Editorial: A pandemic is still happening … what’s the fall-out?

By Drew Lawson, Sports Editor

EWU students will have to continue to get used to an online learning format if they aren’t already. The university announced yesterday that fall quarter will be a virtual-first format, as The Easterner first reported. 

Students learned this news via a campus-wide email that contained details including the fact that some classes that have to be in-person, such as labs, will do so. The other outlet was a livestream from President Mary Cullinan, Provost David May and several relevant campus experts that began at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

After a welcome message from Cullinan and notes on the importance of health and safety from campus experts, May announced the fall quarter news around 9:15. It is taking every ounce of my journalistic strength to not make a joke about burying the lede here. (If you know, you know.)

EWU is following an alternate route from fellow regional universities such as Washington State, Whitworth and Gonzaga, all of which plan to be face-to-face in the fall. 

The fallout (no pun intended) of this decision has yet to be seen, but rest assured, this decision will have consequences university-wide. Whether those will be positive or negative remains to be unseen, but the various aspects affected are countless. University budgets, enrollment rates, tuition income, athletics and who-knows-what-else will certainly be different than “normal.”

As more information becomes available about the potential impact of this massive decision, where can you go to stay informed? Well, why not check out your favorite student news organization, The Easterner. Here’s what we brought to the table last week. 

News editor Randle Kinswa and I contributed to the above report about EWU’s fall quarter decision. Co-managing editor/multimedia director Malati Powell and social media editor Isaiah Gessner were also vital in making sure that information was published to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Kinswa also has a report about the results of the ASEWU general elections and the putrid voter turnout of those races. 

I wrote a three-part series about how EWU athletics are handling the completely-virtual recruiting trail. I included features of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. Be on the lookout for top-notch pictures from photographer Mckenzie Ford in those articles. 

Now that Washington has entered Phase 1 of its re-opening process and many state parks are back open, copy editor Lauren Reichenbach shared some top spots to hike in the general vicinity of Cheney.

Arts and features reporter Karlee Van De Venter hit up the positivity beat with a story about the EWU Confessions Guy partnering with The Basement to promote support of local businesses amidst the pandemic. 

News reporter Star Dragon delved into relationships this week and the struggles that the pandemic might be causing in that arena. If you recently went through a breakup, please don’t be afraid to read this article. Blame whoever you want, but this story isn’t the reason you got dumped.

The Career Center is still offering virtual meetings through Zoom, email or phone. Reporter Aaron Hutchinson has a feature on what they can bring you this quarter, including help with your resume and/or cover letters. 

Having trouble staying motivated with online-only classes? You’re not the only one, and hopefully reporter Ben Blakney’s story on this very subject can help. 

Many students are working in grocery stores right now, and their job is more important than ever. Reporter Emily Driskel surveyed a few EWU students working at Spokane grocery spots to find out what that experience is like in a COVID-era. 

Kinswa reviewed the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” for our weekly entertainment review series. This week, Driskel will be sharing her thoughts on John Krasinski’s popular new weekly YouTube show, “Some Good News.”

For more good, bad and ugly news, make sure to keep following our website for the latest on the EWU campus and community.