What will App State’s campus life be like in Fall 2020 and beyond?
The Appalachian Experience will be different in many ways this fall than in years past due to COVID-19, yet students can still expect the caring approach to their growth and development App State has long been known for.
You also will be called upon to be responsible community members who value the safety and well-being of others and demonstrate this in all your actions.
Decisions about campus operations are informed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s timeline, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local public health agencies and UNC System leadership. We are keeping our students, faculty and staff up to date with regular communications. Please continue to monitor email and this website for updates as we continue to plan for multiple scenarios in order to remain flexible and responsive to whatever the coming weeks and months hold.
Learn more about the changes to campus operations in these videos:
Quick reference guide
Here is a quick reference guide with preliminary information for what to expect when you arrive on campus in August. More information will be added as it becomes available:
Students, you can still have fun while being safe! Check out these resources for things to do:
- The calendar of campus events compiled by the Office of Campus Activities lists each week’s socials, club meetings, professional development opportunities and more.
- Engage is a web-based system (log-in required) where students can find organizations, campus areas and academic colleges and their events, professional development opportunities, news updates and more.
- University Recreation also has activities planned, all structured for 25% capacity and physical distancing.
Mental health and wellness
To address isolation, loss, lack of motivation and other feelings due to the presence of COVID-19, remember your campus resources:
The Counseling Center offers short-term individual counseling, group counseling, emergency services and more — all through Telemental Health.
- Begin by visiting its Get Started webpage.
- A Self-Help page includes tips on how to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as information on anxiety, grief and loss, mindfulness, stress and other mental health-related topics.
- Support and Coping for Isolation and Quarantine meets Tuesdays from 5 - 6 p.m. via Zoom. Visit Engage (sign-in required) for details.
- "Let's TeleTalk" allows students to “drop in” virtually for brief conversations with a counselor.
University Recreation and Outdoor Programs
University Recreation (UREC) offers indoor as well as outdoor physical activities, now that N.C. Roy Cooper has lifted some COVID-19-related restrictions.
Outdoor physical activities include fitness classes, weight lifting, local outdoor trips and modified intramural sports. In addition, the outing center opened on a modified schedule for equipment rentals.
The expanded indoor offerings include in-person fitness classes, weight rooms, cardio equipment and more — all structured for 25% capacity and physical distancing. The pool is also open for lap swim.
Reservations are required for most activities and face coverings must be worn at all times.Visit UREC’s COVID-19 Updates web page for details and reservations instructions.
The ability to hold campus events and with how many people in attendance depends on decisions made by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Clubs and organizations continue to be encouraged to exercise an abundance of caution in an effort to minimize exposure and community spread. The use of online platforms for organizational meetings remains the recommended approach.
Visit the Engage (log-in required) web-based system to find organizations, view events and professional development opportunities, and read news updates.
The Athletics Department continues to monitor the fluid situation of intercollegiate athletics as fall semester progresses. The health and safety of students and spectators is the most important aspect of decision-making. Procedures are guided by federal, state, local public health and university guidelines, as well as recommendations from the Sun Belt Conference.
The latest updates are provided at appstatesports.com.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, App State has moved Fall Family Weekend programming to Spring 2021. More information about specific events and registration will be released early in the spring semester. Visit the Family Weekend website for further information.
Plemmons Student Union
Rooms inside Plemmons Student Union will be used as academic classrooms during the day to accommodate physical distance requirements. The Division of Student Affairs is working to determine which hours the facility’s rooms will be available for clubs and organizations.
Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT), which provides service experiences as opportunities to connect and engage with others in the local community, is working with local community partners to determine which organizations can safely accommodate volunteers.
COVID-19 safety instructions
Educational programming about COVID-19
As the fall semester continues, it remains critically important for all our students, faculty and staff to come together as a community and embrace public health and safety standards together. One important component of this is educational training.
All students, faculty and staff are expected to complete educational training courses about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 before returning to campus. Completion instructions were emailed to students. Read more about these training courses here.
Daily health checks
Students, as well as faculty and staff, are expected to self-administer daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms using an online tool. Depending on the symptoms checked, the tool will give guidance as to whether you should stay home, seek medical care or are cleared to be on campus.
Face coverings and physical distancing
The State of North Carolina, the UNC System, the Town of Boone and Appalachian State University are taking public health guidance seriously and are requiring face coverings. You will see signage about requirements for face coverings and physical distancing placed throughout campus in building entrances, hallways, offices and any common areas where students, faculty and staff would previously congregate between classes and during the day.
All students have been provided three reusable face coverings and are expected to wear them — on campus and during off-campus activities, as well — for the health and safety of everyone in the campus and local community.
Leadership of Appalachian State University’s fraternities and sororities have issued a joint statement on the groups’ commitment to “enforcing the directives and initiatives of our state, town and campus” for the safety of students and others in the community returning to campus amid COVID-19.
