UNC, other schools in system to further limit students on campus, will offer guidance for them to move out
Posted March 17, 2020 4:43 p.m. EDT
Updated March 17, 2020 11:15 p.m. EDT
Chapel Hill, N.C. — In an email Tuesday, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has instructed reduction of all operations on the campus while moving to remote instruction and limiting the number of people on campus.
The move by UNC is one taken by all the universities in the UNC system in our state.
"Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our campus community is our first priority; and secondly, we need to provide the best possible student experience that we can under the circumstances," Guskiewicz said in the email.
UNC buildings will be closed and in-person, non-essential services will be suspended this Friday (March 20) at 5 p.m. Guskiewicz said exceptions will be made for a small amount of emergency staff, administrators and researchers along with students who are granted special waivers to remain in residence halls on campus.
He also listed the following changes:
- Residence halls are closing for a majority of students. That includes Granville Towers. Students on campus are encouraged to move out no later than Saturday (March 21) by 5 p.m. Those who are away from campus will be given instruction from Campus Housing. Those who need to stay have to apply for a special waiver.
- Carolina Dining Services will be limited to takeout.
- The University will make available accommodations for remaining students to quarantine and isolate.
- Campus Health will remain open. You can call 919-966-2281 before going to the office.
- Remote instruction will commence on March 23.
- Decisions on refunds will be made by the UNC System.
"As we mentioned earlier, this is an unprecedented time for our campus," Guskiewicz said. "We realize this update presents challenges for everyone. This is not the Carolina experience we wanted for this semester, especially for our graduating seniors and graduate students.
"We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we make decisions for the health, safety and well-being of our community. Please stay safe and make it a point to stay informed on a daily basis. We will provide updates on a regular basis."
A similar decision also impacted the other schools in the UNC system.
At N.C. State, students got a note on Tuesday to pick up anything they may want out of their dorm rooms by this Sunday evening. It caused a rush to campus to grab belongings. Some are wondering if that was the best idea as experts are stressing social distancing.
Students from every public university in North Carolina are packing their things with no word on when they may be allowed back. The UNC system is now limiting all on-campus activity which includes closing the residence halls. Campus life is now reduced to looking at a professor on a computer screen.
Jim Hayne has three children in college, two in the UNC system. He told WRAL's Mandy Mitchell he worried an unorganized rush to grab belongings could cause crowds and lead to a spread of the virus.
"There's nothing critical there," Hayne said. "If this was a fire in California, they wouldn't go back to save their possessions they've got. You would leave them."
UNC's Interim President, Dr. William Roper, made it clear, there may be many more changes for students and employees as the virus spreads.
"It's highly likely that we're going to have multiple cases on our campuses, and we're now talking about what are the triggers for taking further actions," Roper said.
Students were told they don't have to take everything out of their dorms now but most of them are because of all of the uncertainty.