When you arrive on campus, phone Campus Safety at 253-692-4416. This allows you to be informed of any emergent health or safety issues on campus and provides information on building occupancy should an emergency arise.

For all other staff:

  1. Contact your supervisor to request approval at least 24 hours in advance.
  2. On the day of your visit, email uwtsafe@uw.edu with the location on campus you will be visiting and the approximate time and duration of your visit so that they can plan resource use and cleaning protocols around your visit.  
  3. On the day of your visit, complete the Workday attestation to confirm you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Please don’t come to campus if you are not well or think you’ve been exposed to illness.
  4. When you arrive on campus, phone Campus Safety at 253-692-4416. This allows you to be informed of any emergent health or safety issues on campus and provides information on building occupancy should an emergency arise.

If I am essential personnel working on campus regularly. What do I need to do?

All essential personnel who need to be on campus regularly to perform their job duties must complete the Workday attestation to confirm you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 every day you are coming to campus. Do not come to campus if you are not well or think you’ve been exposed to illness.

Technology

Does access to Zoom Pro continue through all of spring quarter? Do students have access?

Yes, UW Zoom Pro accounts will be available for all of spring quarter, and they are available to all instructors, staff and students at no cost. You can access Zoom using your UW NetID at https://washington.zoom.us/

How will students and instructors access specialized software that is only available on campus computers?

UW Tacoma IT has developed several remote-access and cloud-based “virtual lab” environments to accommodate courses with specialized software needs. Contact your instructor for specific information about how this will be accomplished.

Commencement and other events

Will commencement be celebrated in June?

On June 13, 2020, the UW will host a special online, interactive Commencement. This dynamic and personalized experience will be the first time that graduates of all three of our campuses will celebrate commencement together. Details about this ceremony are still being developed and more information will be available soon. We will also welcome any 2020 graduates to participate in the June 2021 in-person ceremony.

We encourage you to complete this brief survey to help us as we develop the June 13 experience for UW Tacoma students. If you have specific questions please email tcommenc@uw.edu.

Are campus events still happening?

Most campus events for spring quarter are either being re-worked as interactive online experiences or canceled. At least through May 4, 2020, by order of the governor, no in-person events are allowed.

Academics

Where can I access resources for online learning?

There is a great page of resources and tips published by UW Tacoma's Digital Learning office:

Student Online Support

How can I purchase the books I need for classes?

Access to course materials is undergoing a big change for spring quarter, and faculty are working hard to ensure students have access to textbooks, reading materials, etc. The format may change, but the learning objectives will still be delivered!

Although the University Book Store on the Tacoma campus is closed for in-person access until further notice, ubookstore.com is still operating online, and is offering free domestic ground shipping for spring quarter materials.

The UW Tacoma Library, which is closed to in-person access, is also working with faculty to identify online alternatives or e-book versions.

Access to course materials will vary by course. Contact your instructor for the latest information.

I'm taking classes through the Professional Development Center. Are those still happening?

Yes, most PDC classes are also being taught remotely. Check the UW Tacoma Professional Development Center website for the latest information about class status.