Best for the Nest

FAQs

Below you will find frequently asked questions for students, faculty and staff, and general questions for the campus. Please use the buttons to go directly to the related FAQs. If you have a question you don't see answered here, please send it to bestforthenest@uncw.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions for Students


  • Will students need to be tested before returning? How will they show proof of a negative result?

    As UNCW announced last fall, on-campus residential students are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test 5 days prior to returning to campus. This is longer than the previously announced 72 hours; the decision to allow for 5 days was made in consultation with our local health officials, and the recognition that 72 hours may be more difficult as we get closer to the start of classes across the state. The university will also offer free testing onsite at Burney Center during Move-In (Jan. 15-16 and Jan. 19) to assist residential students who cannot obtain a test before returning to campus. Any student found living in the halls having not been previously cleared will be escorted out and will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for a potential violation of our student Code of Conduct.

    Resident students have received instructions from Housing and Residence Life, via their campus inboxes, about how to return to campus. Information is also available online.

    Students who are living off campus and are taking on-campus classes will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) with the test administered within 5 days before your return to campus. Bring a paper copy of your test result to campus for drop-off on Tuesday, January 19 in Lot 1A (Hamilton Lot across from the Greene Track) between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. or at the Student Health Center beginning on Wednesday, January 20 (see the Student Health website for hours of operation). Staff will be collecting test results, so be sure to write your 850 number and off-campus address on the top of the sheet. Off-campus students who show proof of their test will get a wristband that they will be asked to wear until Friday, January 22.

    Off-campus students who are unable to be tested before arriving back to their off-campus residence will be tested with a free rapid test when they arrive. Testing will take place in the Burney Center January 19 from 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. and January 20, 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4:30 p.m. Please anticipate a delay, depending on the number of students who need to be tested. Students who have a negative test will get a wristband that they will be asked to wear until Friday, January 22. Students who test positive will need to isolate in their off-campus residence for the entire isolation period. Faculty may ask students who don’t abide by the testing protocols to leave the classroom and may refer them to the Office of the Dean of Students for a potential violation of our student Code of Conduct.

  • What can you tell us about plans for vaccinating students, faculty and staff?

    UNCW is collaborating with New Hanover County Public Health to facilitate and strongly encourage the vaccination of students, faculty and staff against COVID-19. When the state and county’s vaccination plans provide us with the opportunity for vaccination, each one of us may enhance our community’s public health now and in the future by participating. The Student Health Center has confirmed that faculty and staff, especially those teaching or working on campus, will be included in Phase 1b, Groups 2 and 3 (based on age) as part of the education sector. New Hanover County, where the UNCW main campus is located, is currently vaccinating people in Phase 1b, Group 1. More details about the phases can be found here. Most students will be included later in Phase 3 of the plan, although individuals with underlying health conditions or other factors may qualify for earlier phases. The university also is prepared to assist county health officials as they work to administer vaccines. Our campus has served as a vaccination site in the past, and if our campus health experts are offered the opportunity to provide that service again, we will let you know. Resource: See New Hanover County’s Current COVID Vaccination Phase website. If you reside in other NC counties or other states, please visit the appropriate health department websites for information specific to your area.

  • Are graduate students who conduct research on campus required to present a negative COVID-19 test result at the start of the semester?

    Yes. Graduate student research assistants should follow the testing protocols outlined for off-campus students as outlined here: Students who are living off campus and are taking on-campus classes will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) with the test administered within 5 days before your return to campus. Bring a paper copy of your test result to campus for drop-off on Tuesday, January 19 in Lot 1A (Hamilton Lot across from the Greene Track) between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. or at the Student Health Center beginning on Wednesday, January 20 (see Student Health website for hours of operation). Staff will be collecting test results, so be sure to write your 850 number and off-campus address on the top of the sheet. Off-campus students who show proof of their test will get a wristband that they will be asked to wear until Friday, January 22. Off-campus students who are unable to be tested before arriving back to their off-campus residence will be tested with a free rapid test when they arrive. Testing will take place in the Burney Center January 19 from 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. and January 20, 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4:30 p.m. Please anticipate a delay, depending on the number of students who need to be tested. Students who have a negative test will get a wristband that they will be asked to wear until Friday, January 22. Students who test positive will need to isolate in their off-campus residence for the entire isolation period. Faculty may ask students who don’t abide by the testing protocols to leave the classroom and may refer them to the Office of the Dean of Students for a potential violation of our student Code of Conduct.

  • Will there be periodic testing during spring semester?

    During the semester, the Student Health Center plans to conduct surveillance testing for students, faculty and staff living and working on campus. We will share more information about this testing effort once plans are finalized.

  • How will courses be delivered for spring 2021?

    Our spring course schedule offers a dynamic mix of online, hybrid and in-person educational opportunities. Research activities are going strong, and many exciting arts, athletics, diversity, and community engagement events and activities are planned.

    Orientation will be held Jan. 14, and we are eager to welcome an estimated 550 new Seahawks to UNCW. As announced last fall, spring semester classes on the traditional calendar will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 20. There will not be a spring break, but classes are canceled for the Good Friday holiday April 1-2. Spring 2021 commencement is scheduled for May 7-8. Students and faculty in the university’s Online Accelerated Program should see the OAP Calendar for their schedule.  

    UNCW's great faculty will teach more than 3,600 courses this spring. Just over 60 percent will be offered online only, about 15 percent will be offered face-to-face and the remainder are hybrid courses offering both online and in-person components. 

  • What are the limits on group gatherings?

    We will continue to follow the density reduction guidelines for gatherings established in the fall semester, with the 10-person indoor and 25-person outdoor limits. The university’s core academic functions and services are exempt from this limit, as long as gatherings in those venues adhere to established COVID maximum occupancy guidelines. All meeting and event organizers are encouraged to plan for hybrid or virtual delivery whenever planning for event sizes above the current North Carolina Phase measures (see NC Phase information here). In general, on-campus events will be restricted to members of the campus community. In-person student activities are restricted to student participants only. External event reservations and campus space use is highly discouraged in all campus venues, and any request is subject to review by the Exception Review Committee. All meetings, events and activities that would include external attendees should be planned as virtual delivery or hybrid (with virtual delivery for external participants).

  • I have heard there is more flexibility around withdrawals due to COVID-19. How does that work?

    As always, check with your advisor, but here are some things to know:

    Per the Undergraduate Catalog policy on withdrawals, students requesting withdrawals after the Oct. 20, 2020 deadline established by the fall semester academic calendar must appeal for an “extenuating circumstances” withdrawal and document “traumatic and unforeseen” circumstances.

    UNCW is allowing students to apply to their dean for an extenuating circumstances withdrawal from any course, through Nov. 24. Deans will treat COVID-related reasons as “traumatic and unforeseen.” Reasons may include, but are not limited to, being forced to relocate, becoming ill, or experiencing an unexpected modality shift within a course. Students are limited to 16 credit hours of non-extenuating circumstances withdrawals.

    As long as students withdraw before the Oct. 20 withdrawal deadline or receive permission from their dean to withdraw after that deadline, all withdrawals from spring and fall 2020 and spring semester 2021 will be treated as extenuating – that is, they will not count against the limit of 16. Students who want to verify that their withdrawal has been treated appropriately should check in with their advisors or the Office of the Registrar.

  • Do I need to get tested before visiting family or traveling for the holidays?

    Students planning to travel or go home, even for a short visit, should connect with their families and/or friends to plan your trip. Get tested 3-4 days before you plan to depart at the end of the semester to reduce the chances of taking the virus home to parents, siblings and/or other family members and friends. If the result is positive, work with the Student Health Center for assistance. The university’s quarantine and isolation spaces will be open and operational during Thanksgiving weekend and the winter break, including holidays, as needed.

    Employees are also encouraged to be tested before attending holiday functions and other gatherings. In addition, public health officials recommend that both students and employees obtain flu shots between now and the end of winter break to help reduce the strain on the nation’s health care system by limiting the spread of the flu.

    Testing is available on campus for students through the Student Health Center and for faculty, staff and the community through a partnership with the New Hanover County Health Department. Tests at the Student Health Center and the community testing site are free. The community testing site is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. through Nov. 24, and additional days may also be planned. Beginning Nov. 17, the community testing site hours will be expanded to serve the UNCW community from 9-11 a.m. on days the testing site operates.

    Students should call the health center at 910.962.3280 to make an appointment. Employees should register at this link for testing at the community site. You will expedite the process by registering in advance, printing out your voucher, and bringing it with you to be tested. The testing site is in Lot 1A at the intersection of Hurst Drive and Hamilton Drive. Those driving to the site should enter off of Hurst Drive; those who choose to walk will see a tent at the corner of the parking lot.

    Please be aware of CDC guidelines to help prevent becoming infected with COVID-19:

    • Remember that 15 minutes of exposure to someone with COVID-19 within a 24-hour period increases the chance of infection.

