Cougs Helping Cougs

With the world kept indoors due to Covid-19 and the majority of our faculty and students dealing heavily with online meetings, classes, etc it’s important that we find ways to accommodate these new stressors and fatigues. 

We as a society prior to Covid were not used to long days straining our eyes and mental health through various zoom meetings and required online events. So after reviewing the data Washington State University is launching a new pilot program that aims to reduce to stress and fatigue that comes with these longer screen times. Our data from WSU’s Information Technology Services indicated that eliminating a day of meetings would tremendously benefit our faculty. 

Students in class WSU Pullman
Image From WSU Pullman

It is important to us at WSU to keep our staff and faculty in general in mind, helping them with their mental health, strain, and fatigue will benefit the students who are present in their weekly lives. From March 2020 our universities zoom account has hosted 2.16 million video conferences, classes, and meetings. This number came out to 177 years worth of video chats from people within the institution. WSU is asking to eliminate Friday meetings and have a cap of 45-minutes per meeting (excluding online classes) which will give people the ability to finally sit down and have their lunch, get away from their screen and rest their eyes for a little. 

Our goal isn’t to completely get rid of meetings on Fridays but to have the individual departments think more critically about how long they spend in meetings and potentially find ways to alleviate some of the stress and fatigue that the faculty are beginning to feel more prominently as Covid continues.

The university is fully committed to the pilot program as well as our faculty and students. It’s extremely important that we continue to find ways to stay nimble enough to adapt to the constantly changing covid situation. This will not be a directly noticeable change however the data shows it will be extremely helpful for the well-being of our fellow cougs. 

Alexander Brady

About the author

Alex is a writer for the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis at Washington State University. As a strategic advertising student, he focuses on brand development and promotion. He also works as an intern in Switzerland with the luxury watch company, Chopard.