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Weekly Briefing: Students react to COVID-19, ASW holds special election and Westminster’s garden connects community

The Weekly Briefing gives a small look into the stories The Forum has covered in the past week. This week, we covered the developments of COVID-19 in the state and on campus, how students are reacting to the recent changes and how one student raced the clock to return home from a study abroad trip.

Utah records first COVID-19 death in the state

The Utah Department of Health confirmed the first COVID-19 death in the state Sunday. The patient was a male older than 60 and a resident of Davis County.

The patient was being treated at Lakeview Hospital and was treated for days before his death. The hospital reports he did have underlying medical conditions.

Opinions: Don’t let the distance disconnect you

Both editor-in-chief Cami Mondeaux and ASW President Maggie Regier write about their experiences and recent developments dealing with the spreading virus.

Mondeaux announced there will be no more printed editions of The Forum for the duration of the semester — but the staff will continue working to bring latest developments.

Regier said while the unprecedented decision has been hard, there are things she has learned — including having grace for not only yourself but others.

Students transition to online classes

When students left for spring break they didn’t plan on not being able to return to school. Because of this unexpected change moving to an online format can be chaotic. 

Luckily, technology gives an opportunity to continue education online through video chat and other resources. Even though it wasn’t what students planned to do at the beginning of the semester, there are a few ways to stay calm and adjust to learning through online classes.

Crews prep for Phase 2 of 1300 East construction

Four months after the completion of the first phase of construction on 1300 East, is preparing to start the next phase of its project. Phase two will begin in May, and will stretch from 1700 South to 1300 South.

Currently, crews are preparing to move forward as scheduled despite concerns of the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Josh Thompson, an engineer working on the project, said by the time the project starts conditions will hopefully be different.

Westminster garden connects community

In 2008 Westminster College welcomed the organic garden: the space available to hold classes and teach students about food accessibility. Christy Clay, chair of environmental studies and professor of biology, said students came up with the idea to host a garden on campus.

“The garden started with some students guerilla gardening, planting some plants in a backyard that the college owned and seeing what happened,” Clay said. 

ASW holds special election for clubs president

ASW is holding its special election for the clubs president position virtually on Canvas, after classes have been moved online for the rest of Spring semester. Candidates adapted to the remote election, campaigning on social media accounts rather than with posters on campus during a regular election.

The Forum talked to each of the candidates to learn more about their platforms.

Student returns from study abroad trip, saying he doesn’t know what ‘safe’ means anymore

Blaine Whitford, a Westminster College student, was on a study abroad trip in Morocco when the coronavirus pandemic began to shut down the world. His classes were moved online for the rest of the semester and students were sent home — except he couldn’t return to the U.S. after international travel was banned in the country March 12. 

At first, Whitford, a junior history major, was allowed to remain on campus for the time being. As cases began to rise in Morocco, Whitford said buildings in the country started closing and campus amenities became limited.

Students from out-of-state say they’re unsure how to handle pandemic

After Westminster College announced classes will remain online until June 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, out-of-state students living on campus are left with the choice to either stay or move back home. 

Westminster offers the option to remain in campus housing if there is nowhere else for students to go. However, many students are moving back home.


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The Forum is Westminster University's only student-run news organization since 1946. The content published does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Westminster or its administration.

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