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Community Standards

Catamounts Care


Shared community standards remind us that we each have personal responsibility for actions that may affect our own health and the health of our friends, colleagues, and the broader campus community. Our collective acceptance of this shared responsibility will be the most effective strategy we will have at our disposal in the challenging months ahead. We know that Catamounts Care and we have developed the following set of standards to encourage everyone to put the well-being of themselves and others top of mind.

These standards will apply to ALL members of our campus community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Everyone must participate for our campus community to stay healthy.

Campus Guidelines

Western Carolina University will continue to fulfill its academic mission and while protecting the well-being of its campus community by making decisions guided by science and sound data. The COVID-19 pandemic represents an ever-shifting situation, and the university will be responsive to the latest guidance and information issued by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prevent the Spread and Protect Yourself and Others

Wash your hands properly

  • Wash your hands with soap often and use hand sanitizer - this simple activity is the single best preventative measure you can take.

Practice social and physical distancing

  • Maintain distance from others
  • Avoid Mass Gatherings that violate North Carolina Executive Orders.
  • Maintain an awareness of personal space; stay at least 6’ apart when possible.

Face coverings are required

Those not wearing face coverings may be asked to leave a classroom, workplace or public event.

Face coverings are REQUIRED in the following settings:

  • All classrooms and instructional spaces (labs, simulation rooms, etc.)
  • Walking inside any campus building
  • Any other public indoor setting where physical distancing isn’t possible
  • Walking outside on campus in the company of others where physical distancing isn’t possible

Face coverings are RECOMMENDED but NOT REQUIRED in the following settings:

  • Alone in your private office
  • Alone or with a roommate in a residence hall room
  • Walking on campus with others and physical distancing is maintained
  • In an outdoor public setting where physical distancing from others is maintained

Clean and disinfect

  • Frequently touched surfaces, equipment and objects
  • Shared work space and equipment after each use
  • Use EPA-registered disinfectants

Feeling Sick? Stay Home

If you have COVID-19 symptoms stay home and call your health care provider to seek medical guidance.

Practice Self-Care and Show Respect and Caring to All

  • Before going to class or work, check for symptoms on a daily basis using the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms or know you have been exposed to the virus, stay home and call your provider to seek medical guidance.
  • Follow the advice of your health care provider and voluntarily participate in medical monitoring and contact tracing as necessary or requested.
  • Sustain our community standards and help create a sense of belonging where everyone feels welcomed and respected.
  • Practice good self-care principles and care for your physical and mental health.
  • Stay connected with your family and friend groups and participate in small group activities and virtual opportunities.

Expectations of Campus Leaders

As we prioritize health and well-being, we will need your help to return to on-campus operations. We fully expect everyone on campus will follow these standards. Our first and preferred approach to assure compliance with these standards will be through public health education and communication. 

WCU trusts that everyone will follow the Catamounts Care face covering standards; however, for students who choose not to follow these standards will possibly face WCU Code of Student Conduct charges and the following possible outcomes:

First Report

  • Warning Letter - No meeting required

Second Report

  • Meeting with DSCE Hearing Officer
  • Sanctions may include:
    $50 Restitution
    Educational Sanction

Third Report

  • Meeting with DSCE Hearing Officer
  • Sanctions may include:
    $100 Restitution
    Educational Sanction

Fourth Report

  • Meeting with DSCE Hearing Officer
  • Sanctions may include:
    $100 Restitution
    Removal from housing
    Campus restrictions
    Suspension/expulsion from WCU

DSCE’s response may vary depending on the nature of the report and the student’s conduct history.

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