From the Divison of Student Affairs
Students enrolling for the fall 2020 term should be aware that significant changes
to student programming and activities will be necessary. These changes are motivated
by following available guidance for configuring large venues and limiting mass gatherings
to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Given the unprecedented challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and the high priority
of both the sustaining the well-being of the campus community, and implementing the
academic mission of WCU, university officials plan to restrict or cancel most large
venue and/or mass gathering programs and events for the fall semester. University
officials continue working to offer high quality and engaging programs for smaller
groups with multiple showings and/or presentations. Staff are also exploring opportunities
to implement on-line programming.
Even when held outdoors, the nature of these events often undermine implementation
of COVID-19 prevention practices like physical distancing. As we evaluate the benefit
of these events, the priority continues to be maximizing the health and wellbeing
of the campus community. University officials will continue to monitor CDC and state
guidance as the semester unfolds and will make changes as warranted by the circumstances.
Significant changes to note include the following:
- New Student Convocation and Valley Ballyhoo: Convocation and Valley Ballyhoo are cancelled for this fall. Convocation may be
provided by video stream program near the start of the semester. As in years when
Valley Ballyhoo is rained out, new students will receive information on-line about
joining recognized student organizations and other campus community resources.
- Family Weekend: Events scheduled on Family Weekend are currently under review, including the availability
of football tickets; however, the 2020 Freshman Run will be cancelled and entering
freshmen will be encouraged to participate in a future event.
- Mountain Heritage Day: This year’s Mountain Heritage Day will be cancelled given the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Homecoming Events: The week of events leading up to the Homecoming football game are currently under
review. The Homecoming parade in downtown Sylva is cancelled, with other events to
- Concerts: At this time, the Department of Campus Activities is not making plans for any concerts
in the University Center, the Ramsey Center, or outdoors at the Central Plaza.
- Large Indoor Social Gatherings: University officials will begin the fall term denying requests for event spaces
for large indoor social gatherings, parties, and/or dances. No decisions have been
made on football game tailgating at this time.
- Meeting Room Limits: Reserved meeting room spaces are being updated to reset capacities mindful of physical
distancing guidance. For example, normally the University Center Grand Room seats
several hundred people using lecture or theater style seating, but with physical distancing
the Grand Room will seat approximately 60 individuals this fall. Student groups and
others with large numbers of participants will need to rely on alternative arrangements
like conducting meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Reservations for the fall semester
will be revised or cancelled in order to implement the new maximum capacities.
- Intramural and Club Sports Competition: If relevant official guidance supports renewed recreational competition, intramurals
and club sports may also face significant restrictions. More information will be posted
as it becomes available.
- Campus Recreation Center: Access to the Campus Recreation Center and related programs will also be determined
based on the guidance from the CDC and NC officials. Learn More About the CRW's Reopening Plans
With all of these changes, university officials are again prioritizing the well-being
of the campus community and the academic mission of WCU. As the semester unfolds,
university officials expect students, faculty and staff will embrace the prevention
strategies by wearing face coverings, by washing hands, by maintaining physical distancing,
and in so doing, lowering the prevalence of COVID-19 on our campus. If we are successful,
it may be possible to add more programming and activities.
Review the space layouts for the Department of Campus Activities Spaces