    • Give careful consideration to indoor gatherings or outdoor gatherings with large groups.

    • Avoid gatherings with people outside your usual circle when possible.

  • When will campus housing close for the fall, and what is the protocol for returning in the spring semester?

    Students living on campus have received individualized emails outlining closing information for the fall and opening information for the spring. Closing information included:

    • All first-year students will need to leave campus for winter break on Nov. 25 by 1 p.m. Each of them will receive additional detailed information pertinent to their residence hall from their Residence Coordinators in early November. • Students who are not in their first year and are living on campus in our Seahawk Apartments and University Suites will be allowed to stay over the breaks. They will also receive additional information from their Residence Coordinators in early November on building services during the breaks.

    • First-year students who went home for the de-densification of the residence halls will receive returning information for the spring. First-year students who left for the fall and were in double rooms will receive an opportunity unique to them about remaining home for the spring. This information will be provided to them in advance of scheduling classes, so if they choose to do this, they will have the opportunity to schedule classes coded as OLSYN or OLASY. The email will include specific steps they will need to take to request this preference to Housing, including a November 20 decision deadline. All that said, we expect many will choose to return to live on campus.

    • All students will have an opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 before they return home to their families for the holidays. This information will be sent to them in a separate communication in November.

    To assist in limiting the spread of the virus when spring semester begins, residential students will be expected to provide an indication of a negative COVID-19 test three days prior to returning to campus. Students who test positive at home will be asked not to return to campus until they are released from isolation. Students who were not tested before returning from the break will be tested on campus during Move-In. We will provide more details in the coming weeks.

    Plans are being made for periodic surveillance testing during the spring semester as well. The Student Health Center will manage the testing, and we will provide more information once the process is finalized.

    As part of the university’s continuing efforts to de-densify campus, employees who have been working remotely, in consultation with their supervisor, should continue to work remotely in the spring semester until further notice. Supervisors should work with their employees to ensure a successful arrangement that meets business needs. We will provide notice and details in advance should conditions change.

  • The Center for Marine Science seems to be left out of the food options conversation. Can we be offered some of these alternative options (food trucks, reopening Ebb Tide, etc.) during this season and in the future?

    Campus Dining was unable to open Ebb Tide this fall due to extensive preparation opening dining locations on the main campus. However, we are actively discussing food options for CMS and we would like to meet with faculty, staff and students to understand dining needs. We believe there is an opportunity to expand our micro-markets to this location. To provide feedback, please email auxiliary@uncw.edu, or email Sharon Boyd at boyds@uncw.edu to share your thoughts or to request a virtual meeting to discuss faculty and staff ideas.

  • Will Randall Library be open after Thanksgiving?

    The library will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, when classes end and will move to curbside pickup from Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 18. The library will share information with students, faculty and staff through a campus communication later this semester. For more information and daily hours, visit the library’s website.

  • What is the status of spring semester 2021?

    Based on currently available information about the pandemic, UNCW has decided to alter its spring calendar to allow more time between winter break and the first day of classes, an approach designed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. On the traditional semester calendar, classes will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. There will not be a spring break, but classes are canceled for the Good Friday holiday April 1-2. Spring 2021 commencement is scheduled for May 7-8. Students and faculty in the university’s Online Accelerated Program should see the OAP Calendar for their schedule. Although it is too soon to determine exactly how our courses may take shape, the university is planning to offer a robust combination of online, hybrid and in-person classes again in the spring.

  • Will all students be tested?

    As of Sept. 1, the UNCW Student Health Center is offering COVID-19 tests free of charge to students via funding made available through the CARES Act. There is a testing protocol that SHC staff must follow.

     All students will have an opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 before they return home to their families for the holidays. This information will be sent to them in a separate communication in November. 

     For appointments, call 910.962.3280.

     Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or questions about testing should call the Student Health Center at 910.962.0587 for a consultation; walk-in appointments are not available. You may also reach out to coronavirus@uncw.edu for more information.

  • Does the announcement moving students to single-occupancy rooms and allowing some on-campus students to go home mean UNCW is moving to all-online education?

    This de-densification will not affect classes en masse, as this is not a pivot to all online instruction. Faculty will work to provide appropriate remote learning opportunities for students who leave campus, as they have for students who find themselves in quarantine for a period of time.

  • What percentage of UNCW courses are being held in person?

    Currently, about 13% of undergraduate courses are face-to-face, with another 31% in a hybrid modality (part online, part in-person). About 55% are in an online format.

  • If COVID-19 clusters continue to rise, what point will UNCW make a decision to move to entirely online instruction?

    UNCW has a pivot plan that considers and weighs multiple triggers including: the number of positive cases; the availability of testing material, staff, and supplies; occupancy of our isolation/quarantine space; and guidance from state and local officials. A variety of these factors will help inform the decision when to pivot from in-person to online, if needed. As the pivot plan was being developed, we consulted with the director of the New Hanover County Health Department.

  • What If I elect to move to an off-campus location in the Wilmington area rather than moving home?

    As noted in the university's Sept. 8 campus communication, students who are asked to move may opt to return home if they choose, and they will receive pro-rated refunds for housing and dining for the remainder of the fall semester. If both roommates want to move home, they may do so, and both will receive pro-rated refunds. Students who move home will also receive parking refunds. To receive prorated housing refunds, students who are currently living on campus may move home with parents or guardians, not to other off-campus housing arrangements.

  • Where can I learn more about the university's efforts to de-densify campus?

    Please see these FAQs on the Housing and Residence Life site.

  • What is the final exam schedule now that courses will end prior to the Thanksgiving break?

    All final exams will be delivered online and should be open for a 24-hour period. A revised final exam schedule is posted on the Office of the Registrar’s webpage.

  • What measures are in place to promote students’ mental health during the pandemic?

    All therapy services in the University Counseling Center will be provided via telehealth to maximize availability to students while minimizing potential exposure to both the student and the therapist. The UCC will maintain daily walk-in and crisis consultation services to students. The UCC will also continue to offer virtual psychoeducational programs and resilience programs, and those programs will be posted on its YouTube channel.

  • Will COVID-related numbers at UNCW be made available to the UNCW community as we move forward?

    Yes. A dashboard has been created to keep everyone informed of the trends. Be aware that the Student Health Center can only confirm test results they administer. Students and faculty who test positive elsewhere are asked to inform the Student Health Center.

  • Will symptomatic students be immediately moved to quarantine?

    Yes. Students determined eligible for COVID testing by the Student Health Center will be moved to quarantine as quickly as possible while waiting for test results. There are 150 rooms reserved for students needing quarantine space.

  • What measures will be in place to keep classrooms clean?

    Each classroom will be supplied disinfectant wipes so that students and faculty can wipe down their areas before use. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the buildings as well. Facilities will replace supplies as needed, but if more immediate response is needed, please see your departmental administrative associate to submit a work order. Classrooms will be cleaned every evening. The classrooms will be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner approved for COVID by the CDC. All desks, chairs, and touch surfaces will be sprayed, soaked, and cleaned daily.

  • Will there be notification/contact tracing when a student/staff/faculty member falls ill?

    Due to HIPAA restrictions, private medical information will not be shared. Current CDC guidance indicates anyone feeling ill should plan to self-isolate/seek testing if they have had close contact (less than 6 feet) for a prolonged time (more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19.

  • Will students be permitted to wear face shields while giving oral presentations in class?

    Students may wear face shields only while teaching or providing oral presentations in class. Cloth face coverings should be worn at all other times. Students (or departments) should provide the face shields, and they should not be shared.

  • What changes are being made on campus to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread?

    UNCW has a data-driven plan to return to campus. Changes in the phased return will be determined by guidance and data from the CDC and from state, local and university health professionals. This process will include appropriate physical distancing; frequent cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces; distribution of face coverings for employees and students; placement of hand sanitizing stations across campus; implementation of curbside/to-go and mobile app dining options; and availability of personal protective equipment for employees.

    Students and employees will be expected to follow physical distancing guidelines and signage while on campus. Classrooms and most common spaces have already been rearranged to accommodate for physical distancing. Departments may need to rearrange (or remove) furniture, utilize signage, or use Plexiglas shields/sneeze guards at transactional desks and counters to promote physical distancing. Contact EH&S for consultation at ehs@uncw.edu.

    Additional information and guidelines are available in the Best for the Nest guide.

    For questions about on-campus housing, please see the Office of Housing and Residence Life's Drop-Off and Move-In 2020 webpage

  • What is the guidance on students wearing face coverings?

    As part of our continuing effort to educate campus on the importance of face coverings, reaffirm expectations and add further guidance for the outdoors, UNCW recently expanded its face covering requirement to further support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All students, faculty and staff should wear a cloth face covering outdoors when they are with other people. In campus dining areas, break rooms and other places where food is consumed, students, faculty and staff should wear face coverings while moving through the area and when they are done eating but are still sitting and talking with others. In addition, the university wants students and employees to remember to wear their face coverings in common areas of residence halls and buildings. For example, they don’t have to wear their face coverings when they are in their own bedrooms or offices, but when they go out into common areas, they need to put on their face coverings. Students who are unprepared or unwilling to wear protective face coverings will not be permitted to participate in face-to-face sessions and will need to leave the building. Noncompliant students may be referred to the Dean of Students for an Honor Code Violation. Any student who has a medical concern with wearing a face covering should contact the Disability Resource Center at 910.962.7555.

  • Where do I pick up my face coverings?

    Student face coverings can be picked up this week in the courtyard outside the Student Recreation Center and outside the Bookstore from 9-5 Aug. 19, 20 and 21. Pop-up locations also may be announced during the week. Each student/faculty/staff member will receive (and will be expected to wear) two face coverings with the recommended two layers. 

  • Where should I go between classes or to participate in online classes?

    Various campus locations have been identified to provide students places to study or log on to online courses. Rooms identified to date include: Designated student study space has been set in the following locations and hours: • Warwick Center Ballroom: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm; Friday 9 am – 3 pm • Student Recreation Center MAC Gym (Use Southeast Corner Entrance): Monday – Thursday 11 am – 5 p (available for overflow dining during lunch hours) • R-Lot Modular Complex (across from Dobo) – Buildings R22 and R23: Monday – Friday 7 am – 7 pm (Note: R21 has two classrooms that will be utilized throughout the day. Students may use the other two buildings in this complex and find a vacant seat for studying/logging in.) • Morton Modular #2 (MM2 – next to Bear Hall): Monday – Friday 7am – 7 pm • Randall Library: Hours vary by day and time. Click here for more information: https://library.uncw.edu/hours

  • Where should I wait for my classes to begin?

    When weather permits, students should wait outside of buildings for the class period to begin so that social distancing protocols may still be observed inside buildings.

  • Where can I borrow technical equipment such as laptops?

    If you need access to a computer, please know that our on campus computer labs, the library and Tech Nest have machines available for student use. Additionally, you may check out a laptop for up to 24 hours from out TAC Laptop Checkout program by visiting the Technology Assistance Center (TAC), located in the back of the library. Please visit the TAC website for additional information and services.

  • Is it true that the Hawk Wheels Bike Share Service is not available anymore? Will it be back, and if so, when?

    Our bike share vendor recently notified the campus they were unable to continue to provide bike share service at UNCW due to impacts of COVID-19 on their business operations.  As a result, Auxiliary Services Parking and Transportation will be working with our university partners and the campus community to look at possible options. Although there is a lot of uncertainty for the small business community, we are committed to securing a new vendor as expeditiously as possible and will update our FAQs when we have new information to share.

  • Are there online reources to help me engage with the UNCW community?

    Fall into the Dub” showcases engagement opportunities and resources to help students succeed academically, socially and emotionally.

  • What are the restrictions on campus gatherings and student activities?

    For the foreseeable future, UNCW will continue to observer NC Phase 2 guidelines, which resitrict in-person gatherings or meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and outdoor gatherings to 25, including the host. Any changes in the number of people allowed per gathering will be made in accordance with the governor’s orders. For more details, please see General Guidelines for Activities, Events, Meetings, and all other Non-Course Instruction Gatherings.

    UNCW Sport Club practices, as well as home and away competitions, are suspended until guidance allows for these activities to resume. Sport Clubs and Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), including fraternity/sorority meetings, will continue with restricted occupancy or use of virtual meetings and appropriate social distancing.

  • What about restrictions on off-campus gatherings?

    Please observe the required social distancing guidelines in place for off-campus locations. If it is reported to UNCW that any student violates mandated provisions, the student(s) may be processed for violating the Code of Student Life and processed through the campus conduct system. Note: As the Chancellor outlined in a Sept. 3 campus communication, UNCW plans to maintain the limits for mass gatherings on campus at 10 individuals indoors/25 outside. This decision was made in consultation with the UNC System.

  • Will the recreation fields be open?

    The recreation fields will be open for limited free play opportunities as allowed under Phase 2.5 (effective 5 p.m. Sept. 4). Hours can be found at www.uncw.edu/campusrec.

  • How will classrooms, specifically, be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

    We are working hard to prepare all UNCW classrooms, labs, studios, and other learning facilities for use in the fall; maintaining a healthy and safe community will be the primary driver in how those facilities are used and populated. (For example, we will not deliver any courses with more than 50 students in a face-to-face environment.) We will also be working to follow appropriate social distancing practices in all our classes, which means that the number of students physically in each classroom will be greatly diminished. (For example, a classroom that would normally serve 30 students may now only serve 10-15.) This may also mean that many face-to-face courses will be supplemented with other forms of instruction (for example, a hybrid or “blended” course where some learning is done in the classroom and some is done online or via alternate means). Again, our goal is to provide you with the vibrant student-centered learning experience that UNCW is known for, but to do so in an environment that adheres to all health and safety guidelines. Please see this June 16 communication from Provost James Winebrake for additional details.

  • What is the status of international students who are planning to study at UNCW this fall? Has there been an announcement as to whether they may remain in the country if their courses are shifted to 100 percent online during the semester? I am trying to make the decision to either study at UNCW or stay abroad instead.

    On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that international students in F-1 status will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. if their institution is holding fully online courses this fall. On July 14, the federal government agreed to rescind the Student and Exchange Visitor/ICE fall 2020 guidance.

    The fall ICE guidance will not be enforced anywhere in the U.S., and the previous guidance that was in place in March 2020 remains in place for now. The March guidance applies only to students currently enrolled in a program of study. New international students or transfer students outside of the U.S. should contact their international student advisor for more information.

    Please see the message from Chancellor Satarelli and Provost Winebrake reiterating support for UNCW’s international students.

    Please direct any questions about the status of ICE guidance to international@uncw.edu.

  • What steps will the university take if a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19?

    If a member of the UNCW community – including students, faculty and staff – tests positive for COVID-19, the university will follow standard contact tracing protocols to identify and communicate directly with those who had close contact with the individual. Consistent with the State Human Resources Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as other privacy considerations, UNCW's colleges and schools, departments and units should not communicate about COVID-19 positive cases broadly to their populations. 

  • If you have symptoms and contact your out-of-town doctor, and need testing, where will you go for testing? Will the Student Health Center provide that service?

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms, notify the UNCW Student Health Center at 910.962.0587 or  coronavirus@uncw.edu. If you are a student, testing is available in the Student Health Center. If you are a staff or faculty member, the Student Health Center can help to connect you with appropriate testing locations in the community.

  • Will students, faculty and staff be held accountable if they do not follow the university's health and safety guidelines?

    Failure to adhere to the university's health and safety guidelines could result in disciplinary action as applicable under the university's existing policies and procedures for faculty, staff and students.

  • What type of course options will UNCW offer in the fall?

    UNCW plans to offer in-person, online and hybrid course options for the fall 2020 semester. Registration opened July 6 (via SeaNet). Please regularly monitor your campus inbox and SeaNet account in the coming days and weeks in case the university must make course adjustments based on new health and safety guidelines, enrollment needs for students, and the fluid nature of our COVID-19 response. Please see more information about fall courses in this communication from Provost James J. Winebrake.

  • How will tuition and fees be affected if the university has to switch to an all-online instructional format this year?

    Some or all instructional formats for all or part of the 2020-21 academic year may change due to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.

  • What will campus life be like this fall?

    Our current plans are to operate the student union, dining facilities, and campus recreation center according to recommended physical distancing guidelines. Students should be prepared for line queuing using appropriate social distancing and limited occupancy. Student organizations and Greek life student organizations will continue with restricted occupancy or use of virtual meetings and appropriate social distancing. Sport Clubs will not be allowed to travel to or host competitive events. In all cases, masks will be required in all campus buildings unless the individual is in a private space.

  • Will the Student Recreation Center be open?

    The UNCW Student Recreation Center will open at 30 percent capacity to students, faculty and staff under North Carolina’s Phase 2.5 restrictions, effective 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. UNCW students who have not already entered the Student Recreation Center this semester must register before their first visit, and until otherwise notified all users must reserve their use of the facility in advance.

     Hours and registration instructions for access to the SRC can be found at www.uncw.edu/campusrec

     Face coverings/masks will be required in all areas of the Rec Center except the indoor and outdoor pools.

     As a reminder, open free play on outdoor recreation fields is accessible between the hours of 4-10pm (M-TH), 4-7pm (Fri), 1-4pm (Sat) and 1-10pm (Sun).

     In addition, the MAC gym will be open from 11 a.m-5 p.m. M-TH for additional seating for student meals and to allow students to wait or do homework between classes.

  • What about 2020-21 athletics?

