Mentha Hynes-Wilson joined the University of Washington Tacoma team as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in August 2017. Her portfolio includes oversight of the many programs and services that contribute to enhancing student success. She previously served as Associate Vice President at Salisbury University in Maryland, Dean of Student Affairs at the University of San Diego, Director of Student Life at Princeton University, and Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Student Affairs at Smith College.
Ms. Hynes-Wilson has devoted her career to the development, assessment and improvement of programs and policies that facilitate access while maximizing opportunities for student success earning recognition as a “student friendly resource.” She has a master’s degree in Educational Policy and Research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Mentha's office is located in Mattress Factory 352 and she welcomes students, staff and faculty to stop by and say hello!
We hope you’ve had a good start to spring quarter, and that the longer days and growing hope for an end to the coronavirus crisis have lifted your spirits as they have ours. As we all continue to do our part — including masking up, maintaining distancing and avoiding large gatherings, and getting vaccinated when eligible — we are also working to expand the number of in-person services and activities this spring, and planning for how we will recognize our graduates. We have updates on both of these topics to share with you.
Earlier this month, UW shared guidance with instructors and staff that outlines how to safely offer more in-person services, student organization meetings and optional class-related activities. The state moving to Phase 3 of its recovery plan allows us to do more in-person, though its requirement for six feet of distancing in classrooms, study areas and other facilities continues to limit most in-person instruction and group gatherings. Nevertheless, we will see an expansion of in-person services this spring and summer, and instructors are now allowed to offer optional class-related activities, so long as students learning remotely aren’t disadvantaged. Masks continue to be required in all UW facilities and shared spaces, regardless of vaccin! ation sta tus.
We recognize commencement and the UW’s many graduation celebrations are among the most meaningful events in the lives of graduates and their families. Together with our faculty and staff, we too look forward to these events. We take pride in your achievements and recognize you have worked hard — particularly since last spring — to reach this moment. We have spent the past several months evaluating what would be safe, feasible and equitable to do for commencement.
The UW’s 2021 commencement ceremonies will be held virtually, including all college, school and department graduation celebrations. Based on consultations with UW Tacoma undergraduate and graduate students, student leaders, health experts, and the University’s deans and chancellors, we determined regretfully that holding an in-person commencement ceremony in the Tacoma Dome — which in a normal year brings upwards of 10,000 graduates, families and friends to downtown Tacoma — or events throughout our facilities, is simply not possible in the interest of public health. Rising case counts in recent days, along with the fact that the majority of the UW’s employees and students will likely not yet be fully vaccinated by commencement, make our conditions uniquely difficult and fluid when compared to other institutions around the country.
We know the lack of an in-person commencement is disappointing news for our 2021 graduates, as well as for the 2020 graduates whom we’d hoped to be able to recognize at an in-person ceremony this year. We are working on additional opportunities to celebrate our graduates during the traditional spring timeframe that are designed around ideas generated during a Community Conversation with undergraduate and graduate students. We will continue to work on opportunities to recognize the achievements of the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 in the future. We’ll share details later this quarter. And as was announced in January, we are planning to be back for largely in-person classes in the fall.
We continue to be grateful for the ways you have cared for each other, for those who depend on you and for yourselves. Thank you for the many ways you have continued and excelled in your studies, your clubs and activities, your internships and research, and your friendships in the face of grief, loneliness, anxiety and all the other, often hidden, side effects of this pandemic and other traumas. We can create a brighter future if we remember and act on the lessons these times are teaching us about building a more just and more equitable world for us all.
Stay safe. Stay strong. And best wishes for a successful spring quarter.
Mark A. Pagano
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
February 16, 2021 - "UK coronavirus variant detected at the UW"
The B.1.1.7 variant originated in the United Kingdom. It is 30%-50% more contagious than the coronavirus variant now most prevalent in our region. This means it takes less exposure to the virus to infect you. It also means that a small number of cases in a community can more quickly turn into another wave of infections and the reinstatment of health restrictions.
