Editorial Comment: Fear of lost plans wreak havoc on registration

Making fall quarter plans despite looming threat of COVID-19

Angela Ide, Opinions Editor

The COVID-19 quarantine has shown that one truth remains consistent, even in chaos: plans are never guaranteed.

When many students have suddenly lost or had to change their summer and school plans at the beginning of this crisis, it can almost seem moot to plan for a quarter so far away.

Housing registration for the Fall quarter of 2020 is open until June 15, and with class registration already, open students are asked to look to the future. But with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, that makes that seem impossible.

But, maybe, making plans is just another way to battle the apathy, fear and paralysis that so many are struggling through in isolation. Plans might have to be made differently than previous quarters, but that does not mean no one should make any plans at all.

Housing and Meal Plan Services reminded the student body of this truth in a statement sent out in an email on May 12, in which they explained that the fall housing sign-ups will be doled out “a little bit differently this year.”

With so much uncharted territory in the weeks, months and years to come, coherent plans for something so distant have become a daunting task.

The Housing and Meal Plan Services email explains the expected changes to the housing application process and hints towards flexibility in whatever events may come, so the student body is not left in the dark.

The process for students applying to live on campus upon returning in fall is roughly the same as in previous years. Students intending on living in the on-campus apartments or the dorm halls will submit an application form which includes room preference, roommate requests and returning first- and second-year students returning to the same living areas will have priority in their requests.

Because much of the student body that returned to campus for spring quarter was moved to new dorm rooms or apartments or have found themselves off-campus, student’s housing placement for winter quarter is the reference point for returning preferences.

The biggest difference in the process this year is summed up near the bottom of the email, where they explained that assignments are relative to changes in King county and Washington state COVID-19 guidelines.

The suggestion that everyone should make plans even though all of it might change seems like meaningless advice, but this has always been true. Plans have always changed and something has always come up to throw a wrench in even the best-laid ones.

The only thing anyone can do is plan for the best and be prepared for the worst. With the largest global game of “Hurry up and Wait” underway while countermeasures for COVID-19 infections are developed, the only thing anyone can do is make plans and give grace and understanding if they don’t work out.

No one knows what will come next, but everyone understands the instability of the situation. These circumstances are out of anyone’s control and everyone had an understanding that things could change in a moment’s notice.

So, no matter what students face the big decisions that need to be made for their futures, let plans be made optimistically and realistically. The campus will definitely look different this fall, but students can choose to hold out for hope and just might be surprised by the community that surrounds them.