In the week since WACAC leadership last communicated about how COVID-19 would be affecting our work, the world has dramatically changed. Secondary schools and colleges have moved instruction online, recruitment and yield travel has been canceled, and I write this to you from San Francisco, where a “shelter in place” order was enacted for six Bay Area counties at 12:01 a.m. on March 17 – restricting movement for a population of 6.7 million people to only the most essential tasks. We are witness to unprecedented times.
Given these events, WACAC leadership has made the following difficult decisions on behalf of the membership:
- Canceled the two remaining Share, Learn, Connect (SLC) conferences to be held at Chapman and Santa Clara Universities
- Canceled the suite of spring college fairs to be held mid-April through May 2 (with a hope to reschedule some subset of programs in the late summer/early fall)
- Are in the process of making full refunds to all registrants for each event; we ask for your patience as we work through this major administrative task.
We are now engaged, of course, in conversations about our Annual Conference and related college fair scheduled for May 27-29 in Long Beach. When there is news to share on the fate of those events, we will be back in touch.
In these times of seemingly perpetual crisis, I want to express my gratitude for a stellar group of colleagues who have juggled their day jobs, families, and volunteer responsibilities with grace and flexibility. It takes a village of volunteers (and 1.5 staff members!) to keep the WACAC machine running, and we are only weathering the current situation due to the work of Marie Bury, Deanna Smith Kilgour, Marc McGee, David Mills, Phil Moreno, Keith Sanpei, Herbie Walker, and Dewey Wilmot, as well as countless other SLC and college fair site chairs who have leapt into action.
While it’s impossible to predict what’s to come, I am heartened by the dedication and resolve of the professionals in our field. I see collaboration occurring online, dramatic advocacy on behalf of our (bewildered) students, and kindness from our members towards leadership grappling with impossible decisions. Thank you for your continued support as we all work to navigate this evolving reality together.
Lauren Cook, WACAC President
San Francisco, CA
March 17, 2020