Current Students Coronavirus Update

For the latest updates regarding current students, you can check out sections related to Campus Dining, Events and Large Gatherings, Health and Wellness, Learning and Classrooms and Residence Life on our companion site – Bulldogs Together.

Update as of 5.6.2020

Check this page for updates, advisories, precautionary measures and guidelines regarding the Coronavirus and its potential impact on the campus community as it relates specifically to students. For general campus updates about Coronavirus, please visit this page.

What are the most current updates to student emergency fund distribution?

We have established a Student Emergency Fund and distributed more than $26,000 to 174 students as of May 13, 2020.

Who is eligible to receive cares act funds?

The U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) has informed Gardner-Webb University that it will be receiving $1,825,407 in total Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance. Approximately half of those funds ($912,704) are designated by the DOE to be disbursed directly to students who have been impacted by campus changes due to COVID-19.

According to the DOE, disbursements are for “the direct payment of grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care.” Consistent with the DOE guidelines, the payments will go first to displaced residential students with or without meal plans and to commuter students with meal plans.

May 1, Gardner-Webb University received $912,704. May 4-8, the University will begin distributing those funds as Emergency Relief Grants directly to displaced students who meet the DOE criteria. Students should expect to see those funds in 7-10 business days.

You can find more information on eligibility for the Federal CARES Act here.

The University’s combined efforts to offer economic relief to students as of May 8 include Emergency Relief Grants from CARES in the amount of $912,704, Flex account refunds totaling $114,895.79, and GWU Emergency Funds raised in the past month of $24,353; a total of $1,051,952.79.

Will Gardner-Webb offer face-to-face classes on the fall?

GWU’s Administration announced May 1st that planning is underway to return the University to normal on-campus instruction and residential life for the Fall 2020 semester.  “Nobody knows exactly what the future holds for the pandemic that has already disrupted higher education across the country,” noted President William M. Downs.  “However, at this point we are doing everything in our power to prepare for the return of our students, faculty, and staff in August.” A taskforce has been established to provide direction and oversight as plans to welcome students back to campus in the fall move forward.

GWU has announced that details will be made available soon regarding a new onsite Student Health Clinic that will greatly expand our efforts in prevention, detection, and treatment.

According to President Downs, “Gardner-Webb will follow the recommendations of federal, state, and local authorities as we make our plans for Fall 2020.  But let me be absolutely clear, we have every intention of welcoming our Runnin’ Bulldogs back to Boiling Springs and back to campus at the earliest possible date.  Our staff are working tirelessly right now to make sure that we plan for adjustments where they may be needed, that we have all the tools necessary to keep our living spaces clean, and that we are proactive in protecting the health and safety of the entire Gardner-Webb community.”

How do I request the pass/no credit option for my course?

Policy details describing GWU’s decision to grant undergraduate and graduate students the choice to convert the traditional letter grade they receive for individual Spring 2020 courses to a grade of “Pass or No Credit” can be found in the April 8, 2020 Update for the Community. Graduate students can also access policy details on the Blackboard Graduate tab. These policy details include specifics related to courses/grades that are ineligible for the Pass/No Credit option. 

Students have between May 9 and June 12, 2020 at 11:59PM to communicate decisions to change eligible course grades to Pass/No Credit to the Registrar’s office. The Pass/No Credit Request Form can be accessed by students through the Registration folder in WebbConnect.

All students are reminded to review the full policy and consult with their faculty academic advisor, success coach, financial aid advisor, and/or program coordinator as appropriate before making this decision.

Will Gardner-Webb have face-to-face summer classes?

All Summer Session 1 classes, including the 10-week session, will be delivered online beginning May 18. 

If you are in North Carolina, there are numerous providers offering free or affordable options for high-speed internet during this unique time. The North Carolina Department of Information Technology has provided this  opens in a new windowinteractive map and other details to help you navigate internet-related questions within your community.

How can I reach the registrar’s office during this time?

During this time, the Office of Registrar Services will continue to maintain all essential functions, including on-demand services for students and alumni.

If you need to visit in-person, the current (physical) office hours are Mondays-Fridays from 10:00 A.M.  – 1:00 P.M. You can reach office personnel by phone or email Mondays-Fridays from 8:00 – 5:00 P.M.

The general office phone number is 704-406-4260 and general questions and requests can be directed to   opens in a new window[email protected]create new email.

How available are Gardner-Webb university police at this time?

The Gardner-Webb University Police Department continues to stand ready to protect and to serve the University population; that has not changed.

There are some changes in place that may be noticeable, however. The University will continue to have full police coverage 24/7 through this ever-evolving time. Officers have been assigned to separate satellite work-stations located throughout campus. Officers have been instructed to maintain strict physical (social) distancing. That is why University Police asks you to practice strict distancing measures when you encounter officers.

