University Message to Students Regarding Fires

August 18, 2023

Message sent at 2:11 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Dear Students,

Fires in the Cheney and Spokane area are impacting local communities, including Eastern Washington University. We know you may have questions about classes, particularly with semester programs starting on Monday, may need access to support services and need to make decisions about transportation and accommodations. Your health and safety are our priority, and we are working with emergency personnel to make determinations about campus operations as quickly as possible. We will continue to keep you updated as new details are received and new decisions are made. Please read below for current information to help you make decisions.

Campus Operations (including semester programs)

We are actively monitoring the situation and are in consultation with first responders and campus partners. Anticipate receiving a formal communication later this evening regarding the status of semester classes and other Cheney- and Spokane-based activities for tomorrow. We understand the urgency of your planning needs and will communicate as soon as possible.

Prioritize Your Personal Safety

We recognize that waiting for our decision may not align with your personal safety considerations. We strongly encourage you to prioritize your safety above all else when making decisions to return to the area. Road closures and detours are causing extreme traffic delays, and air quality is hazardous in some areas. Please check the local emergency resources list to help you evaluate your situation and make a decision.

Communication with Faculty

If you are impacted by the fires, please reach out to your faculty members. This includes those who are displaced or are traveling back to the area. Let them know about your situation and any potential class disruptions. We are dedicated to working with you to ensure your academic success, especially during these challenging circumstances.

We’re here to Help

We understand that this is a stressful time, and we are committed to working with you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need assistance, and/or consider contacting the Student Accommodations and Support Services team. For a list of additional resources, please read the campus message that was sent yesterday.

Your safety and well-being are our priorities. Please stay safe, make informed decisions, and know that we are here to support you during this challenging time. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the wildfires.

Please stay tuned for formal communication later this evening, and remember, safety first!

Emergency Information Resources: 

This is an evolving situation and evacuation level notices can change. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.