COVID-19, Education, Higher Ed, News

UNC-Chapel Hill begins sharing “Roadmap for Fall 2020,” details about return to campus

UNC-Chapel Hill has launched a new “Carolina Together” website to begin sharing details from its “Roadmap for Fall 2020” as questions mount about a return to campus August 10.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced the site with a YouTube video Thursday afternoon.

Among the new details shared on the website are information about on campus housing and dining.

“Residence halls will operate at normal capacity, with a limited number of rooms held for residents with immunocompromised conditions as approved by Accessibility Resource and Services,” according to the site. “Roommates in residence halls will be treated as a single household and, for this reason, will not be required to wear a mask while inside their dorm room, although they are expected to wear masks or face coverings in common areas and outside of their rooms where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. We are expecting full occupancy in the residence halls made available this fall.”

The question of face masks — and whether they will be a “requirement” or an “expectation” as part of the university’s “community standards” — has not been clear in the last few weeks. The site does not definitively answer the question.

Masks will be “required” during move-in, the site says, but “should be worn” on campus in all group and public settings, according to the website. The site refers to mask “standards and policies to be developed for students, faculty, staff and visitors” but those do not appear to have been developed yet.

“The University will provide face masks to students, faculty and staff who do not have their own masks or other appropriate facial coverings,” the website says. “One Universityissued mask will be given each week and should then be disposed of.  If the mask becomes damaged or visibly soiled, we will provide a new face mask. Individuals may wear their own cloth masks or face coverings if they prefer. Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed daily, and the fabric design or pattern should be appropriate for the classroom and the workplace.”

In a joint Chancellor’s Advisory Committee/Faculty Executive Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon, Guskiewicz told faculty he wasn’t sure the university would be able to actively enforce the wearing of masks on campus.

“If a student is not following community standards is it a violation of the honor code?” Guskiewicz said. “We’re not there yet … I doubt we can even go in that direction.”

The site also outlines the campus’ plan to use two dorms to separate students who have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on the campus’ plans, see the full site here. The university says it will be updated frequently as plans for the Fall unfold.

Policy Watch will continue to report on COVID-19 related plans for UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC System as they are announced.

One Comment

  1. roombodi

    June 2, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    It will be really interesting to see how these rules and regulations change the social dynamic of dorms, which is a unique one to say the least. Maybe students will naturally migrate to using other spaces, maybe outdoor ones, as gathering areas? We’ll have to stay tuned!

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