In the past few weeks, the administration of NC State has been continually transparent on how they hope to address the changes caused by COVID-19 and how they have planned to guarantee everyone’s safety. We at Nubian Message have compiled all of the information provided by the administration here so that students, faculty, and staff can know what to expect while back on campus.

The first major change is that the dates for the Fall semester will be different. Classes will begin on Aug. 10, there will be no fall break, and the semester will be finished before Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus until after 2020 ends.

As for actual classes, they will either be online, hybrid-style, or completely face-to-face. These three different types of instruction are based on the individual courses and what the instructors can make possible.

For face-to-face courses, the university is operating under the guidelines that will lower the risk of exposure to the virus. Seating will be spaced out to ensure that students can properly socially distance themselves from their peers. Everyone will be required to wear a face-covering while in the classroom.

The enhanced S/U and Late Drop options will be available to students for the fall semester. This means that students will have the option to change the grading basis for their courses. They can opt for a pass/fail grading system after receiving their final grade for the course. Students will also have the option to drop a course at any point during the semester.

Student Health Services will continue to offer all its normal services. Appointments will be call-in only. There will be no walk-ins. They will also be testing for COVID-19 only if you are exhibiting symptoms or are a part of the NC State contact tracing program.

The counseling center will be operating remotely for the entire Fall semester. All of their services will be available by phone or a secure video conferencing platform. In-person services are reserved for significant mental health emergencies only.

NC State Housing is reducing the occupancy in all residence halls. A few double rooms have been converted into singles in each residence hall. The university is still generally requiring first-year students to live on campus. Students can be excused of this requirement if they live with a parent or guardian within a 25-mile commute to campus.

NC State Dining has made extensive adjustments to respond to the pandemic. There will be an increased use of single-use disposable items (plates, cups, cutlery, etc.) Plexiglass has been installed around campus. Mobile ordering has been expanded to create mobile-only locations to increase the safety and speed of service. All dining rooms have reduced their capacity to 50% and there will be 6 large tents across campus for extra seating. If a student is required to quarantine themselves, meals can be delivered during the quarantine period.

There will be approximately 100 campus vending machines that will offer masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves for purchase. These vending machines will accept credit cards, cash, dining dollars, and All Campus.

NC State Transportation has enacted several changes for the Wolfline buses. The routes of the buses have been modified to accommodate for an easier transportation experience. Seating will be limited on each bus to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Only 3 passengers are allowed to stand on the bus. Face coverings will be required for all passengers and all buses will have hand sanitizer available. Passengers are asked to only enter from the front door and exit through the rear door.

The Nubian Message encourages all students, faculty, and staff to follow the social distancing guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. We wish everyone the best of luck this semester!