Topic: WWU (43)

Nearly 2,000 WWU Students To Return To Campus

Byy On

“Because almost all of Western’s classes will be conducted remotely this fall, we expect about 1,800 students on campus in Bellingham during the day, and about 1,300 students living on campus in residence halls. This compares to approximately 15,000 students attending classes on campus in Bellingham, and 4,000 living on campus, before the pandemic.”

These figures are from WWU President Sabah Randhawa in an email (see below) regarding the university’s plans for reopening on September 23rd. I equested from the Director of University Communications the exact number of students who will be enrolled since the figure of 1,800 per day on campus may not be indicative of the total number of students returning. The simple fact is that the university has no idea who might be living off-campus while taking on-line courses. A thousand or more students may move back to Bellingham just to get away from their families after 6 months.

In my last article on the opening of WWU, I expressed my concern with the lack of information from the administration on the health aspects of the partial reopening of campus. Although my preference would be that the campus be closed completely for this academic year, the methods described in Dr. Randhawa’s email to the students allayed some of my fears. That being said, stories of disastrous campus openings are growing as the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have had to backpedal when reality thwarted their plans after students returned to campus. Late night partying appears to play a large role in outbreaks among students in many states. (“College towns growing alarmed over outbreaks among students” - AP, 28 Aug 2020)

This is what Gregg Gonsalves, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Yale University, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education (read the full article below) about states like Washington with “relatively low prevalence.”

“But even in states with low COVID-19 prevalence, the situation can change quickly, particularly as students with parents in tow descend in the millions from across the country onto campuses in the coming days and weeks, reshuffling the local and regional epidemiological realities. As the summer ends and many of us in colder climates move indoors, risk is going to change as well. Thus, making plans for reopening that are based on the nature of the epidemic in July may be outdated in their optimism in October. In the context of a deadly pandemic you hope for the best but plan for the worst, not the other way around. Many colleges and universities have already moved completely online for at least the fall, even in states with relatively low prevalence. Others are taking a gamble that they can do some of the semester in person with some of their students. It’s a wager I hope they win.”

WWU has plans for an organized testing regime as the students return and as classes continue throughout the fall session. The university has reserved 160 rooms for quarantine purposes for students who test positive, but for those living off-campus the “solution” is self-isolation at their residence. Students must arrive on campus with negative COVID-19 test results taken 5-7 days prior to arriving on campus. Even then, students will be tested upon arrival before they are allowed in the dormitories and at least every two weeks thereafter. A daily health report must be submitted by all workers and students prior to attending classes or beginning the work day. Additionally, “students, employees and campus visitors must wear cloth face coverings when inside any campus building or university vehicle. An exception to this rule is when an individual is in an office or a vehicle by themselves. When outdoors on campus, cloth face coverings should be worn as well, and must be worn any time safe social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.”

I urge everyone to read the more detailed email from WWU President Randhawa (see below) for additional information. You can address your concerns to President Randhawa through the Director of University Communications, Paul Cocke, at

Attached Files

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

David A. Swanson

Aug 29, 2020

The first day of instruction at WSU was Monday, August 24th. WIth very few exceptions, all undergraduate courses are online, to include the courses offererd by its branch campuses (Everett, Tri-Cities, Spokanre, and Vancouver). Keep an eye on Whitman and Whatcom counties once WWU opens and see how they compare in terms of covid-19 cases.

Information on WSU’s approach can befound here:




Dick Conoboy

Aug 29, 2020


Thanks for the additional information.  My eyes will be glued on Whitman and Whatcom.  Alea jacta est


Scott Wicklund

Aug 29, 2020

Getting the students into WWU housing this fall is a feature not a bug.  Not sure about WWU, but many schools do not have refund or checkout policies.  Those bunks are reserved for the school year, come hell or high water.  Important revenue stream.


Dick Conoboy

Aug 29, 2020


But all students are expected to go home at the Thanksgiving break and not return (with the exception of some foreign students who have no place to go, I imagine).


David A. Swanson

Aug 30, 2020

Hi Dick,

Like her hero, the Draft-dodger in the White House known as Mr. Bonespurs, Hilary Cole is too cowardly to respond to you or me here but instead puts her comments about your NW CItizen work and mine   in the Whatcom Hawk Facebook, a venue in which  which neither of us comments. Thanks for letting me know about her post, which I have copied and pasted below:

” I know David Swanson and his precious Johns Hopkins’-in-bed-with-Big-Pharma’s-$$$Covid vaccine fear porn figures in the nw citizen, will throw a fit now. He is a tool, and doesn’t realize he is helping to usher in a China style, complete surveillance control police state.”

She does not need to look acros the Pacific Ocean to find a police state. Trump is building one here and like the familiar call we would hear from the “repo depot” at a new Army Post, there will be lots of people singing in chorus, “You’ll be sorry” when he remains in office beyond JAnuary

Be sure to let me know how that works out for you, Hilary. You can post it in the NW Citizen if you summon up the courage to do so before it is shut down by Donny Do and the Donts. I  look forward to reading it from a non-police state. Lycka till/Onnea, 




David A. Swanson

Aug 31, 2020

As an added incentive for Ms. Cole to directly engage, this might get her attention. Below is a piece similar to one of the Lincoln Project’s recent ads ( written by Eric Tyberg and me  a month ago that failed to find a home because it was, I guess, too controversial

“—————It appears that the fickle finger of fate has come full circle on Trump now that “Red States” have taken the lead in the total number of COVID-19 cases.

According to current news stories, Jared Kushner came up with a plan in the early stages of the pandemic for national testing and tracking that the White House scrapped because, at that point, “Blue States” were being hit hard by the virus and “Red States” weren’t.