Things to remember:

  1. When possible, conduct non-emergency request via phone or email.
  2. When officers respond, please step back and allow them to perform the requested task.
  3. Limit visits to the Poston Center Station office.
  4. Social distancing is 10 feet for police officers.

Please do your part to ensure the University Police Department will continue to provide top quality professional law enforcement to the Gardner-Webb community.

What are some frequently asked questions in regards to N.C. Governor Roy Cooper’s “stay at home” executive order 121?

What does “Stay at Home” mean?

It means people should stay at their residence and limit social interactions and travel for essential activities or essential business purposes.

This Order is mandatory, and all persons are required to comply with these restrictions. Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all residents to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the Order.

When is the Executive Order 121 in effect?

This Order is valid through May 8, 2020, but it can be revised or extended.

Can I still use university facilities?

Yes, the University is still open, and you may use your ID card to gain entrance to buildings, such as the Tucker Student Center and the Dover Library (during operating hours). The Gardner-Webb Cafeteria is also open for take-out service, and other buildings across campus continue to be accessible.

Can I leave my home to visit friends or family members?

Individuals may leave their homes to care for a family member or friend, or to help their family member or friend get essential goods or receive necessary health care. Individuals should not visit with friends or family members if there is no urgent need.

Can I still get groceries, medical prescriptions or gas for my car?

Yes. Grocery stores, take-out eating establishments and convenience stores and gas stations are still permitted to operate under the Executive Order 121.

Can I leave my home to exercise?

Yes, at the current time, there are no restrictions for exercise outside a residence. People are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles, including outdoor recreational activity, such as walking pets and jogging. While exercising, individuals should maintain physical (social) distancing and continue to take protective measures to maintain their personal health and wellbeing. 

Does Executive Order 121 prohibit outside group exercise?

As long as the group abides by the mass gatherings provision in the Order (no more than 10 people) and maintains adequate physical (social) distancing, this activity is not prohibited, but it is strongly discouraged.

Is the Gardner-Webb campus shop open during the exclusive online learning time period?

Yes, but in keeping with safe practices as a retail store, the Gardner-Webb Campus Shop has transitioned into an online store.  Shopping will continue for individuals and departments through the  opens in a new windowwebsite.  Details for making personal and departmental purchases are below.

Personal purchases for those currently on-campus:

  • Access the shop through  opens in a new windowcampusshop.gardner-webb.edu.
  • Make your selections, enter credit card information and choose in-store pick-up.  In-store-pick up fees will be waived at this time.
  • You will receive an email when your items are ready; they will be available for pickup at the Post Office window.

Department purchases:

Once your order is filled, it will be taken to the Campus Post office and placed with your department mail/packages.

If you have further questions, you may reach out to Jane Powell at  opens in a new window[email protected]create new email.

What should I do if I need to return to campus for housing or other reasons during a time of exclusive online delivery of classes?

If you are a student who needs to return to campus, such as:

  • To pack up and move my belongings home (contact  opens in a new window[email protected]create new email or call 704.406.4300)
  • student-athletes
  • international students
  • students with transportation limitations
  • students with clinical or internship obligations in the area and
  • students with technology limitations or who have other special reasons, you will need to complete the Emergency Response Housing Request Form. If approved, you will receive an email confirmation. This form is located in WebbConnect.

I left something in my room that I will need for class, will I be able to pick it up during a time of exclusive online delivery of classes?

If you left anything essential for classes, you can arrange a time with Housing and Residence Education to pick up your essentials. You may find out details about this by contacting the office by email  opens in a new window[email protected]create new email or phone 704.406.4300.

What if I need to check out of my room during this exclusive online delivery? Is the process different?

Yes, there is an express check out option available from Housing and Residence Education. You may find out details about this by contacting the office by email  opens in a new window[email protected]create new email or phone 704.406.4300.

What are the library hours now that classes have transitioned to exclusive online delivery?

Currently the John R. Dover Library building is only open for students, faculty, and staff of Gardner-Webb. It is not open to the public at this time. Students, faculty and staff, who are on campus, should make sure to bring a Gardner-Webb ID to gain admission to the building. 

Building hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Reference chat is available during these hours and 6:00-8:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. This may change based on future circumstances or directives from local, regional, state or national healthcare resource directors.

All databases and electronic books are available from off campus for students, faculty and staff.  Simply enter your GWU username and password (the same as your email and Blackboard credentials) to access the  opens in a new windowLibrary databases.  You are welcome to use the online Chat feature to talk with a librarian if you have questions.  You can schedule in-depth reference consultations via Zoom by completing the form on the library’s webpage.  Also, the library is waiving any overdue fees during this time.  You are welcome to return or renew the books when you come back to campus.