I wanted you to be aware of this information because we may soon be seeing wider spread of the B.1.1.7 variant throughout our region and the nation, and now is a good time to remind ourselves to step up our own COVID prevention efforts.
Additionally, while Spring Break is just around the corner and falling case counts might make it look like it’s safer to travel, the risk remains high and you should continue to avoid all but the most essential trips.
The Seattle Flu Study will continue to sequence positive samples from the Husky Coronavirus Testing program in order to determine the prevalence of this and other virus variants in our community.
The coronavirus spreads when we let our guard down, and this new variant is even better at taking advantage of our lapses. We are all fatigued, but we can control the virus and get back to a more normal way of living and learning if we stay on our guard and each continue to do our part.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
January 19, 2021 - "The UW's plans for spring quarter and returning in the fall"
We hope you have had a successful start to the winter quarter, despite the challenges posed by the strife in our country and the continued suffering caused by the pandemic. We are writing to share with you the University of Washington’s spring quarter plans for the Tacoma campus, as well as our intent to return to in-person instruction this fall.
The coronavirus continues to infect more than 200,000 people in the United States each day and January is poised to be the most tragic month of the pandemic to date. While vaccines are being administered here in Washington and beyond, the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases and other health experts report that vaccination efforts are not expected to contain the virus enough to allow for significant relaxation of health restrictions by the start of spring quarter on March 29.
Therefore, for spring quarter we plan to continue most courses online, similar to winter quarter, while at the same time offering more in-person student services and activities as the quarter progresses. Our deans, vice chancellors, and other leaders are committed to expanding units’ in-person services over the course of spring quarter, as state and local health guidelines allow. Instructors will also have the flexibility to offer optional, in-person, class-related activities, such as physically distanced advising, so long as students taking those courses remotely are not disadvantaged.
Those courses held in person will once again largely be labs and similar hands-on courses, and these will continue to have appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place. The spring quarter time schedule will be posted Friday, Jan. 22 and generally indicate whether classes will be taught remotely or in person, though some changes may occur as schools and colleges refine their plans. You will continue to have the option to make academic progress through fully remote instruction. Your academic advisors and course instructors can address questions you may have.
While the prospects for spring are not what any of us would have hoped, based on projections from health experts we are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus for an autumn quarter with largely in-person classes. This, of course, depends on the effective distribution of vaccines and on each of us continuing to follow health guidance, such as wearing masks and avoiding gatherings.
Summer session courses will likely be a mix of remote and in-person classes, as the course of the pandemic allows. And we are in active discussions about ways in which we can safely and appropriately recognize those who will graduate this year, because we know how meaningful these events are to graduates and their families.
Throughout this pandemic, UW Tacoma’s faculty and staff have been committed to finding innovative ways to support your learning, well-being and success. We will continue that commitment as we begin the transition to more in-person services this spring and more in-person courses in the summer and fall.
We can each help hasten the end of the pandemic through our own actions, and we are so appreciative of all the ways you are doing your part by following the Husky PACK Pledge and the 3 W’s — Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. — and also by taking part in Husky Coronavirus Testing. We both pledge to take a coronavirus vaccine as soon as we are eligible and encourage you to do the same.
Thank you for the grace and compassion you have shown each other — and yourselves — during these challenging times. There is light on the horizon, and working together we will get to a time when we can all be together, in-person, as a community once more.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
December 10, 2020 - "Coming to campus for winter quarter? Plan ahead to get tested"
If you are a current student, I hope you are having a successful conclusion to autumn quarter and staying safe and healthy. If you are a new student at UW Tacoma for winter, welcome to our campus and community. I wanted to reach out to you about coronavirus testing for the start of winter quarter so you can plan ahead.
If you plan to live on campus or take an in-person course, get a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before returning to campus or shortly after returning.