No need for a national plan if it was the “Blue States” that were being hammered by the virus - how clever is Mr. Win at Everything.

If these stories are accurate, Trump‘s clumsy effort to “weaponize” the pandemic for political gain, by constructing a “Blue States IED” (improvised explosive device), blew up in his face. His plan failed when the virus turned out to be national in its reach, and exploded into “Red States” with the awesome force of a pandemic’s version of the Russian Doomsday Machine in the movie, Dr. Strangelove.

Ah, גוֹרָל.”

As a friend observed when we were discussing this issue yesterday: “It reminds me of the advice that we received in boot camp: Always make sure your weapon is pointing away from you when you are loading it. Oh, that’s right, The draft-dodger in the White House known as Mr. Bone Spurs never went to boot camp.”.......”








Scott Wicklund

Aug 31, 2020

Someone said:  ‘You are the herd.  They are not.  It’s time to cull the herd!”  On the other hand, JB now runs on his heart, and not what he did from January 2009 to December 2016.  We could have had Medicare for All when those fighting D’s had WH with majorities in both House and Senate.  The grifters are bipartisan.


Dick Conoboy

Sep 08, 2020

This bodes well for the return of student to WWU later this month.  From the Bellingham Herald, 8 Sep 2020.

People ages 20 to 39 accounted for about 43% of new COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County in the last two weeks, according to age data from Washington State Department of Health. The agency recorded 29 new COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5. Of that total, people ages 20 to 39 accounted for 13 confirmed cases and people ages 0 to 19 accounted for six.”




hilary cole

Sep 10, 2020

Yes, David and Dick, I think you are both fear-mongers.  I really have nothing to say to you if you haven’t got it by now that we are in the midst of a global draconian, psychopathic, evil social exercise that has little to do with a Virus.  Since I do not have the time, and this just ran across my timeline, which expresses my views exactly, I will leave it here.  It taks about the UK, but applies to the US as well.



hilary cole

Sep 10, 2020

For you, Dick. I know the writer is conservative, but the info is still pertinent:


Dick Conoboy

Sep 10, 2020


The Off-Guardian site is well known for its dis-information and mis-information mixed with a few verifiable facts to produce a false narrative.  Here is an excerpt from a critique of Off-Guardian.  You can read the entire critique here.  I would stick with the real Guardian.

“The site itself routinely publishes false information. Forexample, a July 2020 article, titled “‘No one has diedfrom the coronavirus’,” cited a Bulgarian doctor claiming  

that no deaths had been conclusively attributed to theCOVID-19 virus and that no antibodies specific to thevirus had been found.Both claims are false. Governments around the worldhave collectively attributed hundreds of thousands ofdeaths to COVID-19, and numerous studies haveidentified antibodies associated with the virus. “Severalpublished studies report the discovery of antibodies thatbind specifically to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent ofCOVID-19, as well as antibodies against SARS-CoV-2in people who had been previously infected,” fact-checking site Health Feedback reported in July 2020.Asked about this article, site editor Black toldNewsGuard in an email that “We were not made awareof this ‘fact check’ until recently. Since the article wasnot written by an OffG editor we have invited and areawaiting a reply from the authors who have expressedtheir wish to respond to the alleged ‘fact check’. Plus, asthe article is citing the opinion of a third party — thedistinguished Bulgarian doctor — we can’t ‘correct’ hisopinion for him.”A June 2020 article, “COVID19 PCR Tests areScientifically Meaningless,” reported that polymerasechain reaction (PCR) tests, which test for the presenceof the new coronavirus by amplifying segments of thevirus’ DNA, “are meaningless as a diagnostic tool todetermine an alleged infection.” However, the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states in afact sheet concerning the PCR test that “If you have apositive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19,” fact-checking site PolitiFact noted.Asked about this article, Black said that “You don’trefute a claim of fact by simply citing the CDC sayingthe opposite. That’s just differing opinions. Theinaccuracy of the PCR test is widely acknowledged.”The site has also repeatedly published claims thatvaccines are dangerous. A July 2020 article, titled“WATCH: Just A Little Prick Part 1,” consisted of a longvideo monologue delivered by author and former doctorVernon Coleman. In the video, Coleman suggested thatBill Gates is pushing vaccination as a way todepopulate and control the world.Similarly, an August 2019 article, titled “Can theProgressive / ‘Conspiracy’ Divide be Bridged?,” statedthat “In the case of vaccines, there is actually noscientific consensus that they are safe — only a state-media consensus, emanating from groups like theCDC, which act as sales agents for Big Pharma.”Vaccines are generally safe and effective, according tomultiple studies. The British National Health Servicestates on its website that vaccinations “prevent up to 3million deaths worldwide every year,” have eradicatedor almost eradicated smallpox, polio and tetanus, andhave reduced the prevalence of diseases includingmeasles and diphtheria “by up to 99.9% since theirvaccines were introduced.” The U.S. CDC states on itswebsite that “serious adverse events from vaccines arerare.”Asked about these articles, Black stated that “We havenever claimed editorially that all vaccines aredangerous. We are absolutely not anti-vaccination perse. We share varieties of informed opinions, not all ofwhich reflect our own views, and we will often shareopposing opinions on controversial topics.”Black also took issue with the notion that a scientificconsensus favours the efficacy of vaccines, stating that“‘Scientific consensus’ is not a fact, it’s a collectiveopinion. And it may be proved wrong in time as it has inthe past. There are always other equally informedopinions that say different. Are you implying we mustcensor certain informed fact-based opinions in order toget your approval?”


Dick Conoboy

Sep 10, 2020


Same for Global Research and Daniel Horowitz who thinks that college restarts are not dangerous.  That site is similar to Off-Guardian.  I would not waste my time going there.  Here is what NewsGuard has to say.

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