Message From Chancellor Sartarelli: Fall 2020 Guidelines and Information

Monday, August 10, 2020

Dear Campus Community,
The upcoming 2020-21 academic year at UNCW promises to be a memorable experience, one that will challenge us on many levels, but also one that I believe will inspire us to become an even better university. None of us can know, at this moment, exactly how the semester will unfold, but the university community is resilient and will adapt to necessary changes while continuing to focus on excellence in academics and research, engagement on campus and in the community, and the can-do spirit that defines Seahawks.
To our returning students, faculty and staff, many things will look and feel different on campus. A small but dedicated group of employees has been working on campus nearly every day for weeks to implement health and safety protocols to prepare UNCW for the fall semester. To our new students, the pandemic has altered our traditional welcome plans, but it hasn’t changed our excitement at your arrival.
Before classes begin, we are providing a recap of some of the most important information that has been shared about the 2020-21 academic year. Some information may have been updated recently (we constantly reassess our protocols as conditions warrant), so please read carefully. If you have any questions, email them to Thank you for your patience as we planned for a safe return to campus. We look forward to the fall semester and to welcoming back our Seahawks.
Academic Calendar
You can find the modified academic calendar for the fall here, but to summarize:
The first day of classes is Wednesday, Aug. 19. Labor Day (Sept. 7) will be a holiday, but fall break is canceled, and classes will conclude before Thanksgiving. Reading day will be Nov. 25. Final exams will take place online only from Nov. 30-Dec. 5. (For any classes requiring exams that cannot occur online, faculty will make plans for all instruction and in-person exams to take place before Thanksgiving.) Courses in the Online Accelerated Program calendar will remain as scheduled.
Students should keep an eye on their campus inbox for information relating to their classes and ask their academic advisor for assistance if any scheduling problems occur.
Welcome Week
This year, UNCW’s Welcome Week activities are going virtual, but there will still be plenty of opportunities to make new friends and become involved with the UNCW community. “Fall into the Dub” showcases engagement opportunities and resources to help students succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid
E-bills have been sent for fall 2020. Students received an update noting that some billing changes may be necessary. Questions about tuition and fee billing should be directed to For questions about financial aid, contact your designated counselor in the Office of Financial Aid.
Safety in the Classroom and on Campus
UNCW has implemented numerous measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning and encouraging the three Ws: WEAR face coverings; WAIT six feet apart; and WASH your hands often.
All faculty, staff and students will be required to wear cloth face coverings in classrooms and shared spaces, as well as other instances – indoors or outdoors – when they cannot consistently maintain a 6-foot distance from other people. 
Students are not expected to wear a face covering when in their residence hall room, or when alone in an uncrowded outdoor location. Employees are not expected to wear a face covering when working alone in a room or office, or when alone in an uncrowded outdoor location. 
Classrooms and other areas with heavy traffic will be cleaned and disinfected frequently, and hand sanitizer stations are widely available across campus, especially at entrances to buildings.
Seating in classes, conference rooms and common areas has been arranged to establish physical distancing, and signage throughout campus will provide important safety information. 
Prevention and Management of COVID-19
Students, faculty and staff should check their temperature and do a brief health assessment daily before coming to class or to campus.
If you are a student, please contact the Student Health Center at 910.962.3280 if you have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or if you experience any of these symptoms to arrange care. For UNCW students, testing is available on campus. Students outside of our area should contact a local health care provider first and notify the Student Health Center at or 910.962.0587.
Faculty and staff should contact their health care provider and notify their supervisor if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Employees with a positive COVID-19 test are asked to report that to or 910.962.0587. Employees also may contact the Student Health Center for information about testing locations in the community.
Contact the Student Health Center at 910.962.0587 or for guidance and specific information about testing, contact tracing and quarantine requirements.
Drop-Off began on July 31, and Move-In will run Wednesday, Aug. 13 through Tuesday, Aug. 18. Please see HRL’s Drop-Off and Move-In 2020 site for more information. Freshman residence halls will close Thanksgiving weekend.