Is the Suttle Wellness Center open during a time of exclusive online delivery of classes?

The Suttle Wellness Center will remain closed until further notice for all faculty, staff and students.

Will classrooms be available during a time of exclusive online delivery of classes?

In an effort to improve security for university property, the classrooms on campus will be secured. If you need access to a classroom, please contact University Police (704.406.4444), and they will be glad to assist. This may change based on future circumstances or directives from local, regional, state or national healthcare resource directors.

If I am not able to be on campus because of coronavirus related events, how can I get my mail/packages from the campus post office?

Packages that are not immediately needed, may remain on the shelf until you return to campus. Only packages that were received by the United States Postal Service (USPS) are able to be forwarded to another address. If your USPS package needs to be forwarded, please email Teresa White at  opens in a new window[email protected]create new email to provide a forwarding address. If you require packages that were shipped from any service other than USPS, you will need to contact the carrier and request a package pickup from GWU to have it redirected to your home. Please plan accordingly to have any expected shipments redirected to your home unless you are on campus.

Is there a new date scheduled for the May 9th commencement ceremony since it was postponed?

Our Spring Commencement, originally scheduled for May 9th, has been postponed and tentatively rescheduled for August 1st. Students completing their degrees in Spring 2020, as well as during the Summer 2020 term, will be invited to participate.

We fully appreciate how hard our students have worked to get to this crowning moment, and we look forward to celebrating with them.

You can also monitor the commencement website for information.

Can I still take part in internships and clinicals during online-exclusive instruction?

While classroom instruction has shifted online, students may continue to participate in internships or clinical experiences connected to their academic program. It is possible that internships or clinicals may be modified during this time. You should contact your academic advisor and/or your clinical/internship supervisor for specifics about your individual situation.

If I am a graduate assistant or work study student, should I show up to campus when face-to-face classes are transitioned to an online delivery?

Graduate Assistants are considered staff and should come to work unless ordered by health officials or asked by the University to self-quarantine. Graduate Assistants who are ordered to self-quarantine should notify their supervisor. Graduate Assistants who must self-quarantine will be paid for normal working hours.

Graduate assistants may be notified by supervisors to work remotely if the need arises.

I have an internship or clinical in the Boiling Springs area, what should I do when classes are transitioned to an online delivery?

Current residential students, in need of local accommodations because of area clinical assignments, internships, or other types of for-credit, experiential learning obligations, are welcome to contact the Dean of Students and complete an Emergency Response Housing Request Form. Every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations for students to complete their course of study for the semester. Commuters should plan to continue these types of learning obligations unless directed otherwise by the University or site supervisors.

What resources are available through the division of student success during a time of exclusive online delivery?

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising Center is open for walk-in traffic for students who are currently on campus. This may change with the rapidly-evolving conditions, and we will share the updates here. Academic advising appointments are also available online through ZOOM, phone conferencing or email. You may email Carmen Butler for more information or to schedule an appointment [email protected]create new email.

Academic Services for Student-Athletes

Communication has been sent to all student-athletes on the importance of checking email and Blackboard daily. Instructions have also been shared regarding:

  • Connecting email to smartphone
  • Gaining technology assistance
  • Completing necessary forms for summer school aid

Student-athletes are encouraged to phone or email the Academic Services for Student-Athletes office with any questions regarding NCAA eligibility, or other concerns, or needs at this unique time. Contact Carrie Drake at [email protected]create new email

Noel Center for Disability Resources

The Noel Center accessibility advisors are meeting with students via online ZOOM meetings and phone conferences. Information has been sent to Noel students with additional directions concerning peer notes and the use of the GLEAN software for note-taking. If Noel students are in need of additional accommodations or support, they’re welcome to contact Cheryl Potter at [email protected]create new email

The Writing Center

The Gardner-Webb Writing Center has transitioned to email consultations at this time. When students are ready to submit a paper for review, they can email a Microsoft Word version to [email protected]create new email, and a consultant will provide feedback via email. Students need to know that this is not a dedicated editing session. Consultants will focus primarily on higher-order concerns such as structure and organization, support, and source integration.

A transition of this type for the Writing Center will require time, so students will need to plan ahead. At this time, papers should be returned to students within twenty-four hours, but this will depend on demand or other changes to the rapidly-evolving situation.

Tutoring and Testing Services

Students are able to receive tutoring services via Smarthinking or by making an appointment with a Peer Tutor. Students have been sent an email with a short video on the use of the Smarthinking software. Students can also login to Webbconnect and make an appointment for Peer Tutoring. The tutors will use ZOOM, email or phone calls for the tutoring sessions.

