category: Advisory Coronavirus Information: Preparing for Students, Family Weekend and Fall Sports By Gardner-Webb University On August 12, 2020 As Gardner-Webb University continues to prepare for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester, the health and safety of the GWU community remain our top priorities. This week we prepare for the arrival of our students and the start of classes. Throughout the summer, GWU’s staff and administration have worked diligently and proactively to keep our facilities safe and our community healthy. Our summer students set a good example, wearing face coverings and following physical distance guidelines. As we go through move-in and residential check-in, the process has been changed to include assigned appointment times at individual residence halls to reduce crowding. Additionally, all incoming students have or will go through a health screening process. Also this week, the University started installing plexiglass shields in all classrooms, student account windows and retail eating establishments. These are helpful additions for the safety of our faculty, staff and students. The University will also place hand sanitizer stations at all building entry points. As a reminder to faculty and staff, individuals with actual or potential exposure to COVID-19 should notify their supervisor immediately, and their supervisor will then notify David Wacaster (704.406.3235), Barry Lane (704.406.2266) and Human Resources—Scott White (704.406.4259) or Frances Sizemore (704.406.3502). If you are a residential student who has tested positive or has had exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, contact the Dean of Students, Dr. Sarah Currie ([email protected]). Commuter or graduate students who have tested positive, or who have been exposed to a positive case, should report the issue to the Director of Safety, Barry Lane. It is imperative for all of the Gardner-Webb community to follow health and safety guidelines. Remember, we are Bulldogs Together: Ready and Strong. We all share the responsibility to keep our campus safe. It’s very important for everyone to wear a face covering, wash your hands and respect physical distancing guidelines. Family Weekend Family Weekend is always a great time for students and families to enjoy campus and meet new friends. However, with the current COVID situation and NC executive orders limiting public gatherings, much of the event would be difficult to do this fall. The Major Events Committee of the Post-COVID Taskforce has recommended moving Family Weekend from September 26 to Hoopscoming Weekend in the spring 2021. There will be more information to come on those dates and activities. Fall Sports With the health and well-being of its student-athletes as its top priorities, the Big South Conference announced today it is delaying its fall sports seasons with the intent of playing in the spring. This includes the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. Additionally, fall competitions in the sports of men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis, and out-of-season competitions in spring sports have been suspended as well. Football members will, however, be allowed to participate in up to four non-conference games in the fall due to contractual obligations. “This is clearly not the fall we had hoped for or anticipated” said Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs. “I hurt for our student-athletes. I hurt for our coaches and for our loyal fans. We are at least relieved to finally have some clarity regarding the upcoming semester as well as a potential pathway for salvaging seasons in the spring. We will continue to prioritize the health and welfare of our student-athletes, to protect their eligibility, and to support them when they are ready and able to compete at the high level to which we have become accustomed.” Our student-athletes will continue with permissible athletics activities, as defined by NCAA regulations and with the exception of fall sport competition, at their own discretion and in accordance with all applicable local and state regulations and procedures. Stay safe and well, Bulldogs!