On Monday, June 29 at 9 a.m., Chancellor Randy Woodson and other campus administration live-streamed an Undergraduate Town Hall to discuss plans for the fall semester in light of COVID-19. They answered previously submitted questions regarding housing, COVID-19 testing and class format.
According to Director and Medical Director of Student Health Julie Casani, Student Health Services has been and will continue testing on symptomatic students and those who have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. However, Student Health is not planning to do widespread testing due to the lack of resources around the state.
Although there will be no widespread testing, Casani said Student Health is implementing a contact tracing program in which students are encouraged to report if they tested positive for or were diagnosed by their medical professional with COVID-19. Upon reporting, NC State Occupational Medicine will use the self-reporting system to find and reach out to possible contacts on campus.
According to Brad Bohlander, chief communications officer, students will be contacted if people on campus test positive for COVID-19. The University will be posting any updates or announcements on COVID-19 on the Protecting the Pack website throughout the summer and semester.
Casani encouraged students to stay home when feeling sick and to wear masks, which is a requirement for the fall semester. According to Charles Maimone, vice chancellor for finance and administration, face coverings, in addition to buildings on campus, are required on Wolfline transportation where hand sanitizer will also be provided. Maimone said some of the Wolfline routes have been modified, and encouraged students to look at these routes on the NCSU Transportation website.
Woodson and Lisa Zapata, senior associate vice chancellor in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, further emphasized and discussed the face-covering requirement on campus. According to Zapata, students who refuse to comply with the requirement will be subject to disciplinary action under the code of student conduct.
There will be locations across campus to pick up face coverings before the fall semester, Zapata said. They will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Zapata said NC State is also working with off-campus apartments on Hillsborough to increase mask distribution to off-campus students.
Counseling services will remain available for students in the fall semester, both for individual or group counseling, and drop-in spaces will also be available. The Counseling Center’s services are currently being offered remotely through Telehealth and will continue in the fall, Zapata said.
If forced to leave campus this academic year, like in March due to COVID-19, NC State University Housing will issue prorated refunds based on the number of days left, but will also have to follow the guidance of the UNC System office, according to Chester Miller, director of the living and learning initiatives.
Move-in this fall will take place over a 10-day window from July 31-August 9, and students will be able to sign up for appointment times beginning July 6.
According to Zapata, the University is currently working with off-campus housing to help students with the early term start date, and encouraged students having issues with their landlords to reach out to NC State administration.
According to Maimone, there will be no change in the price of meal plans on campus. However, Talley Market will be accepting meal credits for the first time this fall.
Wellness and Recreation
According to Eric Hawkes, executive director of Wellness and Recreation, Carmichael Gym is expected to reopen on July 20. Students will have to reserve spaces in advance, and no additional people can access those spaces during the period of use. Fitness centers will close for cleaning between each reservation time.
Hawkes said about 175 people will be allowed in Carmichael each hour, which is about half the normal number. However, once the Wellness and Recreation Center reopens, they expect double the capacity.
Hawkes also said face coverings are strongly recommended, but are not required while people workout, and are required when walking around facilities.
Boo Corrigan, NC State director of Athletics, said football will return in the fall, as of June 29, and that he anticipates men and women’s basketball returning as well. Corrigan said the Athletics department is pending Gov. Roy Cooper’s orders regarding stadium capacity, but that he is looking forward to seeing students in the stadium come fall.
NC State will continue the enhanced grading options used in the spring during the fall semester, according to Louis Hunt, senior vice provost for Enrollment Management and Services, and that the University is in the process of evaluating classrooms to determine which classes are online or hybrid.
According to Hunt, research labs that are delivered outside will not change. Some labs, such as Chemistry 101 and 102 labs, will be online. Some labs in the College of Design will be face-to-face due to protective changes in the classroom environment.
Warwick Arden, executive vice chancellor and provost, said incoming students will see their schedules and be able to adjust them on July 13, and continuing students will be able to do the same on July 20.
According to Arden, international students who have never been to NC State or have gone home and can’t return to school will be able to enroll in online classes that go toward their degree. For international students who are already here, there are opportunities to extend their visas and programs if they meet certain criteria. Arden said international students should work with the Office of International Services to discuss if they meet this criteria.
Woodson said the cost of tuition will not change if all classes are delivered online.
Gregory Raschke, director of NC State University Libraries, said D.H. Hill Jr. Library will reopen on July 20, and James B. Hunt Jr. Library shortly after. Access will be limited to just the NC State community, and there will be no 24 hours access in the fall to protect students and provide time to clean each night.
Group study rooms will be open for individual reservations in the libraries, according to Rashcke, and textbooks will be scanned instead of lended out to limit contact. Long term loaning for laptops and other technologies will be open similar to the spring semester.
For further updates, visit ncsu.edu/coronavirus.