November 2018

The WWU Family Connection newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter sent to all families throughout the year, produced by Western's Office of Communications and Marketing and New Student Services/Family Outreach.

a group of students and family members listen to a tour guide in Red Square

Thank you to all of the families who visited Western for Fall Family Weekend! We hope you had a memorable time with your student. | Photo by Hannah Wong, University Communications and Marketing Intern

Important Dates

Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 8

Law School Info Fair: Wednesday, Nov. 7

Veterans Day Ceremony: Thursday, Nov. 8

PACCAR Career Day @ WWU: Thursday, Nov. 8

First-generation student meet-and-greet: Thursday, Nov. 8

Last day to apply to graduate in fall 2018: Friday, Nov. 9

Last day to sign up to attend Fall Commencement: Friday, Nov. 9

Veterans Day, university closed: Monday, Nov. 12

Registration begins for winter quarter: Tuesday, Nov. 13

Choosing a Major Workshop: Wednesday, Nov. 14

Declaring a Major Drop-In Lab: Thursday, Nov. 15

Thanksgiving Break, no classes, but university is open: Wednesday, Nov. 21

Thanksgiving Break, university closed: Nov. 22-25

WWU Night at Enchant: Saturday, Dec. 1

Fall Quarter Final Exams: Dec. 10 to 14

Winter Break: Dec. 15 - Jan. 7

Add WWU events, dates and deadlines to your own calendar: Western's online calendar offers an "Add to my calendar" feature to download the event information in an .ics file, which works with most standard calendar apps. Open the .ics file and the event will automatically be added to your calendar on your phone or computer desktop.

Fall enrollment by the numbers

graphic showing enrollment trends

Click here to learn more about fall enrollment at WWU.

Academic Advising helps students stay on track for graduation

Academic Advising Center

Old Main 380

November is an important time for students to consider their winter quarter schedules. Phase I registration opens on Nov. 13; registration access time is based on a student’s completed coursework (but does not include the credits students are currently registered for in fall quarter). Students can find out their winter quarter registration access time in Web4U or by looking it up on the Winter Quarter 2019 Registration Schedule.

We recommend students seek out advising each quarter to make sure they are on track in meeting their academic goals. Academic Departments are an important resource for students pursuing their major. The Academic Advising Center is also a resource for schedule planning, advising related to General University Requirements, graduation requirements, exploring and preparing for majors, and more. The AAC offers scheduled appointments and walk-in availability each weekday. Additionally, there are Drop-In Advising Labs scheduled on Nov. 8, 13 and 19 in Miller Hall 16 from 3-5 p.m. We hope to see your student soon!

Is your student staying on campus over break?

a solitary student walks on a snowy street on campus

Western’s academic year includes three major breaks when classes are not in session, but what do students do if they want to stay in the residence halls during these breaks? Click here to learn more about housing and residential dining at WWU during breaks.

Western students include hundreds of veterans and their families

graphic with statistics about Western's veteran community

Veterans Education Fund

Over the past year WWU has raised $21,500 to create an endowed scholarship, the Veterans Education Fund, that would help fill in the gaps for veteran students who have exhausted their funding, who have families to support, or who find themselves in an unexpected financial hardship. The scholarship must have $25,000 committed in order to be endowed, so this goal is very close. Click here to get involved.

Western’s veteran community continues to grow each year. At the start of the fall 2018 quarter there were 442 students, both veterans and their family members, using the Veteran Services Office as a place to connect, use VA educational benefits, or seek academic advising and disability accommodations.

In fall 2016 Western began offering a Veteran Completion Tuition waiver for veteran students who have exhausted their VA educational benefits while pursuing their bachelor’s degree. Thirteen veterans have used the waiver to complete their degrees without paying tuition and fees. This waiver is the first of its kind in Washington and Western has been proud to honor its veterans with it.

Student Outreach Services peer mentors help students find their home at Western

Student Outreach Services peer mentors

Student Outreach Services’ (SOS) Peer Mentors are juniors and seniors who provide help, advice and resources for incoming first-year and transfer students who are first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, or multicultural students. As active student leaders, Student Outreach Services peer mentors share personal experiences to assist and help ease the transition to Western’s campus.

