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Events and Activities

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 be determined.
  • 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.

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