Multiple East Carolina University officials met today at 1 p.m. during a Facebook Live Town Hall meeting in an effort to address aspects of the plan titled “Return of Pirate Nation” for the 2020 fall semester.
The meeting allowed the opportunity for the panelists to address the most frequent questions in regards to how the fall semester will operate.
The panelists included: Student Body President Tucker Robbins, Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, Interim Provost Grant Hayes and Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety and Auxiliary Services Bill Koch.
Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson said the new expectations given need to be expressed, well established and managed through time. He said face coverings will be required and are an example of an important expectation Pirates need to follow.
“I’m not going to wear that mask into that classroom because I want to, because it’s my preference,” Mitchelson said. “I’m going to wear my mask and you’re going to wear your mask because we care about each other.”
Mitchelson said the best of Pirate Nation will be displayed in the fall. He said cultural compliance and safety measures are necessary for everyone’s safety.
Acting Provost Grant Hayes said the fall semester will bring many changes. He said one of the biggest changes people will see is the reduced capacity of classrooms to allow social distance and some instructors may adapt assigned seating.
In efforts to adjust to the new eight-week block schedule, faculty members are working to redesign their courses, according to Hayes. He said classes will be adjusted to fit the given time frame.
“The courses will be redesigned for the smaller time frame,” Hayes said. “Faculty are really working on redesigning the courses instead of shortening or trying to condense a 15-week course into eight weeks.”
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said residence hall move-in for the fall will be different than the past. She said it will take place within a three-phase process which will begin in July.
Hardy said food services and dining halls will also be different. She said dining halls will operate at 50% capacity and all self-services will be eliminated.
“Cleaning and sanitizing of the tables and chairs will be more frequent,” Hardy said. “More importantly, there will be sanitizing stations within each of the dining halls and the areas of the different restaurants on campus.”
In the various restaurants around campus, seating will be limited and some hours will vary, according to Hardy. She said GrubHub will be a frequent and utilized system offered around campus as well.
Hardy said signs will be placed throughout campus and will indicate ways to walk, social distance and specific ways to enter and exit buildings. She said these signs will indicate occupancy restrictions for each room and building.
“There will be a lot of changes and a lot of restrictions,” Hardy said. “We’re doing this so we can be back on campus and we’re doing this to keep you safe while you’re back on campus.”
In response to concerns of campus closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hardy said there will be refunds for housing if students are forced to leave campus in the fall.
“If we have to close our campus due to COVID, East Carolina will provide refunds to our students as it relates to housing,” Hardy said.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety and Auxiliary Services Bill Koch said if someone tests positive for the coronavirus, an investigation between health groups and the individual who is infected will take place to figure out who has potentially been exposed.