A transition of this type for the Writing Center will require time, so students will need to plan ahead. At this time, papers should be returned to students within twenty-four hours, but this will depend on demand or other changes to the

At this time, make-up testing can be administered in the Tucker Student Center for students currently on campus. Additional questions, concerns or assistance needs can be submitted by email to [email protected]create new email or [email protected]create new email.

Can I still stay on campus when classes are offered exclusively online?

Yes, but you should complete the Emergency Response Housing Request Form. If approved, you will receive an email confirmation. This form is located in WebbConnect.

How will I get my dimensions credit during a time of face-to-face interruption?

The Dimensions program will be delivered via an email from Tracy Jessup ([email protected]create new email) to all students enrolled. A link to a video presentation of a Dimensions program will be sent each Tuesday morning. Additionally, directions and a listening response guide will be provided. Students will be required to view the video and submit the listening guide.

Questions about tuition, fees & financial aid

Will the University take back any of my financial aid?

No.  The University grants more than $28 million dollars in financial aid every year to cover your cost of attendance, and at this time there are no plans to prorate any student’s aid and have you refund it back to the University. 

Will there be additional fees for technology or online delivery of classes previously held in person?

No. The cost of moving classes online is considerable.  There are existing $50 per course online technology fees that we will waive for students who have had their face-to-face courses transitioned to online delivery.  Students should expect no additional fees for this.

Will my tuition increase next year to help cover the University’s costs incurred by COVID-19?

No.  Tuition has already been frozen, and it will not be increased for Fall 2020. We have been holding the line on cost since 2018, and we plan to continue to do that.Do I have to find other housing or food arrangements if I have already paid for them?

No. Students who need to maintain access to their campus housing and/or food services must contact the Dean of Students and, submit an Emergency Response Housing Request for approval. This form is located in WebbConnect.

Several hundred students have already been approved to stay on campus. Our campus is open and functioning, and you can return upon approval. If approved, you’ll continue to receive classes online and would need to practice physical distancing while on campus

Do I get a refund for the remainder of my room or meal plan during a time of exclusive online delivery of classes?

We understand that many students and parents have questions about possible residence hall and dining refunds. At this point, Gardner-Webb University’s campus remains open and operational, including the residence halls and cafeteria. Our staff members are going to extra efforts to keep us safe and healthy. Students are accessing the services they have paid for while practicing physical distancing. We are doing everything possible to avoid passing on the added costs of this global pandemic to you. Like most universities throughout the state and nation, we do not expect to make a final decision on refunds until after the immediate issues related to COVID-19 are resolved.

What dining services (and hours) are offered during this time?

In keeping with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s March 17th executive order concerning sit-down dining, Gardner-Webb has reoriented dining options for “to go” orders only for students, faculty and staff.

Dining Services are available in the Dover Campus Center Cafeteria only at this time; other food court options are temporarily suspended.

Preventative sanitary measures are being taken to ensure the continued wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. These measures include, though are not limited to: all food served by Sodexo staff, prewrapped servings of desserts, prepackaged condiments, use of plastic utensils and plates, continuous cleaning, and the availability of hand sanitizer.

The dining hours are listed below for “take out services”; however, the seating area is closed to everyone.

Dover Campus Center Cafeteria

Monday-FridayBreakfast: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Lunch: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday and SundayBrunch: 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Access Options include: 4 swipes per day (4th swipe available during dinner hours) Flex Points, Cash, or Credit Card accepted

**Note: During the dinner dining hours, options will be available for additional take-out meals. These options cover late-night meal swipes (Monday-Friday) or pre-swiped breakfast items (Friday & Saturday). More details will be available in the Dover Campus Center Cafeteria.

The University will continue to monitor Dining Services and adjust schedules and delivery options as needed. 

If I traveled to areas with known cases of the Coronavirus, and I am not experiencing any symptoms, should I quarantine myself?

If you have travelled (including transit through) to any at-risk areas of the Coronavirus in the past 14 days, you should self-monitor for symptoms and practice physical distancing. If living on campus, you should also contact residence life and make them aware of your situation. You may be directed at that point to take other steps.

If you develop symptoms, you must immediately isolate yourself into a secure area (preferably one room); keep the doors closed and seek medical attention. Schedule an appointment with a local health care provider, and let them know your symptoms (and where you’ve travelled) in advance. If you are having symptoms, it is important to avoid work, classes, or other public areas. You should not use public transport, taxis, or ride-sharing services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated certain areas as Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 concerns. If you are coming to Gardner-Webb from any of these areas, and you haven’t already been through a United States quarantine, you should immediately self-quarantine, and contact the local health department and the Dean of Students at Gardner-Webb. You can find out more about these areas at the  opens in a new windowCDC website.

On March 19th, the U.S. Department of State issued a  opens in a new windowLevel 4 alert, which means to avoid all non-essential international travel.