Whitman Updates

Review our full list of building hours and access restrictions.

Whitman College will move all courses online after spring break and employees are encouraged to work from home when possible. The campus is closed to the public, and access to all buildings is limited to authorized employees. See more information about building access. Family members, including children, are not permitted in campus buildings.

Cleveland Commons and Bon Appetit will continue to provide food service for our students who must stay on campus. We will ensure that students remaining on campus have food to eat. 

During the state of Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, Bon Appetit will provide boxed meal pickup only at Cleveland Commons. Lunch will be available from 11:55 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and dinner from 4:55 to 6:15 p.m. Please enter through the west entrance (by Anderson Hall), and exit by the east entrance (by Otis Street). 

Everyone is allowed to exercise outside with proper social distancing. That means running, biking or hiking, for example, by yourself or with another person as long as you can keep a six-foot distance. Group sports and activities are not allowed, and Whitman's athletic facilities, including the outdoor tennis courts, are closed. Both public and private gatherings of any size are not allowed.

All athletic and fitness facilities are closed, including Baker Ferguson Fitness Center, Harvey Pool, the Sherwood Athletic Center, the Climbing Center, Bratton Tennis Complex, and Borleske Stadium and fields. The employee Movement that Matters programs are also canceled.

Students with need-based aid who find that they are running out of flex dollar points toward the end of the semester — due to the additional spring break meals on campus — can work with the Dean of Students Office for assistance.

At this time, we can’t predict how coronavirus may impact fall study abroad programs. Students who are planning on studying abroad in Fall 2020 are being asked to also register for on-campus classes. If you are planning on studying abroad in Fall 2020, please read this message for more information. Some Spring 2020 study abroad programs in China, South Korea and Italy have been suspended due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Please direct all questions regarding study abroad programs to Off-Campus Studies at offcampusstudies@whitman.edu or 509-527-4992.

Yes. All events on campus are canceled until further noticed. Access to Whitman facilities is limited to students, faculty and staff. Whitman-sponsored community-based volunteer programs, internships and other programs in the region are suspended until further notice.

Nonessential travel is highly discouraged, and travel to many countries is currently banned. This is a quickly evolving situation, and additional travel limitations are likely. Check the CDC’s travel website for more information.

The spring athletic season has been suspended at this time. All college-sponsored travel is suspended.


Whitman College strongly recommends that students return home if possible. Students who do not have a safe place away from campus are allowed to stay. However, those who plan to stay in Walla Walla should not travel, even regionally, for the remainder of the semester

If you live off campus you should consider if you are prepared to stay in your rental for several weeks with very limited opportunity to get supplies and have outside interaction. The CDC encourages shopping as normal to avoid shortages caused by hoarding, however, you should still have enough supplies on hand for you to be comfortable should movement be restricted. It is important to understand that the college will not be able to provide supplies to you if you are not prepared. North Hall will not be available for off-campus students who need to self-isolate.

If you have a safe place to go away from campus for the remainder of the semester, you are encouraged to not return to Walla Walla. If you do not have a safe place to be, you are permitted to return to campus.

If you have already left, please do not return to get your things unless absolutely necessary, and only after discussing your situation with Residence Life and Housing. The college will help box up and store your belongings until it is safe to return. Please contact your RD to make arrangements. 

The college asked students to leave the college just before spring break due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Below is an outline of the process the college will use to issue refunds or credits to students who didn’t receive the full value of room and board charges because they left campus during the spring 2020 semester as a result of the pandemic.

  • The college will calculate a pro-rated amount of unused meal plan charges for each student based on their particular meal plan. The pro-rated unused amount will be based on the period March 30, 2020, the day classes resumed after spring break, through the last day of classes in the academic year.
  • The college will calculate a pro-rated amount of housing charges based on the last day a student occupied the residence halls. The pro-rated unused amount will be based on the period March 30, 2020, the day classes resumed after spring break, through the last day of classes in the academic year.
  • For those students living in college rental houses, the college will treat payments in full through the month of March 2020 as completing the student’s obligation under the rental agreement.  For those students leaving campus, rent for the months of April and May of 2020 will not be charged.
  • All such calculated amounts will be adjusted for the share of need-based aid applied to those charges outlined above. Student receiving full need would not be eligible for credits or refunds.
  • The total of any such adjusted, calculated amounts will be applied first to any outstanding balances a student may owe the college at the end of the semester, such as charges to their regular account, for a payment plan or for rental housing. This could potentially consume the entire calculated amount for some students.
  • At the end of the semester any remaining calculated amount will either be refunded to graduating seniors and students withdrawn from the college or credited to the respective student’s account to be applied to the coming fall semester.

If a student or their parents have questions or comments, please contact either the Office of Student Accounts at stuacct@whitman.edu, or the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@whitman.edu.

Yes. All you need to do is fill out the post-spring break travel form and your mail will be forwarded to the address provided.

On March 23, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. This means staying at home or in your residence hall unless you need to leave for something essential, such as to access healthcare services or supplies, get food or household products, or perform essential functions for businesses.

You may leave your hall to get food, pick up necessary supplies or to go to the doctor/pharmacy. You may also leave to enjoy the outdoors, provided you follow proper social distancing guidelines.

No. During the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, you may not visit other people’s residence halls or rooms. Do not congregate in groups in public areas. Practice social distancing in all aspects of your life.

Yes. Campus Security will do the same, and has the authority to inquire about and restrict your movements, as do local law enforcement agencies.

Students who do not comply with the order will be subject to sanctions under the student code of conduct. Campus security has the authority to enforce the order.


Answers to your questions about accessing online learning are available on the Online Learning Resources for Students website.

Since academic buildings are closed affecting access to printers, the Whitman College Print Shop will be fulfilling your printing needs.

If you need something printed Monday through Friday, fill out this form before noon and choose a pickup time between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. that same day. If your print request is received after noon, your order will be available on the following business day. Printing will not be available on the weekends.

Pickup will happen at Boyer House (34 Boyer Ave., next to the GAC, and across from the Walla Walla Sub Shop). Please enter through the front doors, pick up your printing and exit immediately. We also ask that you keep social distancing protocols in mind.

Student employees who can complete their jobs remotely may continue to work. Please check in with your supervisor. We are working on creative ways to come up with new student work opportunities. If you are eligible for work-study and cannot continue your existing position, please contact Financial Aid.

Courses will be online for the remainder of the semester, but we are committed to working with every senior to make sure they can graduate on time.

We will not hold an in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. The college is in the process of deciding how to celebrate our graduating seniors in a way that is safe and honors your accomplishments. We will be asking for ideas in the coming weeks. Watch the Commencement website for more information.

If you do not have access to a desktop, laptop or tablet with a camera and/or high-speed internet access, please contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance. Students who are still on campus and don’t have reliable internet at home may consider staying on campus for the semester, but should be aware that services will be extremely limited and movement could be restricted.

Because faculty will be working remotely, there will be no in-person instruction. All meetings with students will happen online, including one-on-one meetings, small group meetings or any other configuration of faculty-student interaction.


Our current understanding is that faculty who need to be on campus to facilitate online learning are allowed to do so.

Yes. Under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, all non-essential employees must be working remotely. If you are unable to work remotely, please reach out to your supervisor for further instruction. If you have questions about whether your duties are considered essential functions, please talk with your supervisor.

We also ask that each of you work with your supervisor to complete the telework agreement that you received in BambooHR.

Staff who need remote access to Colleague or Millennium should contact Mike Osterman at 509-527-5419 to ensure computers are set up for this access.

Because Whitman is a residential college, many employees must work on campus or remotely to provide services that are essential to residential life, campus health and safety, critical research, the protection of physical and intellectual assets, or the continuity or resumption of academic programs and operations. Cabinet officers (and designated department heads or supervisors) are responsible for determining which positions are necessary for essential services. Those who will continue to work on campus – because their jobs require it (and they are well) – may receive special training on safe practices or be advised to maintain social distancing such as a physical distance from others of at least 6 feet. If they have an underlying health condition or concern complicated by exposure to coronavirus, they may request a change in job duties, location, or hours by contacting Human Resources.


Health Questions

The Welty Student Health Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for appointments. It is not accepting walk-in visits.  The medical provider will be on-site from 9-10 a.m. daily. During this time, the Health Center will not be open for overnight stays.

If you are sick or injured and it is not an emergency, call the Health Center at 509-527-5281 for a nurse consult. The nurse will make an appointment or advise you of appropriate next steps.

The outside doors will be locked, swipe card access only. A staff member will greet you in the entry way to check your temperature before access through interior doors.

Acute respiratory illness such as complicated cold, cough with fever or difficulty breathing will be referred to a higher level of care. These include: Walla Walla Clinic Walk-in clinic (509-525-3720) Providence Urgent Care (509-897-3000) or Providence St. Mary Emergency Department (509-897-2500).

The most common symptoms in individuals with COVID-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

The good news is that even though you feel sick, you probably don’t have coronavirus (COVID-19). If symptoms are mild, self-isolate (stay home) in order to prevent further spread of the illness. If you or anyone you know develop respiratory problems, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, vomiting or the inability to keep fluid down, please call the Health Center for additional guidance at 509-527-5295. If you are in immediate medical distress call 911.  

You can also call the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health Informational Hotline with questions at 509-524-2647.

Regardless of how you feel, CDC and Washington State Department of Health guidelines indicate you should stay home for 14 days, monitor your health for symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath), and practice social distancing by staying out of all public places and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others whenever possible.

The Health Center cannot test for COVID-19. If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, contact the Health Center at 509-527-5295 for advice on testing.

If you have a fever, most of us benefit from fever reducers like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Decongestants may also help with runny noses and cough syrup with expectorant may help with mucus.

If you are self-isolating or quarantining, yes, food can be delivered. Contact your RD or RA for assistance.

Viruses are tricky as they stick to nearly everything. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Use sanitary wipes to clean surfaces like door knobs, table tops, keyboards and cell phones. Don’t share food or beverages and use only noncontact methods of greeting. Take good care of yourself and your immune system by eating healthy foods, minimizing sugar intake, getting regular sleep and physical activity, and drinking plenty of water.

You should monitor your health for symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) and continue to practice a high level of social distancing. This includes staying out of public places and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others whenever possible.

It is normal to feel stressed about the unknowns we’re facing. Know that Whitman College is doing everything it can to keep our community protected. The entire campus support system is here for you, including your Residence Life staff, academic advisors, faculty and staff. If you need additional assistance, the Counseling Center staff will be available on an on-call basis for students who need assistance. Call 509-527-5195 for assistance. The CDC has also put together resources to help people cope with stress and take care of their mental health.

Due to the campus closure for COVID-19, the Counseling Center staff is unable to provide in-person services to students. However, we want to continue to provide our students with support, especially those who were already working with one of our counselors. Counselors will be able to meet with students via teletherapy, through a HIPPA-compliant interactive video/audio service. Due to state law, only students physically located in Washington state can receive teletherapy. It is not suitable for all students. Talk with your counselor or call 509-527-5195 to see if teletherapy is appropriate for you. Students who are not located in Washington can receive a referral to a therapist in their area.

A counselor is on-call at all hours to assistant students who are facing a mental health emergency. Call 509-527-5195 to be connected.

During the campus closure, all group therapy sessions are suspended.