Testing after arrival: On campus testing will be available through Husky Coronavirus Testing (HCT). If you are already enrolled in HCT, you will be contacted directly to schedule an in-home test kit delivery.
If you are not already enrolled in Husky Coronavirus Testing, enroll now so that you are eligible to get a return-to-campus test as well as to receive tests during winter quarter.
Of course, testing is only one way we are combating the coronavirus. I want to thank you for continuing to follow the 3 W’s — wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance — and, as hard as it is during the holiday season, avoiding indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with.
The end of the pandemic is in sight, and if we all continue to do our part we will be able to return to a more normal way of living and learning even sooner.
Thank you for the care and compassion you have shown to each other, and best wishes for a safe and healthy winter break.
Sincerely, Mentha Hynes-Wilson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
October 22, 2020 - "Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct in the UW Community"
Dear UW Tacoma Students:
Please join a Title IX Community Conversation on Oct. 28 or 29 to learn about how UW is moving forward in light of the Title IX 2020 federal rules.
Title IX is a federal gender equity law that prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender. New Title IX regulations from the U.S. Department of Education went into effect on August 14, 2020, which govern how educational institutions must respond to particular instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct.
We invite you to join the Office of the Title IX Coordinator and other members of the UW community in a Title IX Community Conversation on October 28 or 29. The sessions will cover UW’s two-pathway approach to implementing the new regulations and how you as students can be involved as we move forward. We will then broaden the conversation beyond compliance to discuss initiatives and strategies that prioritize equity in all spaces, for everyone.
As we shared in August, the federal regulations do not apply to all sexual misconduct, but when they do, specific procedures including a live (virtual) hearing and direct cross-examination of all parties and witnesses are required. For more information, see the Title IX website, which includes:
Emergency and interim policies that outline the grievance procedures for complaints
Thank you for your commitment to working together to build an inclusive community that treats every member with dignity, fairness, and respect.
Title IX Coordinator
University of Washington
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University of Washington Tacoma
October 21, 2020 - "WA State Voter Deadline Coming Up"
October 26 — next week — is the deadline to register or update your registration online or by mail in order to vote in the Nov. 3 election. After Oct. 26, you’ll need to register to vote in person.
This November, you have the chance to vote for the president, governor and local officials as well as ballot initiatives — all of which are important decisions that impact your life. Voting is a way you can use your civic voice; we encourage you to use it. But first: You need to register.
Voting Resources: Check your voter registration status and find out more about upcoming elections, including how to vote safely by mail. If you are residing in another state, this website has information about voting in each state.
Huskies Vote: Get step-by-step guidance on how to vote and how you can help others vote. View maps of ballot box locations in Pierce, Thurston and King Counties. Learn about upcoming election-related programming and voter registration workshops.
If you miss the online registration deadline, you can register to vote in person until Nov. 3 at the Pierce County Elections Office, 2501 S. 35thSt. C., Tacoma.
Do you need in-person assistance on election day? The Center for Student Involvement (UWY 107) will be open from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. If you have misplaced your Washington state ballot that came in the mail, you can access your ballot online, print, vote and turn it in on this day. Public health precautions will be in place and wearing a face covering will be required.
Voting is a habit that holds our democracy together. Let’s exercise some civic muscle and vote. #HuskiesVote
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
President - Associated Students of UW Tacoma
October 7, 2020 - "Just What You Need - Another Message from Student Affairs"
Dear Tacoma Husky,
I am so pleased to welcome you to the 2020-2021 academic year. We have planned carefully for your arrival – both virtual and in-person – and thank you for looking through the many emails and checklists. Today, I write to share several significant reminders.
Campus Climate: The results of last year’s UW Climate Survey are in and the Student Affairs team joins with others across the campus to develop actual action based on the results. Stay tuned to learn how you can participate.
Coronavirus Testing: Enrollment in the voluntary Husky Coronavirus Testing program is encouraged for all students, faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly or living in group housing in nearby neighborhoods. Testing is provided at no cost. Remember to follow Husky healthy guidelines and attest each day you will be on campus.
Emergency Preparedness/UW Alert: The UW Alert System provides current information on campus closures and delays due to emergent or irregular situations. To receive email and/or text messages, you must opt-in to this service — you will not receive alert messages if you have not signed up.
Non-Partisan Voting Resources: The deadline to register to vote in the November 3 election is October 26. Voters registered in Washington can learn how and where to vote on Vote WA, the Washington State voter site.
#RealCollege Survey: Help us evaluate access to affordable food and housing among college students. Take the survey here. Select participants may receive a $100 reward.
Student Involvement: There are many rewarding and fun ways to get involved on- and off-campus. Explore all that UW Tacoma has to offer at the Student Involvement Fair on October 7 – 14 (excluding weekends) between 11:30 am and 3:30 pm. With over 65 student organizations, there is bound to be something for you.
Violence Prevention and Response: If you have concerns about your well-being or that of another, UW has resources that can help. Call SafeCampusat 206-685-7233 anytime — no matter where you work or study — to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns. No situation is too big or too small to discuss with the SafeCampus team.
Our mission in Student Affairs is simple: to champion student success. Please, be well and continue to follow best practices to keep yourself and our community safe and healthy.
Be Purple. Be Gold. Be Bold. Go Dawgs! Mentha Hynes-Wilson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
October 1, 2020 - "Student Survey: College and You, During a Pandemic"
Let’s get real. Life is a lot right now. You’re the expert when it comes to what’s happening with your college experience and I need your help supporting the University of Washington Tacoma with information it can use to help.
Share your story in the #RealCollege Survey. We asked the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University to help us do this because we value you. You were chosen simply because you are one of our students. In appreciation, you can win $100 for completing the survey.
How does the testing site work?
Pierce County will bring one of its mobile testing trailers to an outdoor location near UW Tacoma's Pinkerton Building. The test is available via drive-thru or walk-up.
Do people need to make an appointment?
No, the mobile testing operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The County will develop a pre-registration form and appointment times if the UW Tacoma test site becomes more popular.
How do you keep people safe at the testing site?
The County has in place protocols for people to wear masks and stay 6 feet away from others. Staff helping people take the tests wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear. Volunteer staff are on site to monitor and encourage physical distancing. People can get tested without leaving their vehicles.
How much does the test cost?
The test is free.
Do I have to provide identification or insurance information?
You will not be asked to show ID or insurance information. Volunteers ask for a phone number to contact people with the test results, and you will be asked to fill out two forms (see next question).
What else should I do to prepare?
To make the process go faster, please fill out this form in advance so you can be contacted with results, and fill out this form for the lab test. Complete both forms on your device, and print and bring them with you to the testing site. Complete one form for each person being tested in your group. If you can't print and fill them out in advance, the forms will be available at the testing site.
Who should get tested?
Everyone should get tested, as a precautionary measure.
Can unaccompanied minors get a test?
Yes, minors can get a test if they bring a written note from a parent or guardian with permission to test for COVID-19.
What type of test is it?
A nasal swab. It is not painful, just uncomfortable for a moment.
What lab processes the test?
The test will be processed by FidaLab, based in Seattle.
How long will it take for my results to come back?
DispatchHealth, in affiliation with MultiCare, is the medical provider conducting the tests. Typically they will receive test results within 48 hours.
They will contact people with positive results as quick as possible and normally within 24 hours of receiving test results.
People with negative results are normally contacted within 5 to 7 days of receiving test results.
Results can take longer if there is a backlog at the testing laboratory or with contact tracing staff notifying people of their results. We contact people with positive results sooner than those with negative results.
Who delivers the results?
DispatchHealth, the medical provider who conducts the tests, will deliver the results.
If I don’t receive my results after 5-7 days, who do I call?
Call DispatchHealth at (833) 723-0490.
