“At this point, student employment for Summer Bridge is uncertain, but I hope to retain as many student employees for support in this online transition as possible,” Chavis said.
Several summer programs at UNC work together, she said, including Summer Bridge, the Summer Transfer Program and Chancellor’s Science Scholars.
“We are all dealing with similar concerns with transitioning the cohort-bonding activities to an online format," she said. "But are confident that we will all rally together to offer the best possible version of our programs online.”
Marcus Collins, associate dean for the center for student success and academic counseling and director of Summer Bridge, said students have already applied for the program and are still excited despite anticipating an online format.
Summer programs hosted by the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association will also continue in a virtual environment through the Hussman School of Journalism and Media according to NCSMA director Monica Hill.
These include NCSMA’s statewide contests, including the NCSMA Summer Institute, the fellowship program for journalism educators, Carolina Sports Journalism Camp and the Chuck Stone program, Hill said.
“We hope to make 2020 an opportunity for even further outreach, perhaps reaching school groups that may not have traveled to Chapel Hill in the past,” Hill said.
Carolina Kickoff chairpersons Blake Glenn and Jessie LaMasse said they are planning the annual three-day camp as normal until they hear otherwise from the Campus Y or the University.
“We don’t really know what’s going to be happening in four months,” Glenn said. “Right now, we are just business as usual because it is such a huge thing to plan, so if we try to make a huge decision to not have camp or to change it, that is going to really impact the viability of us being able to host camp at the end of this summer.”
Glenn said Carolina Kickoff has thought about changing activities or reducing the number of attendees, but stressed that the in-person experience has always been an important part of the program for students.
“We realize our organization this year is becoming more valuable of an experience since there is no (in-person) summer orientation or admitted students day,” LaMasse said. “This is one of the first opportunities students may have to interact with each other, so I think regardless, we want to make an in-person experience at the first opportunity we get.”
Both Glenn and LaMasse said appropriate changes will be made if necessary to ensure the safety of the counselors and students.
“Our organization exists as a place of community and friendship and support, so I think we want to assure people this isn’t something they need to worry about,” LaMasse said. “More than anything, it is about making sure people are okay and supported. We’re trying to maintain a stress-free environment and more of a supportive community and not getting people too worked up about missing out on a potential experience.”