Mentors help students find a place at Western, whether it's in clubs, intramural sports or student government and affairs. Student Outreach Services peer mentors provide a variety of services, including:

  • Outdoor programs such as snowshoeing, rafting and hiking in an inclusive group setting.
  • Weekly individual meetings to discuss integration into WWU.
  • Service and leadership opportunities.
  • Campus and community events free of charge with other mentees.
  • Outings in Bellingham and the surrounding area.

Learn more about the Student Outreach Services peer mentoring program at or contact SOS Peer Mentor Program Coordinator, Patrick Freeland at or 360-650-7443.

Important information about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

At least five WWU students have been diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease in the last two weeks. This is a mild viral illness that typically afflicts young children. It is now being seen more in college populations among non-immune individuals and is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, or sharing utensils and drinks.

The symptoms, which can include fever, body aches, cough, runny nose and lesions in the mouth, on the hands and feet, usually resolve in five to seven days. We recommend students remain as isolated as possible during that time, including not attending class, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Students should keep their hands well washed before and after touching shared contaminated surfaces, avoid touching mucus membranes with unwashed hands, not share drinks, utensils, bongs or pipes, and cover coughs and sneezes.

Students should call the WWU Student Health Center with symptoms of concern: 360-650-3400. Learn more at

Disability Access Center: A new name for an important resource

Disability Access Center graphic

Western's disAbility Resources for Students (DRS) is now the Disability Access Center (DAC). DAC staff worked with students to develop this new name. Here is a look at this evolution:

Disability – Many were passionate that we keep the word “disability” in the name. It doesn’t need to be spelled differently, embellished, or omitted. It’s an important aspect of the fabric of diversity here at Western.

Access – The DAC team partners with the entire Western community to promote access and inclusion. It’s often not the students who need resources to be included, but the community that needs resources to be more inclusive.

Center – The DAC is getting its own permanent space, which will allow for new opportunity in building community and working in small groups. Construction is underway, and the DAC is scheduled to move to the first floor of Wilson Library in spring 2019. Plans include a new accessible entrance, a larger testing center, and more offices.

More information about the Disability Access Center is available on their new website

Be Well at Western: Peer Sexual Health Educators

Peer Sexual Health Educators educate and empower Western students to live sexually healthy lives. This includes a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and relationships, and the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion and violence.

Peer Sexual Health Educators from WWU Video on Vimeo.

Students can help keep Bellingham clean

litter strewn about an alleyway, with tipped garbage cans and recycling bins

Bellingham is a beautiful place to live and your student can help keep it that way. But there may be a thing or two they don't know about recycling in Bellingham.

As the weather cools off and the winds pick up, “accidental littering” becomes an issue if garbage and recycling receptacles are not covered and secured properly. The Bellingham Municipal Code states that garbage containers shall be located off of any public street, alley, sidewalk, or other public place except around the time of collection. This means that garbage cans and recycling bins cannot be left out on the street except on the day of collection. If receptacles are up beside the residence and not out on the street or sidewalk every day, there is less likelihood of litter being blown or strewn about by animals and birds to end up on our streets, our parks and our natural areas.

Bellingham’s recycling and compost system may also be different than the one in your town. Residents here are responsible for sorting their recycling (newspaper, paper and plastics/glass), compost and trash and ensuring that items in the unlidded recycling bins are secure. For a handy printout of how to sort your recycling and compost check out the garbage and recycling page on the Off Campus Living Website:

There's still time to get a WWU Family Wall Calendar

WWU Wall Calendar cover

The WWU 2018-19 Family Wall Calendar includes lots of WWU information and dates -- along with gorgeous photos of campus. The calendar goes through July 2019. If you'd like one, email us and we'll send you one at no charge.

How do I address mail to my student on campus?

Sending a package to your student in University Residences? Here's the address format you'll need for all on-campus mail:

Student's Name
Hall Hame, Room Number
516 High St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Click here to learn more about on-campus mail to residence halls.

WWU news from Western Today

Western Today is WWU's daily news source. Visit at or click here to have it delivered to your in-box.

Western Today banner

WWU’s Leo Bodensteiner Working to Solve the Puzzle of the Skagit River Steelhead

Trans Lives Will Not Be Erased: A message from the LGBTQ+ Director

WWU Industrial Design Students to Showcase Products at ‘ReMade: Culinary’ Event Through Nov. 16

Scholar's Corner: Megan Russell

Student-led effort to bring composting to the residence halls starts in November

Tips for transportation safety as daylight savings time ends

MIT Profiles in Precision Medicine: Jeff Carroll | MIT Technology Review