You’ve been looking forward to your first semester of college–and hoping it will live up to all your expectations. You’ve anticipated the excitement of living in the residence halls, eating in the dining hall, making new friends at all the Welcome Week activitiesand attending your first class.

Then suddenly a pandemic made everything about going off to college feel less certain. Now, you may be thinking: 

  • Why should I come to campus if my classes will be online? 
  • What does Winona have to offer this semester?  

At one point, I weighed my own options: remaining at home or returning to campus. As much as I love Winona, the thought of leaving the comfort of home again scared me a little. But the more I thought about it and the more I learned about the status of each of my classes, the better I felt.

I realized that I’d take the same precautions if I were to return just the same as if I were at home. Ultimately, I made the decision to return to WSU for the Fall semester. Here are the reasons students should come to campus in Winona this fall.

 

Photo by Kelsa Myszewski ’21

 

1. WSU’s still here for you, and there’s still going to be people around and things to do 

Don’t abandon your fun plans. There’s still plenty of things to do and people around. Looking to stay active? We’re planning to have the IWC Strength and Fitness Center open, as well as intramural sports and fitness classes.  

Ready to get involved in campus activities and club organizations? Programs like Kryzsko After Dark, and Grocery Bingo will be offered at a physical distance or using technology. There’s no need to worry about things to do because we will be hosting Greek Fraternity and Sorority Recruitment, the Warriors LEAD Series, stage shows, and more! Excited to explore Winona? Winona Parks and Recreation trails and parks are fully open. You probably saw the bluffs on your way over–and if that’s the case, the view of the fall colors is something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Winona State wouldn’t be the same without the excitement of: 

  • Attending Welcome Week activities
  • Studying in a hammock or tossing a frisbee on campus 
  • Taking a stroll around the lake with your friends and much more! 

The WSU you and I visited and loved is still there. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll still have a full semester when you arrive on campus with the improvements being made for your health and safety. I’ve come to know WSU as a second home, and I can’t wait for you to see the same!   

 

Photo by Kelsa Myszewski ’21

 

2. You can take face-to-face classes

While about half of classes are online, nearly a quarter of classes are being taught as hybrid with some face-to-face sessions. And about 18% of classes are fully in-person. All classrooms for face to face instruction will be set up to provide adequate physical distancing. Students and faculty will be required to wear masks when indoors. So, you’ll still be in a traditional classroom, just with some extra safety precautions. And if you are taking online classes, coming to campus means that you can use WSU’s internet network, so you don’t have to worry about sketchy Wi-Fi connections or sharing limited bandwidth with your family.

 

WSU campus open during a pandemic

Photo by Kelsa Myszewski ’21

 

3. You’ve got full support services to help you succeed  

Students like you should know that WSU is also taking all your concerns seriously. If you’re hesitant about how WSU is addressing the most recent COVID measures, everyone is working together to give you that peace of mind.

No matter where you spend the next four years, you better be 100% confident that you’re getting that tuition money’s worth. For instance, here’s what Winona State’s Health Services and Counseling Services are doing to give students with the most accessible and affordable health care while closely following the most accurate CDC Guidelines:

  • Extra Precaution for In-Person Appointments: Staff are taking extra precautions for in-person appointments by wearing masks, sanitizing surfaces frequently and providing hand washing sanitation stations. 
  • Tele-Health Appointments: Both Health Services and Counseling Services offer students the option for tele-health appointments, so you can get better in the comfort of your residence hall. 
  • Ask-A-Nurse Message Line: The Ask-A Nurse message line makes it easy for students to have their questions answered by a nurse over the phone. This way, you save a visit to the clinic.

Other resource centers like the Warrior Success Center are doing their part to provide free services for your success:  

  • TutoringFind the right tutor for your subject and level through TutorTrac. For students wanting help on papers and reports, WSU’s English Writing Center is also included. 
  • Access Services: Students with documented disabilities can receive academic accommodations like extended time on exams, alternative textbook formats, or low distraction testing environments.  
  • Career: Schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss your career path, as well as search jobs and write your resume and cover letter. 

Here’s what more student resources like Tech Support are doing to make sure you’re covered with the best working technology:  

  • Walk-in Support: Need help with an issue on your computer? Make a walk-in appointment.   
  • Zoom Room Support: Talk to our technicians in one of three Zoom rooms (Digital Learning Commons, Tech Support, Teaching Learning Technology) without leaving home. 
  • Online Resources: Troubleshoot issues 24/7 by browsing AskTech or the WSU Technology Knowledge Base 

Finally, something that makes college so exciting is meeting people from different backgrounds. And WSU is no exception. We are committed to building an equitable and inclusive community that celebrates diversity among all Warriors. Our Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence provides even more support for students through the KEAP Diversity Resource Center, various outreach programs, and academic advising to foster success.

 

You may have missed a lot of “lasts” in the spring, but there’s no reason to miss out on your “firsts” of college. And as you get ready to come to WSU, you’re already on your way toward some of the best moments.

College is too good to miss out, even for a single semester. So, kick off your college career and meet what’s possible at WSU this fall!  

 

– Updated by Hailey Seipel 08.03.2020

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Kiva Grote-Hirsch

Kiva is a Communication Studies: Organizational Communications Major and a Mass Communications: Creative Digital Media and Global Studies Minor who will graduate in 2022. Kiva is from Madison, WI and enjoys writing, reading, photography, and playing soccer.

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