    Following a recent directive by the NCAA Board of Governors, and with the health, safety and well-being of its student-athletes a top priority, UNCW Athletics is suspending competition of its fall sports programs. The sports of men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s cross country and women’s cross country will continue to prepare for an expected spring season. Please see more from UNCW Athletics here.

  • Is it possible for a student to take off a semester or a year to avoid exposure?

    Students who are absent from the university for more than one semester (excluding summer semesters) are considered inactive and must seek readmission from the Admissions Office.

  • How are campus dining locations adapting to COVID-19-related restrictions?

    Dining Services staff will provide continuous cleaning and sanitization of tables, chairs and other high-touch surfaces and back-of-house areas; drink stations and restrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes. Additionally, each dining facility will be disinfected nightly once they have closed for the evening. Seating in dining areas will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing guidelines, and self-serve buffet stations will be converted so they can be served by an attendant to limit touch points. Other retail locations, including popular national brands, will also open on campus in the fall in compliance with UNCW's distancing and cleaning guidelines. Options for takeout, curbside and mobile meal ordering will be expanded and the university plans to increase its outdoor seating capacity.

  • How will dining on campus be different this fall semester?

    Dining on campus will look and feel different, but in a positive way! There will be an emphasis on cleaning, sanitization and safety at all locations, and the two all-you-care-to-eat dining hall facilities (Wagoner Hall and Dub’s Café) will continue to have their wide array of choices and menu options. Dining will also have expanded options to assist with safely offering customizable meals for students. This includes an option for to-go dining hall meals at both Madeline Suite (adjacent to Wagoner Hall) and Dub’s Café. These meals will be ordered via a mobile ordering app, offering ultimate flexibility and meal customization, in addition to contactless pick up. Mobile ordering will also be offered at two retail locations exclusively, Subway and Jole Mole in the Fisher University Union, eliminating the need to stand in line to receive made-to-order items. In addition, Campus Dining has partnered with several local food trucks to be on campus which offers the ability to receive fresh, made-to-order local meals from our valued community partners. Outdoor seating will also be increased in anticipation of this increased outdoor dining option. Finally, convenience stores on campus will be expanding the quantity and variety of fresh pre-packaged items. These items will be made fresh daily and meal plan holders will have the added benefit of using a Teal Meal for these fresh-made items with the convenience of grabbing it on the go. We anticipate the changes and additions to be an added benefit to our students, especially our meal plan holders.

  • What should students do if they begin to feel ill while on campus?
    • Call 911 and seek emergency aid immediately for an emergency or life-threatening situation
    • For non-emergencies, quickly find a stopping point for your class, work, research, project, activity, etc.
      • Contact the UNCW Student Health Center at 910.962.0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu.
      • Go home/to your residence hall room and follow recommendations of medical professionals

  • When are employees and students expected to wear face coverings?

    Recent research has shown that face coverings play an important part in preventing the spread of COVID. Therefore, at UNCW, face coverings will be required for all faculty, staff and students for indoor movement and when participating in meetings, events, classes, gatherings, in shared spaces, and when doing research with others. All riders on the Seahawk Shuttle must wear cloth face coverings.

    Employees are not expected to wear a face covering when working alone in a room or office, or when walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location. Students are not expected to wear a face covering when alone in their residence hall room. Remember to always carry a face covering with you, even when you are alone, in case you encounter someone else.

  • Will students need to bring any of their own face coverings?

    Students will receive two washable face coverings from the university. Distribution details will be shared closer to the start of the fall semester. Students are expected to supply any additional washable or disposable face coverings they may need. Disposable masks will be available for purchase on campus.

  • Are students with asthma or other health concerns that may affect their breathing required to wear masks?

    Students with asthma or other health concerns should contact the Student Health Center at coronavirus@uncw.edu. A medical provider will reach out to the student to discuss their medical history and find a solution that provides the best protection for the student.

  • If I think my roommate or a classmate has COVID-19 symptoms that they aren't addressing, whom should I contact?

    If students observe behavior that does not follow the university’s health and safety standards, we would ask that they first try to talk to the person about their concerns. If that doesn’t work, please email coronavirus@uncw.edu.

  • Will spring Class of 2020 graduates receive their honor cords and diplomas before December? If yes, how do those processes work?

    Yes, graduates will receive their diplomas before December. Spring 2020 digital and print diplomas were ordered on July 3rd. Students can expect to receive their print diploma by the first week of August. Diplomas were only ordered for students who did not have any holds or outstanding balances. Once a student’s hold is remove, the student should contact Graduation@uncw.edu to have their diploma released.

    Students who qualify for an academic distinction will be contacted about obtaining their honors cords once a distribution process has been finalized. Graduates earning distinction will have an opportunity to obtain their honor cords before their commencement ceremony in December. Please see the university's commencement site for the latest information, FAQ and other resources. 

  • Will the spring Class of 2020 ceremonies be combined with the fall ceremonies or held separately in December?

    Separate virtual ceremonies are planned for Saturday, Dec. 12. Please see the university's commencement site for the latest information, FAQ and other resources. 

  • How will efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 affect visitation policies in the residence halls?

    Assigned students have been notified that visitation policies have been modified, limiting students to one outside guest who must be a current on-campus resident. Students may have one guest per occupied bed in their rooms. Students may not have overnight guests. Please see the Campus Living Handbook for additional information.

  • What steps should be taken to protect students at high risk, such as those with chronic conditions and other health concerns?

    Students who are concerned about an underlying health condition should contact the Student Health Center; employees should contact their medical provider. The preventive measures that UNCW has put into place (including the 3 Ws: Wear a face covering, Wait 6 feet apart, and Wash your hands often) are designed to help protect our community. Additional information on health and safety precautions may be found here.

  • Will students with compromised immune systems or other health concerns be able to choose not to return to campus? What steps should students take if they are considering this approach?

    Students with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions are encouraged to consider registering for an all-online schedule for the fall semester. They should be in contact with their medical provider and contact the Student Health Center if they need assistance.

    Students whose classes are delivered 100% online will be permitted to cancel their housing contract if they were originally planning to live on campus.

    Faculty are not required to accommodate students requesting an online version of a course that is currently scheduled as face-to-face instruction, although they must make their best efforts to make adjustments to allow students who become ill or have to be quarantined during the semester to continue to work virtually toward reaching course learning outcomes. Students who desire a 100% online schedule should be sure to register only for classes that are listed as 100% online in Banner. They should work with their advisor if they need assistance with registration.

  • What are the key financial aid concerns students should consider for the fall? Where can students and their families go for more information?

    Many families have been affected by the pandemic. For this reason, being familiar with all of the financing options is important. For those who experienced a significant loss due to the coronavirus, a re-evaluation of aid may be done with the completion of our special circumstances form and submission of all required supplemental information.

  • Should students consult with a financial aid counselor for personalized advice regarding the loan aid consequences of “stopping out” for a semester or longer?

    The Return of Financial Aid policy for adjustments due to withdrawing is outlined here. Before withdrawing, students are welcome to contact their financial aid counselor to learn more about how stopping out may affect them.

  • How can students determine if a class will be online/in person/hybrid when looking at their schedules in SeaNet?

    It is important to check your academic schedule periodically in the weeks before classes begin. The course delivery code will tell you in what format each course will be delivered. More information about how to locate and understand the delivery code can be found at this website.

  • Will all classes be online?

    At present, the university plans to offer a combination of face-to-face, hybrid and online courses to empower students to continue pursuing their educational goals despite challenging situations caused by the pandemic.

    As the provost’s recent message to students noted, courses will be offered in a wide range of modes. Some will be face-to-face (with face coverings and social distancing required); many others will be in some form of hybrid mode with some time spent face-to-face and some time spent working together online at the same time (“synchronous”) or in a “flipped” model with more of the coursework occurring online and done at your own pace (“asynchronous”).

    Details about when students need to be available for synchronous time in classes will be forthcoming but will land within each scheduled course’s time and date. The modes are present in SeaNet as you register, but if you have additional questions, we encourage you to reach out to instructors and department chairs. Recognize it may take them a little time to get back to you, many faculty are “off contract” for the summer and may be on vacation, etc. Syllabi will be made available a week before classes start to help students get a sense of how a particular class may be structured.

    Details about how to determine the format in which specific classes are offered in fall 2020 are available here.

  • How could students' progress toward graduation be affected by fall course scheduling?

    It is possible, as it is in any semester, that some courses may not be available or may be filled by the time a student registers. It is also possible that there may be a cancellation or a shift in course modes. Students who are finding it difficult to schedule a course they need should reach out to their advisor to review their degree audit and academic pathways. They may be able to help the student reconfigure their planned schedule to keep them on track for graduation.

    If it is imperative that you enroll in a specific course for fall 2020, don’t hesitate, with your advisor’s assistance, to reach out to faculty instructors and their department chairs.

    Students also may request, through their advisor, a waiver of a program requirement or substitution of some other course. Flexibility with these waivers is not unlimited, but students are encouraged to work with their advisor, faculty and department chair to help them build a schedule that keeps them on track for graduation.

