The semester would have no fall break, and exams would begin in November. Arts performances were canceled or postponed until later. In-person conferences and symposia were rescheduled. Fall sporting events would not be held.
Even move-in was radically different. And it worked.
Students had a two-stage approach in early August. In the drop-off stage, they unloaded their items in their rooms and returned home. They knew it as “Stop, drop, and roll.” And days before classes began, a final move-in stage. Still, the students had been told to bring only what was needed. The future wasn’t known.
The residence halls adjusted guest visitation policy to limit visitors. They increased cleaning in common areas.
Throughout campus, staff ensured everyone had personal protective equipment and could maintain social distancing by making modifications in classrooms, dining areas, residence halls, etc. The number of students living in residence halls was about 70 percent of the usual number.
All in-person classes were socially distanced, with all participants wearing face coverings.
Many faculty wore clear faceguards as well. They managed traffic in hallways and staggered the way people enter and leave classrooms and buildings. The biggest constant, everywhere you went?
Face coverings. UNCG required all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear a face covering while indoors on campus and outdoors when social distancing could not be maintained.
While they were provided to students and employees, many created their own.
For dining, capacity at dining venues was reduced by 50%, and new to-go dining locations were set up.
Even riding a bus was different. All occupants of buses wore face coverings, and bus capacity could not exceed 50%.
For students who tested positive or were in close contact with someone who did, the University created quarantine and isolation facilities for students.
The average in-person class, as of the first of September, had fewer than 17 students. For students attending in person, social distancing was key – as was everyone wearing face coverings.
As for the large lecture-hall classes – and many other course offerings – they had been transformed into online classes, using video platforms such as Zoom.
Beginning in March, many students’ lives were disrupted. The federal CARES Act Emergency Grants were released directly to students for expenses such as food, housing, technology needs, childcare expenses, and more resulting from the campus disruption. Some students applied; others automatically received assistance based on qualifying factors including those with lowest estimated family contribution (EFC).