In all residence halls, every effort will be made to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19, including additional cleaning, limiting visitors and requiring students to wear face coverings unless inside their own room. Although standard occupancy for residence hall rooms will be observed, students in vulnerable/at-risk groups, including those at-risk due to health conditions, had the opportunity to request single rooms. As part of the university’s physical distancing protocol, students will be asked to limit elevator occupancy in residence halls to one person at a time. Please take the stairs whenever possible.
Campus Dining and the Bookstore
Dining on campus will look and feel different with expanded options for to-go meals, more food trucks, mobile ordering options and expanded outdoor seating in many campus locations. All locations will follow an enhanced cleaning, sanitization and safety protocol, and the two all-you-care-to-eat dining hall facilities (Wagoner Hall and Dub’s Café) will continue to offer a wide array of choices and menu options. There will also be expanded options for to-go dining hall meals at both the Madeline Suite (adjacent to Wagoner Hall) and Dub’s Café. These meals will be ordered via a mobile ordering app and offer contactless pick-up.
Mobile ordering will also be offered at two retail locations, Subway and Jole Mole in the Fisher University Union. In addition, Campus Dining has partnered with several local food trucks to be on campus. Convenience stores on campus will expand the quantity and variety of fresh pre-packaged items. 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.
The Rec Center MAC Gym will open daily Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. as a satellite seating area during lunch. A food truck will be parked and available at the southeast SRC entry during this time. This space will remain available from 2-5 p.m. these days as an area where students can stop by, relax, eat a meal or snack as a supplement to the limited seating around campus.
The UNCW Bookstore reopened at 9 a.m. Aug. 10. Store hours and other details can be found here.
Student Activities and Campus Gatherings
All events at UNCW will follow the North Carolina Governor’s Executive Order on gatherings, which under the current Phase 2 guidelines, restricts indoor events to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25. 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.
Note: Classrooms and labs used for educational purposes as well as campus services are exempt from restrictions under the executive order, but UNCW has modified these spaces across campus to support enhanced physical distancing.
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.
Off-Campus Gatherings
In the interest of your and others’ safety, please know that UNCW takes very seriously your need to follow the governor’s restrictions on social gatherings both on and off campus. The same safe social distancing practices you have used all summer must now be practiced by you in the UNCW and Wilmington communities.
You may not attend nor host off-campus parties/social gatherings of 10 or more persons inside or 25 or more persons outside, including the host. We are working with local apartment complexes to strictly enforce these rules, and have also asked them to report to UNCW the names of any students attending or hosting such prohibited gatherings. If it is reported to UNCW that any student violates these provisions, said student(s) may be processed for violating the Code of Student Life through the campus conduct system.
Thank you for your cooperation and vigilance to help keep you and your peers safe. As soon as we are able to relax these restrictions, we will let you know.
Student Recreation Center
The Student Recreation Center will remain closed to students, faculty and staff due to Phase 2 restrictions through September 11. Further updates on opening of SRC will be released once new guidance is released.
Both the indoor and outdoor leisure pools will be open as permissible under Phase 2. Pool hours and registration instructions for access to the SRC for pool use can be found at
CHHS classes held at the SRC will be allowed.
Recreation Fields
The recreation fields will be open for limited free play opportunities as allowed under Phase 2. Hours can be found at
Fall Sports
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.
Questions, Resources
Students, faculty and staff should continue to monitor their campus inboxes for new information as it develops. Students, please consider sharing any updates with your parents/families to help keep them informed. No one can accurately predict what this pandemic will have in store for us in the coming months, and the university will continue to adapt its plans for the fall as needed to maintain our readiness for the full range of potential impacts.
We know that students, faculty and staff have questions in addition to the topics covered in this message. We have combined essential information, including the answers to many commonly asked questions, on the “Best for the Nest” website. Please visit this resource at 
After reviewing the site, if you don’t see the information that you need, you may reach out via one of the following inboxes:
Return to Campus questions: 
COVID-19 questions: 
Campus health and safety questions: 
A Few Last Words
We know keeping up with the guidelines developed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 feels exhausting at times, but following the protocols is worth it for the health and well-being of the Seahawk community and the community surrounding our campus. There’s no question that this year will bring our campus community many more challenges, but if I know anything about this great university, I know this: Seahawks refuse to let anything get them down for very long. One way or another, we will always keep finding a way to soar.
Go Seahawks!
Jose V. Sartarelli