  • Is there specific travel guidance that international students should consider when making plans to return to UNCW, given travel restrictions that are in place?

    F-1 students with valid F-1 visa may travel to the U.S. while the travel restrictions are still in place. They do not need to seek a national interest exception (letter from their embassy) to travel. As long as a student has a valid F-1 visa stamp, current I-20, and passport valid 6 months into the future, they should be allowed to travel into the U.S.

    Please note that you must fly into one of 15 airports specifically designated for international arrivals.

    If you are traveling internationally to UNCW, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Wilmington before participating in UNCW events or classes. If you need to miss any classes to self-quarantine, you must contact each of your professors. Please visit the Student Health website for information and email coronavirus@uncw.edu with questions.

    If you have not already done so, you must complete this quick survey to let us know your housing arrangements for the fall. This applies to students both in the U.S. and abroad. The survey will help Student Health prepare for students' safe return to campus.

    For answers to any additional questions you may have, contact the UNCW Office of International Programs at international@uncw.edu.

  • What type of campus life programming is planned for the fall?

    Our current plans are to operate the student union, dining facilities and campus recreation center according to recommended physical distancing guidelines. Students should be prepared for line queuing using appropriate social distancing and limited occupancy. Campus Recreation will have limited occupancy, will have 12 feet between equipment and students will have to sign up online for a specific time to come to the recreation center. Club sports will not be offered. Club and Greek life student organizations will continue with restricted occupancy or use of virtual meetings and appropriate social distancing. In all cases, masks will be required in all campus buildings unless the individual is in a private space.

    Traditional campus programming (events, speakers, movies, concerts, etc.) will be delivered in limited in-person, hybrid and virtual formats throughout the fall semester. When safe and appropriate, multiple showings or presentations of selected events will be offered in order to expand the number of in-person programming opportunities for students. More information about campus organizations, events and student engagement can be found on the WaveLink web page.


Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Staff

  • What can you tell us about plans for vaccinating students, faculty and staff?

    UNCW is collaborating with New Hanover County Public Health to facilitate and strongly encourage the vaccination of students, faculty and staff against COVID-19. When the state and county’s vaccination plans provide us with the opportunity for vaccination, each one of us may enhance our community’s public health now and in the future by participating. The Student Health Center has confirmed that faculty and staff, especially those teaching or working on campus, will be included in Phase 1b, Groups 2 and 3 (based on age) as part of the education sector. New Hanover County, where the UNCW main campus is located, is currently vaccinating people in Phase 1b, Group 1. More details about the phases can be found here. Most students will be included later in Phase 3 of the plan, although individuals with underlying health conditions or other factors may qualify for earlier phases. The university also is prepared to assist county health officials as they work to administer vaccines. Our campus has served as a vaccination site in the past, and if our campus health experts are offered the opportunity to provide that service again, we will let you know. Resource: See New Hanover County’s Current COVID Vaccination Phase website. If you reside in other NC counties or other states, please visit the appropriate health department websites for information specific to your area.

  • Will faculty and staff be required to submit proof of a negative test before returning to campus? How can I get tested?

    UNCW’s health and safety experts recommend COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff who will be teaching in-person courses and/or working on campus in collaboration with students and/or other colleagues. The Student Health Center will offer free testing for faculty and staff who are primarily working and teaching on campus on Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22 in the Burney Center from 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. A UNCW ID will be required. Please be prepared to wait at least 45 minutes for test results. Employees who test positive will be instructed to follow up with their own medical provider and will need to be prepared to isolate off campus. Other testing opportunities are still being finalized and will be shared in the upcoming weeks. You can also find testing locations via the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ “Find My Testing Place” site.

  • Will there be periodic testing during spring semester?

    During the semester, the Student Health Center plans to conduct surveillance testing for students, faculty and staff living and working on campus. We will share more information about this testing effort once plans are finalized.

  • Should I get tested before visiting family or traveling for Thanksgiving?

    Employees are encouraged to be tested before attending holiday functions and other gatherings. In addition, public health officials recommend that both students and employees obtain flu shots between now and the end of winter break to help reduce the strain on the nation’s health care system by limiting the spread of the flu. The community testing site is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. through Nov. 24, and additional days may also be planned. Beginning Nov. 17, the community testing site hours will be expanded to serve the UNCW community from 9-11 a.m. on days the testing site operates. Testing is free.

    Employees should register at this link for testing at the community site. You will expedite the process by registering in advance, printing out your voucher, and bringing it with you to be tested. The testing site is in Lot 1A at the intersection of Hurst Drive and Hamilton Drive. Those driving to the site should enter off of Hurst Drive; those who choose to walk will see a tent at the corner of the parking lot.

    Please be aware of CDC guidelines to help prevent becoming infected with COVID-19:

    • Remember that 15 minutes of exposure to someone with COVID-19 within a 24-hour period increases the chance of infection.

    • Give careful consideration to indoor gatherings or outdoor gatherings with large groups.

    • Avoid gatherings with people outside your usual circle when possible.

  • When will campus housing close for the fall, and what is the protocol for returning in the spring semester?

    Students living on campus have received individualized emails outlining closing information for the fall and opening information for the spring. Closing information included:

    • All first-year students will need to leave campus for winter break on November 25 by 1 p.m. Each of them will receive additional detailed information pertinent to their residence hall from their Residence Coordinators in early November.

    • Students who are not in their first year and are living on campus in our Seahawk Apartments and University Suites will be allowed to stay over the breaks. They will also receive additional information from their Residence Coordinators in early November on building services during the breaks.

    • First-year students who went home for the de-densification of the residence halls will receive returning information for the spring. First-year students who left for the fall and were in double rooms will receive an opportunity unique to them about remaining home for the spring. This information will be provided to them in advance of scheduling classes, so if they choose to do this, they will have the opportunity to schedule classes coded as OLSYN or OLASY. The email will include specific steps they will need to take to request this preference to Housing, including a November 20 decision deadline. All that said, we expect many will choose to return to live on campus.

    • All students will have an opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 before they return home to their families for the holidays. This information will be sent to them in a separate communication in November.

    To assist in limiting the spread of the virus when spring semester begins, residential students will be expected to provide an indication of a negative COVID-19 test three days prior to returning to campus. Students who test positive at home will be asked not to return to campus until they are released from isolation. Students who were not tested before returning from the break will be tested on campus during Move-In. We will provide more details in the coming weeks.
     
    Plans are being made for periodic surveillance testing during the spring semester as well. The Student Health Center will manage the testing, and we will provide more information once the process is finalized.

    As part of the university’s continuing efforts to de-densify campus, employees who have been working remotely, in consultation with their supervisor, should continue to work remotely in the spring semester until further notice. Supervisors should work with their employees to ensure a successful arrangement that meets business needs. We will provide notice and details in advance should conditions change.

  • Are there campus resources for COVID testing for faculty and staff?

    UNCW is collaborating with the New Hanover County Health Department to serve as a host site for free COVID-19 testing. Beginning Oct. 27, 2020 and running through Nov. 24, 2020, the drive-through testing site will be open to the general public including the campus community. The tests are self-administered and are free of charge to all. This testing is made possible in part by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

    This site will be accessible to UNCW faculty and staff, as well as the public. Students should continue using the Student Health Center, where testing remains free for them. Anyone who wishes to be tested may register at this link. Symptoms or possible exposure are not necessary to receive a test.

    Testing will be offered in Lot A, at the corner of Hurst Drive and Hamilton Drive, across from the Greene Track & Field Complex. People who are driving are encouraged to enter campus from Hurst Drive.

    There will also be walk-up testing available. Hours for testing will be 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Questions may be emailed to coronavirus@uncw.edu.

  • Will parking refunds be available, since many faculty and staff have been teleworking since March?

    In the spring semester we received guidance from the UNC System Office that directed each institution to follow their own applicable policies as they relate to the issuance of refunds for parking permits. UNCW's policies, along with the policies of many other system campuses, did not permit the issuance of refunds after a pre-established date. That pre-established refund cutoff last academic year was March 1. Because the university closed after that date, we were not able to commit to providing refunds. However, we understand the growing need for flexibility as our campus community adjusts to varying schedules, working remotely and other operational adjustments experienced over the last year. The Board of Trustees at the October meeting approved a new parking ordinance with built-in flexibility. This includes a revised refund schedule, and the ability to create parking options around various teleworking schedules, which we will gather through direct employee feedback and human resource data. In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with the Parking, Traffic and Transportation Advisory Committee to review our findings and hear recommendations. Please contact parking@uncw.edu with any feedback, or email Sharon Boyd at boyds@uncw.edu to share your thoughts or to request a virtual meeting to discuss faculty and staff ideas.

  • Will staff that are currently working remotely be forced to return to campus in person in spring even though the pandemic may not be over by then?

    The university leadership team is evaluating plans for spring semester. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

  • I saw where there was a bullet point for reduced dining but didn't specify locations. Are Wagoner and Dub’s open for in-dining or just takeout? And are in-dining for all-you-can-eat, or just pre-ordered items?

    Campus Dining is slightly different this fall than in previous semesters, but it does not mean there are fewer dining options. Our two all-you-care-to-eat facilities continue to offer a wide array of choices, and our main dining hall, Wagoner, is open for in-person dining. There were a few modifications to Wagoner to allow for the safety of our guests: dining rooms and service areas have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing; additional cleaning and sanitizing, especially on high-touch areas; and our self-serve buffet stations have been converted so they can be served by an attendant to limit touchpoints. The following stations are open daily and ready to serve our guests: Grill, Home Zone, Pizza, Deli, Salad Bar, Greens and Grains, Bakery, and Continental Breakfast. For more information on specific menus at these stations, please visit the Campus Dining website.

    There are also new locations and expanded options to assist with safely offering customizable meals. This includes an option for dining hall meals-to-go at both Madeline To-Go (a new dining location adjacent to Wagoner Hall) and Dub’s Café. These meals are ordered through the GrubHub app, which offers ultimate flexibility and customization with your meal in addition to contactless pickup. Seating is available adjacent to both mobile order locations. At Dub’s café seating is available in the Warwick Hall ballroom adjacent to the Dub’s café pickup window, and new outdoor seating is available in the front of Warwick Center. At Madeline To-Go there are outdoor seating options at the front of Wagoner Hall as well as on the side of Wagoner adjacent to University Suites.

  • Can we use Food Dollars or meal swipes through GrubHub? With GrubHub, will there be a delivery fee reprieve?

    Meal swipes and Food Dollars are accepted through the GrubHub app. Faculty and staff meal swipes can be used at Dub’s Café and Madeline To-Go by selecting the meal swipe menu. Food Dollars can be used at Jole Mole, Subway, Mooyah and Einstein Bros., as well as at Dub’s Café and Madeline To-Go by selecting the regular menu. All campus locations are pick-up only, no delivery, but there is no charge to use your meal plan through the GrubHub app, as all processing costs are paid by Campus Dining. Seahawk Bucks, debit and credit cards may also be used. For more information please see the Campus Dining website.

  • The Center for Marine Science seems to be left out of the food options conversation. Can we be offered some of these alternative options (food trucks, reopening Ebb Tide, etc.) during this season and in the future?

    Campus Dining was unable to open Ebb Tide this fall due to extensive preparation opening dining locations on the main campus. However, we are actively discussing food options for CMS and we would like to meet with faculty, staff and students to understand dining needs. We believe there is an opportunity to expand our micro-markets to this location. To provide feedback, please email auxiliary@uncw.edu, or email Sharon Boyd at boyds@uncw.edu to share your thoughts or to request a virtual meeting to discuss faculty and staff ideas.

  • The past couple of years have been very challenging, not just because of COVID-19, but also because of natural disasters and growth. What can be done to address related concerns, such as overwork/burnout and stress?

    Everyone has been working hard, and many faculty and staff haven’t taken time off this year because of the focus on pandemic-related work. Human Resources urges employees to discuss with their supervisors scheduling some time off, using vacation or compensatory time that has accrued. With the semester ending just after Thanksgiving and students not returning to classes until Jan. 20, there may be more flexibility to take time off to recharge. Faculty and staff also have an excellent resource in the Employee Assistance Program, a 24/7 confidential counseling and resource service to help UNCW employees and their families with personal and work-related concerns. Instructions on how to use the program are available here.

  • Is there consideration for an extended holiday break for staff?

    As discussed during the September Staff Forum, the winter break between the fall and spring semesters will be longer than usual due to calendar adjustments made to address COVID-19 concerns. Although UNCW offices are officially closed Dec. 24, 2020-Jan. 1, 2021, the last day of classes this fall is Nov. 24 and the first day of classes next semester is Jan. 20, 2021. Given the extended break, Chancellor Sartarelli and the Cabinet are encouraging supervisors and employees to work together to cover their units' business needs while also providing employees with the flexibility to take much-needed time off to rest and regenerate themselves after a very challenging year.

  • With evidence of the importance of ventilation in curbing the spread of COVID-19, would it be possible to open windows in buildings that currently can't be opened? Specifically, Hoggard Hall?

    Each building is different, so each office or classroom space needs to be considered individually. Environmental Health & Safety staff can consult with those who would like to be able to open windows. Contact EH&S by emailing Director Jeff Campbell at campbellj@uncw.edu, or send an email to EHS@uncw.edu.

  • Will Randall Library be open between Thanksgiving and the winter break for faculty and staff?

    The library will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, when classes end and will move to curbside pickup from Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 18. The library will share information with students, faculty and staff through a campus communication later this semester. For more information and daily hours, visit the library’s website.

  • To further support remote working, are there ideas on how to transition more offices to paperless?

    UNCW now has a license with DocuSign and is working with departments across campus to convert many paper processes into electronic forms. So far more than 1,000 forms have been created, and TeamDynamix tickets are available for new account requests and service support. For more information, please visit the DocuSign web page.

  • It was mentioned during the September Staff Forum that there would be commencement boxes for the December graduates. Was anything like this done for the Spring 2020 graduates? Will academic cords be delivered to students in their commencement boxes?

    Yes, all spring, summer and fall graduates will receive commencement boxes. Spring 2020 graduates have already received their academic regalia, but summer and fall graduates will get their academic cords with their boxes. However, regalia signifying membership in groups (fraternities and sororities, for example) will need to be distributed by the organization.

  • What is the status of spring semester 2021?

    Based on currently available information about the pandemic, UNCW has decided to alter its spring calendar to allow more time between winter break and the first day of classes, an approach designed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. On the traditional semester calendar, classes will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. There will not be a spring break, but classes are canceled for the Good Friday holiday April 1-2. Spring 2021 commencement is scheduled for May 7-8. Students and faculty in the university’s Online Accelerated Program should see the OAP Calendar for their schedule. Although it is too soon to determine exactly how our courses may take shape, the university is planning to offer a robust combination of online, hybrid and in-person classes again in the spring.

  • Does the announcement moving students to single-occupancy rooms and allowing some on-campus students to go home mean UNCW is moving to all-online education?

    This de-densification will not affect classes en masse, as this is not a pivot to all online instruction. Faculty will work to provide appropriate remote learning opportunities for students who leave campus, as they have for students who find themselves in quarantine for a period of time.

  • What percentage of UNCW courses are being held in person?

    Currently, about 13% of undergraduate courses are face-to-face, with another 31% in a hybrid modality (part online, part in-person). About 55% are in an online format.

  • If COVID-19 clusters continue to rise, what point will UNCW make a decision to move to entirely online instruction?

    UNCW has a pivot plan that considers and weighs multiple triggers including: the number of positive cases; the availability of testing material, staff, and supplies; occupancy of our isolation/quarantine space; and guidance from state and local officials. A variety of these factors will help inform the decision when to pivot from in-person to online, if needed. As the pivot plan was being developed, we consulted with the director of the New Hanover County Health Department.

  • Where can I learn more about the university's efforts to de-densify campus?

    Please see these FAQs on the Housing and Residence Life site.

  • Will COVID-related numbers at UNCW be made available to the UNCW community as we move forward?

    Yes. A dashboard has been created to keep everyone informed of the trends. Be aware that the Student Health Center can only confirm test results they administer. Students and faculty who test positive elsewhere are asked to inform the Student Health Center.

  • Will all students be tested?

    UNCW has no current plans to test every student; decisions about future surveillance testing will be made in consideration of CDC, New Hanover County Health Department and UNC System guidance. The Student Health Center has been testing students since the spring semester. Working with vendors and the health ‎department, the health center anticipates having adequate testing supplies to test any student wbo requests testing. It is important that students get tested if they exhibit symptoms or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Students may also choose to be tested before travelling, before visiting family, before moving to a new location, or if their job requires a test. In addition, we have developed plans for quarantine and isolation on campus for those students who need it. Based on our experiences since spring, we do not expect that many students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to withdraw. Rather, we expect that most will be able to continue their studies through online options. Those with more severe symptoms who need to withdraw would work through University College or their college's Associate Dean.

    To make an appointment to be tested, students should call 910-962-3280. There is no cost to be tested on campus.

  • Will symptomatic students be immediately moved to quarantine?

    Yes. Students determined eligible for COVID testing by the Student Health Center will be moved to quarantine as quickly as possible while waiting for test results. There are 150 rooms reserved for students needing quarantine space.

  • What measures will be in place to keep classrooms clean?

    Each classroom will be supplied disinfectant wipes so that students and faculty can wipe down their areas before use. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the buildings as well. Facilities will replace supplies as needed, but if more immediate response is needed, please see your departmental administrative associate to submit a work order. Classrooms will be cleaned every evening. The classrooms will be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner approved for COVID by the CDC. All desks, chairs, and touch surfaces will be sprayed, soaked, and cleaned daily.

  • Will UNCW meetings be held online or in person?

    Meetings may be offered in both formats. Any in-person meetings must adhere to social distancing guidelines and should be offered online for faculty and staff who are teleworking. For the foreseeable future, UNCW will continue to observer NC Phase 2 guidelines, which resitrict in-person gatherings or meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors. Although we are allowing classes to run in-person, we also want to minimize in-person, non-class activities as much as possible. Therefore, we are following the Phase 2 guidelines for non-class situations to minimize risks for participants, the campus, and the community. We will continue to monitor and make changes as needed.

  • Will I have to attend in-person meetings with my coworkers?

    For the foreseeable future, UNCW will continue to observer NC Phase 2 guidelines, which resitrict in-person gatherings or meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors, who are spaced at least six feet apart. UNCW strongly encourages the use of technology (e.g., conference calls, Zoom or Teams) to conduct virtual meetings, even when meeting participants are in the same building.

  • How should we plan and recruit for summer 2021 study abroad trips and scholarship opportunities?

    Please reach out to Michael Wilhelm, associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of International Programs (wilhelmm@uncw.edu). He is happy to assist in these efforts. Some restrictions have been lifted, so there is some hope these programs may continue in some form. Please encourage students to apply for fellowships as they are still planned to be offered. Also remember these scholarships can often be applied to virtual or remote experiences.

  • Given the recent data about aerosol transmission and the recommendation of good ventilation, have ventilation systems been upgraded in buildings?

    The ventilation systems have been analyzed and are being maximized for quality. Not every building can accept the same filters. Filters will be replaced more often in those systems unable to accept upgraded, thicker filters. Systems will be set to run continually (without shutting down overnight as in the past) and will accept the maximum amount of outside/fresh air allowable to the extent that the air can still be cooled.

  • Will there be notification/contact tracing when a student/staff/faculty member falls ill?

    Due to HIPAA restrictions, private medical information will not be shared. Current CDC guidance indicates anyone feeling ill should plan to self-isolate/seek testing if they have had close contact (less than 6 feet) for a prolonged time (more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19.

  • What PPE will be in place for maintenance and housekeeping staff who work in classroom buildings or residence halls?

    Maintenance and Housekeeping staff members will be wearing face coverings and gloves. Additional staff members will be in place to specifically clean high-touch surfaces.

  • What should we do if housekeeping is not taking place?

    Please submit a work order or contact Renee McClammy (mcclammyr@uncw.edu or 962.2122), housekeeping administrator, with any housekeeping needs. An email was distributed on August 6 that described the door hanger notification to housekeeping for individuals who choose to eliminate the cleaning service for their office.

  • In what ways are UNCW leaders preparing for faculty/staff burnout and related mental health?

    Campus leaders have been engaged in these discussions and are aware that this issue needs to be addressed at both the departmental and institutional level. The provost, deans, and chairs invite suggestions and encourage faculty to continue self-care practices. Liz Grimes, associate vice chancellor for human resources, reminds faculty and staff members to consider the confidential and free (to employees and their households) Employee Assistance Program. The EAP offers a wide variety of counseling services. In addition to the website, the EAP may be reached by phone at 888. 298.3907. This benefit is available to all employees and their family members, regardless of the insurance provider.

  • How many layers of fabric are in the face coverings that are being provided?

    Each student/faculty/staff will receive two face coverings with the recommended two layers. Students/faculty/staff are expected to wear a face covering per health and safety guidelines.

  • Will students be permitted to wear face shields while giving oral presentations in class?

    Students may wear face shields only while teaching or providing oral presentations in class. Cloth face coverings should be worn at all other times. Students (or departments) should provide the face shields, and they should not be shared.

  • What is the process for purchasing face shields for student presentations?

    The university has purchased more than 2,000 face shields that sit on the forehead for all instructors teaching face-to-face courses (including hybrid). They have arrived on campus and are in process of distribution. As a reminder, face shields do not protect the wearer. If you wish to purchase face shields for student presentations, please see your business officer, who has been provided guidance from AARM.

  • Must I honor a student request to deliver my hybrid or face-to-face course 100% online?

    No. Students should manage their schedule with advisors and in connection with guidance provided in Best for the Nest. If they have trouble finding classes in the modality they need or prefer, they may inquire about a faculty member’s willingness to make adjustments. Faculty should be flexible where they can, but the primary means of flexibility for students is through course selection and substitutions (and waivers where they are 100% needed). Students should consult with their advisors and department chairs regarding unmet curricular needs. Please note that if a student is quarantined during the course of the semester, the instructor is expected to adjust as needed so that the student can meet the learning objectives of the course.

  • What do I do if a student refuses to comply with the face covering mandate?

    If a student refuses to comply with the UNC System requirement: Remind the student of the policy as stated in the syllabus and ask the student to wear a face covering. If the student does not have one, offer the student a disposable face covering (extras are located in each classroom). If the student refuses the covering, ask the student to leave, as students must wear face coverings to participate in face-to-face classes. If the student does not leave, inform the student you are obligated to submit a referral to the Dean of Students for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct (as opposed to employing an academic penalty). If the situation continues to escalate, contact University Police on the non-emergency line at 910.962.2222.

  • What is the appropriate way to approach faculty and staff in our buildings who are not wearing face coverings continuously or properly?

    It would be appropriate to respectfully remind the faculty or staff that it is UNCW policy that all faculty and staff wear face coverings in shared spaces. If the problem persists, it is appropriate to contact the supervisor of the faculty or staff.

  • Can we expect UNCW forms to be digitalized to ease the workflow?

    Yes. DocuSign was purchased as a license for the entire university. ITS is working with units to systematize e-signatures for many forms and processes.

  • To what extent do we have the university's support for delayed graduations for students, who, for example, are unable to complete face-to-face internships/fieldwork placements to satisfy degree requirements and professional credentialing?

    All attempts will be made to work with students so that graduation is not delayed. If face-to-face placements are not permissible, virtual or alternative experiences may be used to accomplish learning objectives. Requirements may also be delayed to another semester, when possible. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors, faculty, and department chairs to communicate barriers. Students, however, need to be aware that in limited cases, degree requirements may be tied to professional credentialing requirements, which are dictated by individual professional agencies or the State of North Carolina.

  • What measures are in place to promote students’ mental health during the pandemic?

    All therapy services in the University Counseling Center will be provided via telehealth to maximize availability to students while minimizing potential exposure to both the student and the therapist. The UCC will maintain daily walk-in and crisis consultation services to students. The UCC will also continue to offer virtual psychoeducational programs and resilience programs, and those programs will be posted on its YouTube channel.

  • What is the guidance on wearing face coverings? Can faculty use face shields for in-person lectures?

    As part of our continuing effort to educate campus on the importance of face coverings, reaffirm expectations and add further guidance for the outdoors, UNCW recently expanded its face covering requirement to further support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All students, faculty and staff should wear a cloth face covering outdoors when they are with other people. In campus dining areas, break rooms and other places where food is consumed, students, faculty and staff should wear face coverings while moving through the area and when they are done eating but are still sitting and talking with others.

    In addition, the university wants students and employees to remember to wear their face coverings in common areas of residence halls and buildings. For example, they don’t have to wear their face coverings when they are in their own bedrooms or offices, but when they go out into common areas, they need to put on their face coverings. Each faculty member should denote in syllabi that face coverings will be required in all classrooms and buildings, and students must wear face coverings to participate in face-to-face interactions. Students will be provided cloth coverings, and disposable masks will be available in the classrooms. Faculty members may wear face shields only during delivery of instruction. Faculty members are asked to communicate the same expectations of face coverings and social distancing to community members visiting classes as outlined in the Best for the Nest Community Standards.

  • I haven’t received my two face coverings. How will personal/community protective equipment be distributed to faculty and staff?

    Faculty and staff members should see their departmental administrative associates for the two cloth face coverings.

  • What will the classrooms look like?

    A spreadsheet of revised room capacity has been developed and distributed to deans. Furniture in classrooms will be arranged to meet social distancing guidelines by the first week of August for faculty viewing. In some cases, furniture will be removed, and in other cases, seating may be marked off to prevent usage. In all cases, it is imperative the furniture arrangement remains intact as placed.

  • Where should students go between classes or to participate in online classes?

    Various campus locations have been identified to provide students places to study or log on to online courses. Rooms identified to date include: Designated student study space has been set in the following locations and hours:

    Warwick Center Ballroom: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm; Friday 9 am – 3 pm

    Student Recreation Center MAC Gym (Use Southeast Corner Entrance): Monday – Thursday 11 am – 5 p (available for overflow dining during lunch hours)

    R-Lot Modular Complex (across from Dobo) – Buildings R22 and R23: Monday – Friday 7 am – 7 pm (Note: R21 has two classrooms that will be utilized throughout the day. Students may use the other two buildings in this complex and find a vacant seat for studying/logging in.)