How will you share the test results, and with whom?
Patient privacy is important. Results are shared with the person who takes the test. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department receives any positive results. They only use the information to support case and contact investigation.
If you have any questions, please contact Susan Wagshul-Golden, Director of Campus Safety & Security, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bernard Anderson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, at email@example.com.
August 28, 2020 - "Your Back-to-School Checklist"
First, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. As the University of Washington Tacoma prepares for autumn quarter, I need your assistance and write to announce significant updates and expectations to protect your health and the health of our communities.
The rise of cases this summer made clear how important it is for every one of us to remain personally committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19. It is also clear that college students are just as likely to contract COVID-19; serious illness is a possibility at any age and the long-term effects of this disease are still unknown.
Huskies have shown time and again a great capacity to care for each other in the face of great challenges, and I thank you in advance for your daily response to meet the needs of this moment.
For EVERY Husky, including if you plan to access all services and classes remotely:
Save the information for Dr. Bernard Anderson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, to your personal device and contact him if you receive a positive or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 253-692-4901. If you have questions about your courses, please contact your instructor directly.
If you plan to live with other people off-campus, make time to review UW’s sample roommmates agreement together before the quarter starts so you can develop and reach consensus on guidelines for your shared living situation.
Wherever you are this autumn, please keep practicing good hygiene and remember the 3 W’s: Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Watch your distance.
If you will live in Court-17 campus housing, or will be on campus for ANY reason this autumn, including in-person classes:
Try to quarantine for 14 days before coming to UW Tacoma for the first time by staying home and away from gatherings and from people outside your household. (Right now, avoiding even small gatherings is good advice in general!)
If you can, get a COVID-19 test before leaving your home, within 72 hours of coming to campus. If you test positive, notify Dr. Bernard Anderson at email@example.com.
If you become ill or test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of your planned return to campus, whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, you MUST self-isolate before coming to UW Tacoma. Contact your advisor and instructors to make coursework arrangements.
If you have symptoms: self-isolate until your symptoms improve, your fever is gone for 24 hours without fever reducing medications, AND it’s been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.
If you don’t have symptoms: self-isolate for 10 days after receiving your positive COVID-19 test result.
Plan to get a regular flu vaccine this year. You can get a shot before coming to campus or can get vaccinated through UW Tacoma Student Health Services, and we’ll share more information in the coming weeks.
Hand sanitizer for times when hand-washing isn’t available
A thermometer for daily symptom monitoring
Cleaning supplies and disinfectants for high-touch surfaces inside your living space like door handles, light fixtures and bathrooms
This autumn quarter will be different from any we have experienced, yet many key elements will remain the same. We will welcome new Huskies into the fold and welcome back those of you who are continuing your journeys. We will celebrate achievements and overcome challenges. We will learn, grow and add to the vibrancy and diversity of our world. Whether you are joining us in person or online, I look forward to the unique commitment and contributions every Husky brings to our community — and to what we will accomplish together. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information, and continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.
With hope and warm wishes,
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
May 13, 2020 - "Updated Title IX Regulations"
Dear UW Tacoma Students:
President Cauce recently communicated with the UW community regarding the new Title IX regulations which were released by the U.S. Department of Education on May 6, 2020. The UW (and thousands of others) urged the Department of Education to take a different tack with these rules which govern how educational institutions respond to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct. Despite the fact that the final rules are disappointingly similar to what was originally proposed in 2018, there is nothing in the final regulations that will deter us from our commitment to inclusion, equity, and accountability.
The University of Washington will continue to address all forms of sexual misconduct, we will continue to provide support and resources for all members of our community who experience these harmful behaviors, and we will continue to investigate and adjudicate allegations of misconduct via equitable and fair processes.
