By Nathan Ham
A new way of campus life and a mixture of online and in-person classes will await students as they begin moving in on Monday, August 10 in preparation for the fall semester starting on August 17.
The other public universities in the UNC System are beginning class on Monday, however, Appalachian State’s semester will begin the following week to make sure the newest student housing projects are completed in time.
Freshmen and transfer students will move in on August 10-13 while returning students will move in on August 14-16.
“I am proud of the way we have adapted to the challenges of this global pandemic, which has challenged every aspect of daily university life — from how we live and learn, to how we engage and educate,” said App State Chancellor Dr. Sheri Everts in a weekly email update to faculty, students and staff. “We are looking forward to connecting in ways we have not been able to for quite some time. We are building an entirely new learning and living environment, designed to continue offering a meaningful experience for the entire Appalachian Community with safety at the forefront of every decision.”
The university has also launched a special “Explore Student Life” page on its website dedicated to addressing the many changes that students will experience this fall on campus.
The course schedule for the fall semester offers three types of classes: face-to-face instruction in classrooms, hybrid classes with online and face-to-face components, and online courses.
“The entirety of the Appalachian Experience has been assessed to ensure the appropriate precautions are in place to keep us as safe as possible. Face-to-face classes will look and feel different with social distancing and required face coverings in all instructional areas. For those students who will be learning remotely for some or all of their coursework, our faculty has spent hundreds of hours over the summer to develop compelling and engaging learning experiences,” Everts said.
Student and Faculty Safety
Coming up with the best cleaning and safety protocols for students and faculty has been a key focus since planning for the 2020 fall semester began. According to Appalachian State’s cleaning protocol, Classrooms will be cleaned by custodial staff multiple times throughout the day and each classroom will also be supplied with wipes. Everyone is encouraged to wipe down their personal space prior to and after each class. Laboratory cleaning plans are in development.
Classroom furniture will be placed in order to allow for six feet of social distancing between each student and all heating and air systems are being “optimized to provide the greatest possible fresh air exchange.
Students and faculty will be required to wear face coverings at all times in the classroom and inside all campus buildings, including hallways, conference and meeting rooms, multi-person workstations, elevators, stairwells, restrooms, and kitchens when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.
Students and staff are not required to wear a face-covering when they are working alone in their office, in private living spaces within residential halls, but the policy does apply to common areas such as lobbies. Face coverings can be removed while drinking or eating in non-instructional spaces. Eating and drinking in common areas in residence halls is not permitted.
Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management has distributed more than 33,500 washable, reusable face coverings to campus departments and areas, and distribution continues. Face coverings for students will be distributed in several ways including at fall move-in, mail and more. If you forget your face covering, several campus locations will stock reusable face coverings or disposable masks for purchase, including the University Bookstore, campus markets and vending machines.
According to the latest COVID-19 update, information regarding the Spring 2021 semester will be coming soon.
As of August 7, 10 employees and 16 students have active cases of COVID-19.
For continued updates on how Appalachian State will be dealing with COVID-19 this semester, information will be posted at https://www.appstate.edu/go/coronavirus/