As the second week of spring break begins and students get ready to start remote classes beginning March 23 due to the spread of COVID-19, there are plenty of uncertainties surrounding the rest of the semester at UNC.
Here are some answers to reader-submitted questions about what comes next:
Are we having school after spring break?
Most classes are going to go remote after spring break, starting March 23. Though it’s unclear how long classes will be online, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a campus-wide email that the University must prepare for the possibility of online classes for the entire rest of the semester.
Will we be able to return to campus by the end of spring break?
While students are encouraged to stay off campus if possible, campus is currently open and operational. Among other things, this includes dining halls, residence halls and libraries.
How will this affect graduation?
University Media Relations said in an email that the University hopes to hold commencement as scheduled, but will post any updates about the situation to its dedicated website.
Will all my classes be online?
A campus-wide email from Guskiewicz said the majority of classes will meet online. The email, sent Wednesday, said it was too early to project how each individual course will be offered.
“We will work with deans and department chairs to determine which classes meet the criteria and are necessary to be taught in person,” the University said on its coronavirus website.
How long will classes be online?
As of now, it’s unclear how long classes will be online. Online classes will start March 23 and continue “for the foreseeable future,” according to a campus-wide email.
How will exams after spring break be taken?
Professors have communicated different methods for holding exams during the remote period, including sending prompts and exams by email.
When has the University been closed before?
Campus closed during Reconstruction from 1871 to 1875 due to few students remaining, political opposition and financial issues, according to UNC’s Documenting the American South digital library.
University Archivist Nicholas Graham said since the Reconstruction closure was due to political reasons, more comparable cases for the University were the influenza pandemic in 1918 and polio in 1952. UNC did not shut down in either case. He said campus was under quarantine in 1918 and some football games were canceled in 1952 to stop the spread of polio.
Should I move back into my dorm?
While campus remains open, students are encouraged to remain off campus if possible. The University has said in statements that it is too early to determine how long classes will be offered online, so it is currently unclear whether this situation will progress for the full semester.
Should I move out of my dorm?
“A return to normalcy is the University’s goal, but it is impossible to predict, thus we recognize the choice to move out of your residence hall or cancel your meal plan early is a difficult one,” executive director of Carolina Housing Allan Blattner said in an email to on-campus residents on Thursday. “We recommend that you not cancel yet but wait until you hear from your professors about your academic instruction moving forward.”
The email said residents should email email@example.com if they decide to move out early, and that Campus Housing will be in touch with those residents about details including financial implications.
Campus Housing said in a separate email on Monday that the University has not yet made a decision about the financial implications of moving out of a residence hall early.
What about work-study students?
Students will be allowed to continue their work-study remotely if possible, UNC’s Work-Study Office said in an email to work-study students.
“We have gotten guidance from the campus that students will be allowed to continue work-study employment remotely, as long as your employer is able to provide appropriate work and supervision in a remote setting,” the email said.
Work-study students should reach out to their supervisors to request remote arrangements, the email said. If a student’s work-study does not lend itself to remote work, the email said their supervisor should send an email to the Work-Study Office with this information.
“This will allow us to work with you and make arrangements for alternative funding for the remainder of the term,” the email said.
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