COVID-19 FAQ's for CS Students

FAQ’s for Computer Science Students 

Use of Computer Labs

Instructional computer labs will remain physically closed during remote learning, but students can still log into lab systems via remote desktop access (see below for details).  Any students assisting with research should be in touch with their faculty supervisor to discuss needs for research lab access during remote learning.  With all courses online for remote learning, we anticipate keeping labs closed for the quarter unless there is need to open them (in which case, social distancing measures will be enforced).

Remote Desktop Access

During remote learning all sit-down lab systems will be booted into the Linux operating system, and should be remotely accessed via Secure Shell through our load balancer, documented here:

For any class requiring the Windows operating system, you will be notified directly by your instructor regarding gaining access to those resources.

For general support questions, please first consult the CS Support wiki and Technical Survival Guide available at the following links:

Support Wiki:

Technical Survival Guide:

If the aforementioned content does not answer your question, or if you need to report an issue, please email with details.

CS Tutor Hours (Formally known as CS Mentors)

Monday- Friday 4:00 - 7:00 PM 

Students requesting help must submit their question on the CS Tutors website, and join the Tutors Hours Zoom call to receive help. When a student joins the call, they will be put into a waiting room until a tutor is available to help them, and then they will be put into a breakout room to receive tutoring. A student who has not submitted their question on the website and joined the Zoom call may not receive help. The link to the Zoom call can be found on the CS Tutors website.


Any questions can be emailed to

Returning Proximity Cards

The department is currently issuing new prox cards at this time. Please contact your faculty research advisor to determine whether you are eligible to receive a prox card.

There are no penalties or late fees for late returns of Proximity Cards. Due to remote working, if Proximity Cards need to be returned there are two options:

  1. Wait until the CS Main Office reopens to return the Prox Card in person.
  2. Mail the Prox Card to:

Computer Science Department

516 High Street, MS 9165

Bellingham, WA 98225

Modes of Communication

Please use email for communication with all Faculty and Staff at this time. For class specific questions please contact the Professor or Instructor directly for those questions. At this time staff are working remotely from home. Due to remote working there may be a delay in response time, but we appreciate your patience at this time.

Staff contacts listed below:

Ridley Williams, Department Manager

Tatyana Stahler, Program Assistant

Mary Hall, Computer Science Pre-Major Advisor/ Outreach Specialist

Laura Ghan, Cybersecurity Program Coordinator

CS Support


CS Advising Office is not open to visitors or drop-ins. For advising and program information, please email

Please include in your email:

  1. First & Last Name
  2. Western ID # (if you an admitted student)
  3. Advising goal, such as “Declare the Pre-major” or “Course Planning”

Students are also welcome to request a telephone appointment, M-F 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

If you would like to schedule a telephone appointment, email days/times you can take a call, and your telephone number (including area code).