COVID-19 Student Affairs Update

COVID-19 Student Affairs Update

Dear Students,

I hope you had an opportunity to review the message from Chancellor Guskiewicz and Provost Blouin that was sent last evening.  You can find a link to that message at unc.edu/coronavirusThe University’s spring break period, which began on Friday, March 6, has been extended through Sunday, March 22.  There will be no classes or other instructional activity at UNC-Chapel Hill until the week of March 23.  After that time, most classes will transition to a remote format. 

It was not an easy decision to extend spring break or to transition to remote instruction, but the University seeks to protect the health and well-being of all members of the campus community.  By reducing close contact interactions and the number of students on campus, we can help to mitigate the spread of the virus.  At present, there are no diagnosed cases on campus.  However, this is a fluid situation and additional changes are possible at any time.  Please know that we are monitoring the situation closely and doing everything in our power to help you continue your education with as little disruption as possible.

Travel

Travel restrictions continue to change rapidly and conditions may change in communities not currently affected.  Please make prudent decisions regarding any form of travel.  If you are currently travelling or will travel in the coming days, be aware of any applicable travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and exercise appropriate safety precautions.  You should also maintain awareness of the situation in your intended destination as return travel can quickly become difficult or even temporarily halted.

Returning to Campus After Spring Break

UNC-Chapel Hill will remain open during the extended spring break period and during the period of remote instruction.  The residence halls and dining facilities will be open to serve students who need to return to campus or who are unable to go to their permanent place of residence.  Campus Health Services and Counseling & Psychological Services will also be open.  Other non-essential student services will be available, but hours and services may be modified where needed to minimize close contacts.  Updated information on services in Student Affairs will be provided on department websites, all of which can be accessed from https://studentaffairs.unc.edu/.

As you know, planning is actively underway for transitioning most classes to remote instruction, and additional information will be sent in the coming days.  If you are able to take all of your classes remotely, then we strongly encourage you to remain at your permanent residence or other off-campus location until further notice.  In addition, we encourage you to practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.  We know that you are eager to return to campus to reconnect with friends or to resume activities, but we need your help to support the health and well-being of the entire Carolina community.

Student Organizations

Participation in co-curricular activities is a vital part of most students’ Carolina experience, but all student organizations should consider postponing or canceling in-person events and activities.  The University has determined that campus events involving more than 50 attendees are canceled effective immediately.  This extends to meetings, conferences, and social events or parties sponsored by student organizations.  Where possible, student organizations should consider using virtual options for meetings or delaying non-essential meetings to a future date.

Resources

We understand that uncertainty about the virus, its spread, and the changing impact on campus can be stressful.  We are here to help.  A list of resources is available at https://www.unc.edu/coronavirus/coronavirus-resources/.  In addition, the University has established a hotline for questions at (919) 445-5000.  The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Messages left after hours will be returned within one working day.

This is an unprecedented experience, but one that we will work through as a community.  Please bookmark the UNC Coronavirus Updates webpage and check back regularly for updates.  Also, you may receive additional messages from your individual school or program.  Review each of those messages carefully as they will contain important information and updates.    

Thank you for your assistance in supporting the health and safety of our community.

Jonathan Sauls
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs