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


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All of my courses are online, and I want to stay home this fall rather than living on campus. May I cancel my housing registration?

    We are allowing students to cancel their contracts without penalty once we verify all their classes are online.‎ If any in-person classes are added during the Fall, housing charges would be added back to the account. And once a student accepts a key, the contract cannot be canceled, even if all classes go online during the semester. Please connect with Housing and Residence Life at housing@uncw.edu for additional information and requirements. 

  • 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.

  • If the university has to close campus before the semester ends due to COVID-19 conditions, will UNCW reimburse students/families for housing and dining costs?

    Given the ever-changing challenges COVID-19 presents, we understand there are uncertainties as we continue forward with our plan to resume in-person classes for the 2020-21 academic year. The UNC System issued guidance to all its institutions about the possibility that housing and dining refunds would not be available, particularly without state or federal financial relief, if COVID-19 further impacts students and forces them to leave campuses and return to online learning.

    Some have interpreted this guidance as a definitive decision not to issue refunds under any circumstances, but that is not accurate. If the UNC System institutions are able to offer financial relief to students—in the form of refunds or other measures—we would certainly like to do so. Regrettably, the current uncertain economic environment and health outlook precludes us from making any definitive decisions or commitments now on future refunds. We will provide further information and guidance as we know more.

  • 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. Campus Recreation will have limited occupancy and 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.

  • What about 2020-21 athletics?

    UNCW is working closely with state and local health officials, the UNC System, NCAA and Colonial Athletic Association on plans for 2020-21 athletics. No decisions have been made on any adjustments to schedules and championships.

  • 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.

  • Do you have the ability to test all the students for COVID-19? If there is an outbreak on campus, will there be adequate testing at the Student Health Center? Are students who contract COVID allowed to withdraw from the semester without penalty?

    In keeping with CDC and UNC System guidance, UNCW does not plan to test every student. The Student Health Center has been testing students on an as-needed basis since the spring semester. Working with vendors and the local health ‎department, the health center anticipates having adequate testing supplies to test any student that exhibits symptoms or has had exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, we have developed plans for quarantine and isolation on campus for those students that need it. Depending on the severity of illness, we do not expect that all students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to withdraw. Rather, we expect that some will be able to continue their studies through online options. Those that need to withdraw would work through University College or their college's Associate Dean. 

  • 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. 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.

  • 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.

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

    We are looking at several models for our December commencement ceremonies. We anticipate having further details to share with graduates in the coming months.

  • Are freshmen required to stay on campus?

    Yes, unless they meet one of the exceptions or are approved by Housing due to 100% of their classes being online.

  • 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 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.

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

    Under NC Phase II guidelines, 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.

  • 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.

  • Who will be responsible for purchasing additional masks if an employee/student loses or destroys 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.

  • 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 options for takeout, curbside and mobile meal ordering will be expanded. The university also plans to increase its outdoor seating capacity to support physical distancing measures.

  • When can I get back on campus to retrieve items I left in my office?

    The university plans to restore card access for the campus community the week of July 27-31, which means employees will be able to visit their offices to retrieve materials needed for upcoming classes and work assignments, etc. Please communicate in advance with your manager/supervisor if you plan to stop by campus during this week. Employees coming to campus should adhere to the university’s Community Standards (PDF), which also are available in the “Best for the Nest: A Guide for Returning to Campus” (PDF).

  • 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.

General Frequently Asked Questions