It’s been a challenging couple of weeks. You came back from spring break to find that the world changed. You adjusted to the news that some of your face-to-face classes would move online, then the world changed again. Now you’re adjusting to another new reality — beginning this week most of you will exclusively have online classes. You’re trying to prepare to resume your studies even as you make all the other changes that responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires. Many have had to find new living arrangements quickly, as the campus and the city take dramatic steps to curb infection rates. Many of you have also seen your off-campus jobs evaporate as shops and services close.
At UNCG, we pride ourselves on our Culture of Care. That still holds true in these unique circumstances that we are all facing together. We know that you all have experienced significant uncertainty over the past two weeks, and we want you to know that we are still here to guide you. Our delivery may change, but our support will not. Your instructors have moved mountains to be ready to resume instruction tomorrow, and most of the campus facilities that support your learning have moved online. The University has not shut down. Tutoring, mentoring, and academic advising are available to you online. You can find a full list of academic resources and information about how to connect with them at keeplearning.uncg.edu.
This adjustment is not going to be easy. Not everyone learns equally well online, especially when the time to adjust is short. Some of your instructors also prefer to teach face to face in classrooms, studios, and laboratories. We know this won’t be perfect, but we are not willing to see your learning interrupted or your academic and career progress suspended. So we will go forward together, doing our best. We will get through this challenging time and you will make progress toward your goals and aspirations.
We’ve asked your instructors to be especially flexible as you adjust to learning in a fully online environment. We ask the same of you. You may find that your instructor has not previously taught online. You will need to be patient and forgiving of each other. Please remember that your instructors have also had to alter their lives quickly, and are likely doing everything they can to support your learning in difficult circumstances.
Although we have had to transition to online learning and engagement, your support teams are all still accessible. We have worked hard to find ways to continue to operate and minimize the disruption you’re experiencing. We have moved programming such as Pride Month, Spartans in Dialogue, and the Leadership Challenge to a virtual format. Although student groups can’t meet face to face, we encourage your group to meet virtually. Our offices are predominantly working remotely, but we are still able to connect with you on the phone or via email, and many of our departments can meet with students through video conferencing.
These are difficult and uncertain times, and we care about how you are feeling. If you need support, the Counseling Center is available for telemental health, and can be reached at 336.334.5874. If you already have an appointment, your counselor will reach out to you. You can also visit their website for additional resources to support your mental health and wellbeing.
The Dean of Students office can be reached by phone at 336.334.5514 or via email (please include your name, student ID number, and the best time and method to contact you).
The Spartan Open Pantry will continue to operate on their usual hours of 5 – 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a to-go meal available on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The SOPToGo in both the Mossman and Gove locations will relocate to a pop-up pantry in the lobby of the Smith ACM building (next to the Walker Avenue parking deck).
Recreation & Wellness has created a Keep Moving website with access to free fitness resources to help you keep active while the Kaplan Center is closed, including Les Mills free streaming.
We know several of you have on-campus employment or Federal Work Study positions. Student employees, including federal work study and graduate assistants, will still be paid for the hours they expected to work. We have done everything we can to provide continued meaningful employment for student workers, and we value the contributions they will continue to make over the coming weeks. A few student employees simply cannot continue their work. In these rare cases, their supervisors will submit timesheets based on students’ previously scheduled hours of work.
The Keep Learning website is your one-stop academic support page. It points to all the resources that are available to help you adapt to the online course environment, find tutoring, or access the centers and facilities you would normally consult. The Academic Achievement Center, the Writing Center, the Speaking Center and the Digital ACT studio, for instance, have all shifted the online environment and are ready to help. Your academic advisor is also available online, as is the Students First Office. SFO can assist not only with advising, but also with requests for special consideration (course withdrawals, grade replacement, and some financial aid appeals).
We encourage you to stay connected with your friends and classmates during this time, and stay connected with us. Let us know if there are ways we can support you. Please continue to monitor your email for University messages as we work through this fluid situation.
Your health is our priority. We all have a role in the public health mandates that can reduce the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing. Please wash your hands, avoid gathering in groups, and if you develop symptoms, please call your doctor or Student Health Services, and stay home
We’re all in this together,
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Studies