    Morton Modular #2 (MM2 – next to Bear Hall): Monday – Friday 7am – 7 pm

    Randall Library: Hours vary by day and time. Check here more information.

    Students are encouraged to use headphones when participating in an online course to avoid disturbing others.

  • Where should students wait for their classes to begin?

    IWhen weather permits, students should wait outside of buildings for the class period to begin so that social distancing protocols may still be observed inside buildings.

  • I plan to be teleworking for the foreseeable future. Can I cancel my faculty/staff parking permit?

    Auxiliary Services Parking and Transportation has opened the faculty and staff parking permit renewal and opt-out process for the 2020-21 period (which runs from Oct.1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021). Faculty and staff who continue to telework are encouraged to evaluate their campus parking needs. Faculty and staff already on payroll deduction for their parking permit will be automatically renewed on payroll deduction, unless the decision is made by the deadline to opt out.

    Those who do not wish to automatically renew their parking permit should opt out online by Sept. 30, 2020, and the permit should be returned to the parking office in person or by campus mail to Campus Box 5914. The parking office is located in Warwick Center; hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Please note: If you are unable to return your permit, please contact parking@uncw.edu for accommodation.)

    If you choose to opt out of your permit, please visit the UNCW Parking website for a list of alternate parking options (meters/pay station, weekly or daily pass).

    For more information, visit UNCW Parking or contact the Parking and Transportation Office at 910.962.3178 or parking@uncw.edu.

  • What is the status of research space, and will graduate and undergraduate students have access?

    Academic Affairs’ Office of Research and Innovation has announced the next phase of research ramp-up (PDF) for UNCW. This plan articulates the timing associated with faculty and student access to research spaces and provides additional guidance for safer research operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate and undergraduate students working with research faculty will have access to labs in accordance with UNCW's COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. This ramp-up aligns with return-to-campus timing released by Human Resources and the Best for the Nest Community Standards (PDF).

  • I just learned that my child’s school will be entirely online this fall. May I continue to telework?

    As UNCW approaches the start of fall semester, we are aware of the planning process occurring in the local K-12 schools and the potential impact that those decisions could have on our faculty and staff with school-aged children. These circumstances are challenging for families and require flexibility and creativity to ensure employees can balance their work responsibilities with their personal situations.  

    The university already has a process in place for faculty and staff who may need flexibility for health-related concerns due to COVID-19 for themselves or their family members. We plan to use a similar approach for employees who are parents of school-aged children.

    Supervisors and the affected faculty and staff members are in the best position of working together to find a flexible schedule solution. If a supervisor and employee are struggling to find a viable flexible schedule option, Adam Hall, HR employee relations consultant, is available at halla@uncw.edu (910.962.3856) and Felicia Nolan, HR employee relations consultant, is available at nolanf@uncw.edu (910.962.7765) and ready to assist in those cases.  

  • Will the Student Recreation Center be open?

    The UNCW Student Recreation Center will open at 30 percent capacity to students, faculty and staff under North Carolina’s Phase 2.5 restrictions, effective 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. UNCW students who have not already entered the Student Recreation Center this semester must register before their first visit, and until otherwise notified all users must reserve their use of the facility in advance.

     Hours and registration instructions for access to the SRC can be found at www.uncw.edu/campusrec

     Face coverings/masks will be required in all areas of the Rec Center except the indoor and outdoor pools.

     As a reminder, open free play on outdoor recreation fields is accessible between the hours of 4-10pm (M-TH), 4-7pm (Fri), 1-4pm (Sat) and 1-10pm (Sun).

    In addition, the MAC gym will be open from 11 a.m-5 p.m. M-TH for additional seating area for student meals and to allow students to wait or do homework between classes.

  • What office areas should employees disinfect in addition to the common areas/items that Housekeeping will clean?

    Employees should disinfect their workspace, work vehicles, and all tools/equipment at the beginning and end of each workday or shift, and after each use if the items are shared. Disinfectant wipes and cleaning materials will be provided in work areas.

  • How will the university manage office space density?

    Offices should be single occupancy. Any exceptions will need to be approved by the Divisional Business Officer. If possible, managers should plan for a minimum of 40 square feet per person. If this is not possible, occupants should wear face coverings and contact EH&S for consultation as needed at ehs@uncw.edu.

  • How will we know capacities for non-classroom and research space (e.g., faculty offices, graduate student bullpens and departmental receptions)?

    Information has been provided at the local level, including guidelines on the use of lab space for PIs and others who manage those spaces. All spaces should limit density in order to meet social distancing requirements. Units have also received guidance from HR to encourage teleworking for those employees who are able to do so effectively.

  • When are employees and students expected to wear face coverings?

    Recent research has shown that face coverings play an important part in preventing the spread of COVID. Therefore, at UNCW, face coverings will be required for all faculty, staff and students for indoor movement and when participating in meetings, events, classes, gatherings, in shared spaces, and when doing research with others. Employees are not expected to wear a face covering when working alone in a room or office, or when walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location. Students are not expected to wear a face covering when in their residence hall room. Remember to always carry a face covering with you, even when you are alone, in case you encounter someone else.

  • Will faculty and staff need to bring any of their own face coverings?

    Faculty and staff will receive two face coverings from the university. Distribution details will be shared closer to the start of the fall semester. Employees are expected to supply any additional face coverings they may need.

  • If I think someone has COVID-19 symptoms at my worksite, whom should I contact?

    If employees observe behavior that does not follow the university’s health and safety standards, they should report these concerns to their supervisors or managers.

  • Will everyone at the worksite be working according to their usual schedules/work hours?

    To limit the number of people in buildings and work spaces, as well as interactions among employees, managers are encouraged to consider alternating schedules to the extent possible, as well as staggered reporting and departure times to reduce traffic near entrances and exits and in common areas. Common break rooms will have limited occupancy, and departments may stagger lunches and break times.

  • May I bring food items from home to share with my coworkers?

    Employees are encouraged to limit food sharing. If people want to bring in items to share, they should be pre-packaged.

  • How are campus dining locations adapting to COVID-19-related restrictions?

    Dining Services staff will provide continuous cleaning and sanitization of tables, chairs and other high-touch surfaces and back-of-house areas; drink stations and restrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes. Additionally, each dining facility will be disinfected nightly once they have closed for the evening. Seating in dining areas will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing guidelines, and self-serve buffet stations will be converted so they can be served by an attendant to limit touch points. Other retail locations, including popular national brands, will also open on campus in the fall in compliance with UNCW's distancing and cleaning guidelines. Options for takeout, curbside and mobile meal ordering will be expanded and the university plans to increase its outdoor seating capacity to support physical distancing measures. More information is available here.

  • Who will be responsible for purchasing additional masks after the two initially given by UNCW? Will this be supplied by the Student Health Center/EHS or will the individual department take on the financial responsibility of replacing these masks?

    All faculty, staff and students will be given two cloth face coverings before the start of fall semester. Faculty, staff and students will be expected to supply any other cloth face coverings they may need beyond the two distributed to them. Additional cloth face coverings will be available for sale in the bookstore and vending machines. Employees whose job requires the use of PPE (for example, the health center medical staff) will continue to have that provided to them.

  • When should I report to work on campus? Do I have the option to continue to telework?

    Employees who will be working on-site either full-time or part-time should plan to return to campus Aug. 3-14 on a date determined by your supervisor. It is essential that student support offices be open for operations no later than Aug. 10. Employees who will be teleworking either full-time or part-time as the fall semester progresses should complete a revised teleworking agreement with their supervisor/manager during this period. Note: an updated version of the teleworking agreement will be shared as soon as it is available.

    Employees who can work remotely to fulfill a portion or all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so until otherwise advised by their supervisor. This will reduce the number of individuals on campus and slow the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements, which should be approved by supervisors, can be done on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

    As outlined in the university’s Return to Campus guide (PDF), supervisors will be encouraged to offer flexibility for employees who are members of vulnerable populations or who may have childcare or other family responsibilities. The current COVID-19 Work/Leave provisions issued by the Office of State Human Resources remain in place. Any future updates to these provisions will be shared as soon as they become available.

  • What information was included in recent media coverage of COVID cases at colleges and universities nationwide, including UNCW?

    UNCW was one of hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide recently included in a July New York Times article about COVID cases. The university provided the number of COVID cases included in the article, which was 33 at the time of publication. The number represented all student or employee cases reported to the university since March 2020. The number does not reflect cases that occured on campus; some of the cases reported to the university were diagnosed in other areas where students and/or employees may have been residing or temporarily visiting. Please see our dashboard for more information about COVID cases affiliated with the UNCW community. To protect individuals’ private health information, UNCW will not identify employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19.

General Frequently Asked Questions