This message was sent on March 13.

Dear Wake West Students and Families,

We know you’ve been anxiously awaiting updates regarding Wake West. We are heartbroken about the decision that is outlined below, but are confident that this is in the best interest of our students, their families, and any others with whom they may interact.

After careful evaluation and with the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students as our foremost priority, the University has made the difficult decision to suspend the Spring 2020 Wake West program (classes, internships and activities) for the foreseeable future, and to resume classes remotely on March 23, in concurrence with the campus class plan. Any students currently in the WFU-provided housing for Spring Break are required to vacate their apartments by March 18 at 5:00 pm. Students may be able to continue their internships, remotely or in person, but this will be independent of the Wake West program and will be at the discretion of the internship provider.

This decision has been informed by the following recent developments:

  • Wake Forest’s decision to suspend all in-person classes and limit campus operations, until further notice. See letter from President Hatch.
  • The World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the 2019 novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
  • Rapidly developing measures by world governments to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus.
  • The University’s decision this week to suspend immediately all Spring 2020 WFU-sponsored semester Study Abroad programs (classes and activities), and to complete the remainder of the term remotely.
  • Conversations with internship providers which indicate that many offices anticipate closing for an indefinite period of time, and not all employers have remote working options for interns for a variety of reasons.
  • An expectation that much of the city will experience shutdowns, including offices, local schools, venues, and museums, and possibly some public transportation. Many of these closings have already begun.

Wake West Housing
Wake West housing will close March 18 at 5:00 pm to all students. If students are in the apartments now, we encourage them to make plans as soon as possible to vacate the apartments. If students plan to move out permanently this week, they will need to work with Cynthia to fulfill the proper move-out procedures. Students may also choose to leave their non-essential belongings until another date, but no later than the previously scheduled move-out date of May 6.

While we do not encourage travel to the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) at this time, students who are not currently in SFBA may request to retrieve their belongings and move out of the apartments at any point, by working with Cynthia to fulfill the proper move-out procedures. Students should NOT return to SFBA now if coming from abroad or an infected area of the US as per CDC travel advisory. If students have left essential items in their apartment needed for class, Wake West staff can pack those items up and ship them to students until they are ready to fully move out.

Final move-out for all students in the WFU-provided housing will be the previously scheduled deadline of May 6 at 5:00 pm.

For students who are living in their own housing, we encourage you to follow the best practices outlined by the CDC and the City of San Francisco, and to make decisions about your living arrangements in conversation with your parents or guardians.

Wake West Classes
All classes and conversations will resume remotely the week of March 23. The class time for ENT 201 will likely change, but is not yet determined. Andy Chan will contact students once the new time is established. COM 250 will continue to be held at 12 pm EDT and 9 am PDT on Fridays. All students are expected/required to participate in classes remotely, regardless of if they choose to stay in SFBA or go home.

Dr. Rebecca Gill and Vice President Andy Chan will have remote office hours and be available to all students regardless of location.

Wake West Internships
All Wake West internships will be canceled effectively immediately; however, students have the option of continuing in their internship independently, at the discretion and approval of their supervisor.

Rebecca will alert all internship providers of this decision, and will encourage them to extend the internship remotely or in-person, as appropriate, if the student desires to continue. Students should not communicate with their internship providers until Rebecca has communicated with them and sent a message to students that this has been done.

The 6 credits and grade for the internship-related work will be determined by the internship work done to this point, the weekly journals to date, the Friday activities to date, any future remote Friday activities we are able to schedule, and the research paper draft and final paper. Rebecca will be in touch with further information.

Andy and Rebecca will be available to all Wake West students for the remainder of the semester and beyond, for remote or in-person consultations on the current internships, future internships, jobs, career advice, alumni connections, etc.

Friday Activities
All Friday in-person tours and visits have been suspended. However, we will work with speakers already planned for Fridays, as appropriate, to offer talks and conversations remotely.

Student Decisions
We ask that you let us know your travel and housing situation as soon as possible, including the essentials you need shipped to you. You can let us know your plans here.

We understand this situation is causing considerable anxiety and is challenging everyone to work collectively to respond to these unforeseen circumstances. Visit the WFU COVID-19 website for additional information on WFU’s response.

Please do not hesitate to contact either one of us with any questions. We are both available as needed, and our contact information is below.

Rebecca Gill
gillre@wfu.edu336.757.6968 (cell)

Andy Chan
achan@wfu.edu650.208.7763 (cell)