Solar Eclipse: Informatoin for Students

Salem is in the path of totality for the solar eclipse Aug. 21. The City of Salem and Travel Oregon report that around 1 million visitors could descend upon the state during the eclipse and the weekend leading up to it. Traffic in the area is expected to be heavy and parking very limited and most hotels and campsites in the area are booked.

Willamette is working hard to help ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, students and guests. In preparation for this exciting and unusual occasion, please keep the following in mind about operations at Willamette:

  • Classes at the College of Law are cancelled on Aug. 21.
  • Classes at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management will begin at 2 p.m. Aug. 21.
  • Aside from graduate students, students in the American Studies Program and students arriving for pre-orientation activities (including resident advisors, Jump Start participants, Jump Start leaders, Opening Days leaders, student athletes and other volunteers), residence halls will not be available until assigned move-in days.
  • Parking on campus the weekend before and day of the eclipse will be limited to Willamette pass holders and invited guests. At this time, no additional parking passes are available.
  • Normal campus operations will not begin until noon Aug. 21, though staff essential to morning campus operations will report as scheduled. There will be limited options for dining on campus until noon.
  • Camping on campus is prohibited and extra security officers are planned during the weekend to ensure a safe environment.
  • There will be many non-Willamette guests on campus during the eclipse events. Any guests staying overnight in WISH and Kaneko must be wearing identification cards on their lanyards. If you are on campus and suspect suspicious activity, please report it to Campus Safety immediately (x6911). Also, please make sure doors close and lock behind you when entering and exiting residence halls.

For those of you planning to be in Salem and on campus, a number of activities and events are planned, beginning with a lecture from acclaimed astronomer and author Ray Jayawardhana entitled “A Spectacle Like No Other: The Science and Adventure of Chasing Solar Eclipses” on Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Hudson Hall. Willamette Professor of Physics Rick Watkins will deliver a pub talk entitled “Distilled: From the Eclipse to the Big Bang” at Shotski’s Woodfired Pizza on State St. a block from campus at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19.

Campus eclipse events will begin around 9 a.m. Aug. 21 on the North Lawn near Waller and Eaton Halls. Eclipse totality will be around 10:17 a.m. Solar scientists will host experiments and demonstrations, Bon Appetit will sell eclipse-themed concessions, the Willamette Store will sell items at their pop-up store and the Willamette MBA program will provide free eclipse viewing glasses that can be picked up at the information table during the viewing. You can also purchase tickets to Dr. Jayawardhana’s lecture and special Willamette glow-in-the-dark t-shirts and posters online.

If you view the eclipse, protect your eyes! According to NASA, except during the moments of total eclipse, there is no safe way to look at the sun without solar filters, such as eclipse glasses — make sure you have appropriate eye wear, keep in mind that regular sunglasses won’t protect your eyes.

If you do decide to join us for the eclipse viewing activities Aug. 21, please use your best judgment on the safety and feasibility of coming to campus (biking or walking is probably best) — accounting for potentially high traffic volumes.

Though the eclipse is exciting, what we are most looking forward to is welcoming you all back to campus for the fall semester. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Student Affairs, 503-370-6447.