The University of Washington has already begun an in-depth review of the new rules, which go into effect August 14, 2020. Ourinitial statement about the new regulations includes links to a Department of Education overview and summary of the rules. We will provide updates on our UW review process and share opportunities to engage in our implementation planning via the “Title IX News” blog on the Title IX website, and through other means. You can also contact the Office of the Title IX Coordinator at email@example.com with questions or comments.
For support resources, including contact information for confidential advocates, SafeCampus, and options for reporting all forms of sexual misconduct, please see the UW’s sexual assault resources page.
Title IX Coordinator
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UW Tacoma
April 16, 2020 - "UW Tacoma Class of 2020 Commencement - Online and On Stage"
This decision was made in consultation with student, faculty and staff leaders on all three campuses and the UW Board of Regents. It was a very difficult decision because we all know how important commencement is as a celebration of the accomplishments of our graduates.
A virtual celebration will not be the same as our traditional event at the Tacoma Dome. But we must protect the health of students, families and our community by not holding an in-person event until the danger from the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. The virtual event will be a live, interactive webcast drawing on the resources of all three UW campuses. It will be the first time all three campuses celebrate commencement together, and it will also be a time for UW Tacoma to celebrate what makes us special.
Graduates of the Class of 2020 are also invited and encouraged to fully participate in an in-person commencement ceremony at UW Tacoma in 2021, where we look forward to recognizing you and the sacrifices you have made. The ceremony will be a well-earned opportunity for you to walk across the stage with your classmates in front of your loved ones.
We are still working to determine whether your in-person commencement will be included as part of the class of 2021's commencement ceremony, or grow into its own separate ceremony if enough of you decide to return for the event, as we hope you will. The postponement to June 2021 gives us ample time to work with you on how you would like this event to take shape.
We want to invite the entire Class of 2020 and their loved ones to take part in BOTH the virtual ceremony this June and their choice of UW Tacoma commencements in 2021, 2022, 2023 or 2024. Whether online or on stage, the Class of 2020 will be celebrated and recognized as the unique and wonderful Class it is.
As we are sure is true for you, we each are personally experiencing countless ways that people around us are rising to the occasion and employing their ingenuity to express themselves and move forward in this challenging time. Although it won’t be in-person, we can guarantee this year’s virtual commencement will be a unique experience, unlike any that has come before. Join us for what promises to be a unique and dynamic celebration of the Class of 2020!
Mark A. Pagano, Chancellor
Mentha Hynes-WIlson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
March 24, 2020 - "How to Stay Home and Stay Healthy During Spring Quarter"
I want you to know that I appreciate your attention to the numerous communications from the University about COVID 19. I understand the worry that this virus and its consequences has created and my top priority remains your health, safety and well-being.
It is natural to feel stress and uncertainty during these times. However, I also want you to know that all of us at the UW are staying abreast of developments and are working tirelessly to ensure that our students are front of mind as we constantly adapt to this evolving situation. One important recent development is the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Inslee last night.
Stay-at-home order: What does it mean?
Essentially, the Governor’s order requires every Washingtonian to stay in their residence unless they need to pursue an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, for health care needs, and for other critical needs. It also bans all gatherings for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes, as well as closes all businesses except essential businesses. However, there are some things you can do:
Grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies remain open.
You can still go to restaurants for take-out only.
Feel free to go outside for activities such as walking or exercise, but it is important to keep at least six feet of distance from other people.
Move from your residence hall and return home to your primary residence.
Additionally, on the UW’s COVID-19 information page, we continue to share important information about community impact, university response, and health tips. The key health prevention measures have remained consistent, and include:
Washing hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.
Taking care of yourself
Now more than ever, it is critical that you take care of yourself so you can stay well and be there for others. Most UW and UW Tacoma offices remain available to you through remote means. Additionally, here is some information from UW Tacoma Counseling and Psychological Services that may prove useful:
Pay attention to your reactions: It is normal to experience stress, anger, anxiety, and fear during a crisis. Being aware of your reactions can help you decide what you need to cope with these feelings.
Be kind to each other: Remember that COVID-19 doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. Being compassionate is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our communities.
