Out-of-state students denied COVID-19 testing at Jefferson County Fair Park

Chancellor Chat answers questions from campus


Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Artanya Wesley says out-of-state students should not be turned away from COVID-19 testing at the Jefferson County Fair Park in a Chancellor Chat held Sept. 24.

Alex Manteufel, Journalist

The Jefferson County Health Department and National Guard are providing COVID-19 testing at Jefferson County Fair Park, but some students were denied from receiving a test. Pandemic guidelines, spring break and the naming of the newest residence hall were also topics discussed in the Chancellor Chat held virtually Thursday, Sept. 24 for the UW-Whitewater campus.

“We did hear from some of our students who have gone and utilized the free testing clinic opportunity – that if you’re an out-of-state student – that students were turned away,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Artanya Wesley. “Now we did call and check into that. That should not be happening.”

Wesley encouraged students to bring two forms of identification to the test site, including their HawkCard and a regular I.D. – whether it is out-of-state or in-state.

When asked about participation in campus-sponsored events, Interim Chancellor Cook clarified that on-campus events are organized with safety measures built into them. For example, no university events with more than 10 people in physical attendance at a time are allowed on campus. Off-campus events need to follow the guidelines of the area in which the event is taking place.

“Fliers posted in the residence halls are geared towards those individuals who may be doing unsanctioned events within the residence halls with a larger number of people. That is not the intent to dissuade people from attending university-sponsored events,” said University Police Chief Matthew Kiederlen. “When we’re looking at off-campus, the expectation there is that you abide by the expectations that exist in the off-campus area you are at. In Whitewater, facial coverings are expected unless you are eating or drinking in the establishment.”

Another question asked in the chat was what the campus can expect for a spring break this year. Other schools such as UW-Madison are extending winter break by a week instead of holding a traditional spring break later in the term.

“This is something we looked at over the summer and talked with the governance groups about. The consensus at the time was that we would leave the spring semester calendar the way it is,” said Interim Chancellor Greg Cook. “But now that we know more about the virus and its impact, and we’re seeing some other models, people are starting to reconsider. So we’ve opened that question up again.”

Whitewater Student Government sent out a poll to ask students about their preferences regarding the timing of a break. There are a couple options such as rescheduling, which would start the spring semester a week later, or spreading the days out over several weeks to give people smaller breaks. Interim Chancellor Cook encouraged campus members to provide their opinions to governance leaders, which could be relayed to him for consideration.

The campus’s newest residence hall for students is named Ma’iingan Hall.  There had originally been a plan for an opening ceremony, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.  When it is safe to do so, the university will hold a formal opening ceremony for the hall.

To view the Chancellor Chat visit https://announcements.uww.edu/Announcement/Details/16784.