The statement also declares “those organizations that do not act according to these initiatives and our community values will be held accountable.”
Latest: App State’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Interfraternity Council (IFC) announced a ban on all fraternity-related activities from Oct. 1 - 14. The declaration was posted to IFC’s Instagram account.
The Appalachian Police Department assists local agencies with patrolling and responding to off-campus sites, including off-campus apartment complexes with large populations of students.
The university continues to strictly enforce on-campus behavior, and work with law enforcement to address off-campus violations. Student Conduct staff receive information involving App State students from the courthouse biweekly. App State addresses violations per the Code of Student Conduct, and serious and/or repeated violations will result in suspension.
As of October, University Housing is offering the choice to opt out of housing contracts to all residential students who are moving back to their permanent residences. Residential students have been notified via email and will receive follow-up communications.
New for fall 2020
Appalachian opened two new residence halls this fall —Thunder Hill and Raven Rocks halls. There are other changes, too. Housing has implemented policies and procedures to ensure physical distancing, intensified cleaning and other safety precautions and has special move-in instructions and a new visitation policy.
The updates are summarized in the “Fall 2020” housing updates webpage added to the University Housing website. Links are included for detailed information. And, learn more about the changes to University Housing in this video.
Off-Campus Student Services and the Student Legal Clinic, based in the Dean of Students Office, assist students living off campus.
Off-Campus Student Services focuses on helping students identify and secure off-campus housing that meets their needs.
In addition to its main website, Off-Campus Student Services maintains a searchable database of available rental properties at offcampushousing.appstate.edu. The website includes sublet ads created by students and a roommate finding function.
The Student Legal Clinic provides free, confidential legal advice to Appalachian students, including assistance with reading and understanding lease agreements.
Student Learning Center
For students struggling with staying motivated in online learning or other academic challenges, here are tips from the Student Learning Center:
Tips for Success in ONLINE Classes – including how to manage your time, find your focus and avoid distractions.
Keep Learning – a resource that includes study skills and support services.
Peer Academic Coaches – upper-level undergraduate students trained in evidence-based coaching strategies who can meet one-on-one with students to help them overcome barriers to their academic success.
Faculty care about student success. Reach out to them and let them know if you are struggling. Faculty are reporting midterm grade information, a form of proactive support of students, at the highest return rate ever this semester. This is just one measure of faculty members’ investment in student success during this challenging time.
Students will have spaces available on campus for studying or participating in online learning, including campus computer labs and designated study zones in multiple campus buildings. These spaces will have access to wi-fi, allow for appropriate physical distancing between students and be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
Legends and the Solarium in the Plemmons Student Union have been repurposed as study spaces.
Sanford Mall has full wifi access and picnic tables are being placed around campus to increase seating options for studying and eating. You’ll see these outside Roess dining hall and under the octagon at Edwin Duncan (when not in use as a classroom).
Belk Library and Information Commons
Belk Library and Information Commons’ dates of access and hours of operation for fall semester are available on the library’s website.
Mountaineer Emergency Grants
Students who incur expenses as a result of the campus disruption from COVID-19 may still apply for financial assistance through the Mountaineer Emergency Fund or the Mountaineer Emergency Fund CARES Act Supplement. There is no deadline to apply at this time and grants will be awarded as long as funds are available.
This funding is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. To date, more than 3,100 grants have been awarded to App State students.
Types of expenses covered include, but are not limited to: food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, essential personal items and essential utilities.
To be eligible, students must meet minimum Department of Education criteria. Visit the Mountaineer Emergency Grants for Students page to view eligibility requirements and other details for each fund and to apply.
Students will continue to find chef-inspired menus that prioritize fresh, healthy and local options. However, other things have changed: modified hours, new practices for safe-serving and physical distancing, and more frequent and enhanced cleaning. Contact will be as limited as possible and include mobile-ordering through Grubhub, self-pick-up and local food truck vendors.
The University Bookstore has posted step-by-step instructions on its website for the fall textbook online ordering and distribution process. Read more information about ordering fall textbooks. And, learn more about the changes to the University Bookstore in this video.
Information Technology Services has been working to ensure the best possible learning environments. Details on laptop recommendations, online computer labs and financial assistance is available here.
AppalCART public transportation has implemented enhanced cleaning of its buses, as well as rear door boarding, reduced capacities, schedule changes and other safety precautions to protect the health and safety of passengers and drivers. Some routes have been changed to reduce travel time on the bus. All passengers will need to wear a face covering.
App State’s Career Development Center provides resources for students seeking employment. Begin by visiting Career Studio, which provides resume reviews and tips on how to do a job search in Handshake. Then, view an online presentation on how to find a part-time job and visit Handshake to search for work on campus or in Boone. Students can also email their resume or questions to email@example.com.