Take a break and relax: There is life outside of the current crisis. Make sure to schedule a break and relax or do things you enjoy such as meditation, listening to music, coloring, etc. Different coping strategies work for different people; use what has worked for you in previous times of stress.
Maintain a healthy routine: It is important to maintain your regular schedule for sleeping, eating, studying, working, socializing, etc. Don't use nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs to cope with your stress – these may in fact reduce your body's capacity to heal itself.
Limit information: Too much information leads to overload and more stress, so try to limit your exposure to news and information regarding the virus. Choose a reputable and non-sensational news source such as the CDC or Tacoma-Pierce County Health department.
Connect with others: When in distress, you may feel lonely and isolated in what you are going through. You can benefit from connection with others where you can provide and receive support from each other. Talk to your friends and family.
We have found that when there are fewer people on or near the Tacoma campus, safety becomes of greater concern. To help keep you safe, we ask that you:
Be aware of your surrounding and what is going on around you.
Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
Remove yourself from potentially dangerous situations as soon as possible.
If you suspect criminal activity, here is some helpful information to pass on to the police:
Clothing descriptors: Look for layers under the visible layer, other distinctive identifiers, etc.
Physical characteristics: Height, weight, eye and hair color, mannerisms, scars, or tattoos.
These are distressing times for all of us, and while these conditions will pass in time, the disruption to our day-to-day living will undoubtedly affect each of us at different times and in different ways.
Together we will work through these distressing times with resilience, compassion, and strength and I ask you to observe the Governor’s order: Stay Home and Stay Healthy.
Mentha Hynes-Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
March 4, 2020 - "COVID-19: What You Need to Know"
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) has been challenging for us all. There is an understandable level of concern on our campus, in our country and indeed across the world. I want to assure you that anxiety and feelings of unease are normal when inundated with stories of new infections and people being tested.
It is important to note that our region has increased its capacity to test for COVID-19. This is a very good thing that will help focus treatment and prevention efforts, but it almost undoubtedly means that the number of cases confirmed will increase in the coming days as we have an increased ability to test and identify existing cases.
Staying up to date – UW Novel Coronavirus FAQs
This is an evolving situation, both in Washington and globally, so circumstances could change rapidly – I encourage you to monitor the University’s Novel Coronavirus Information page, which is being updated regularly.
The best strategies for prevention are some commonsense measures from the CDC and Department of Health, including:
Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you’re sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods and managing your stress can help you prevent getting COVID-19 and recover from it if you do.
If you are sick
First, it’s important to emphasize that so far the vast majority of people who have become ill with COVID-19 have experienced relatively mild symptoms, such as fever and cough.
If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, not attending class, communicating with your instructors, and contacting a healthcare provider if you feel you need to. Students at UW Tacoma may contact Franciscan Prompt Care or Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care as one option. Please call ahead before visiting your health care provider so that they can provide you with guidance specific to your symptoms.
University leadership and faculty are working together to ensure that if you miss class due to illness or choosing to self-isolate, accommodations will be made just as they would if you were experiencing any other health issue. No doctor’s note is needed.
Classes, University operations and contingency planning
As we continue to monitor the events associated with COVID-19, we are developing a broader plan to account for a variety of scenarios. For example, in the event of suspended campus operations, UW leadership is working on plans to support instructors in offering their courses online.
These developments are an understandable source of concern for many in our community, and may present an added layer of worry for members of our UW community who have personal connections to affected communities and countries. This is a critically-important time for all of us to reinforce a community of care on our campus and support one another.
Your well-being is our paramount concern, and the University will continue working with public health officials to be as prepared as possible to protect the health of the UW Tacoma community. We are extremely fortunate to live in a region with outstanding medical services and public health infrastructure. We will continue doing everything we can to keep you apprised, and again, please check back regularly on the University’s Novel Coronavirus Information page for updates and information.
Mentha Hynes-Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs