Fall 2021 Safe Return to Campus

The top priority of the University is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and campus community.

The University will continue to develop and revise guidelines that address the expectations of all members of the community, personal safety practices, staffing options, workplace environments, emotional wellbeing, on-campus visitors, modification of facilities, and workplace education as we continue on-campus life for fall 2021. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the Chowan University community live and abide by the core values of the University. 

This webpage is the source of information for on-campus living and learning. These published plans are continuously evolving. Please check back frequently as details and announcements are made. The University has also created reopening@chowan.edu as a method to ask questions related to the reopening of the University that cannot be found on the reopening webpages.

Update as of 7/21/21: 

Chowan University's administration communicated our intent to return to a more vibrant traditional campus experience for Fall 2021. Vaccinations are an essential tool in accomplishing this goal. We strongly encourage our students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated. 

The research and data have demonstrated that vaccines were very effective in earlier trials and appear to be as effective in real-world use limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the severity of symptoms among those who may become infected. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges individuals 12 years and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Students who choose to become vaccinated may submit documentation providing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to the Wellness Center, prior to August 1, 2021, preferably.  The fax number is 252-398- 6446 or you may scan and send it to hullc@chowan.edu

Students, staff, and faculty who have not provided proof of vaccination will be required to take a COVID-19 entrance test when returning to campus. Also, members of the Chowan campus community who are unvaccinated will be subject to weekly surveillance testing as well. 

Vaccination information is protected medical information and can only be discovered on a voluntary basis. Please be considerate and empathetic with fellow campus community members who may choose not to share this information.

We acknowledge this is a very sensitive stage of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and policies may continue to change. We are appreciative of everyone who has contributed to the success we have experienced thus far and hopefully into the future. The sanitizing processes put in place last year will continue. 

We continue to plan for a traditional on-campus experience in August and our health experts will monitor COVID-19 variants and the potential impact for the Chowan community. However, given an increase in the incidents of positive COVID 19 throughout our country, to include North Carolina, and because the Delta variant is resulting in new cases and disruptions, we are updating our safety guidelines as follows: 

The following face-covering requirement becomes effective August 1.

CU requires face coverings in the following indoor situations to protect against a possible COVID-19 surge upon return to full density on campus: 

  • Classrooms, teaching laboratories, studios, and other spaces where instruction occurs, unless a safety plan has been submitted and an approved exception has been issued
  • Any indoor setting where social distancing of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained
  • Other spaces identified per the current Governor’s Executive Order. 

On CU’s campus, no face covering is required outdoors. However, all unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a face-covering when social distancing of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained. This face-covering restriction will be re-evaluated on or before September 15, 2021.

While the governor’s latest update reflects the great strides that North Carolina has made against COVID-19, the CU community must continue to do our part to protect ourselves and others. Vaccinations are strongly encouraged and available at most pharmacies and local health departments. (More detailed information on this is forthcoming.)

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep the Hawks community safe. The senior staff monitors what is happening in North Carolina and in our immediate area. We will make adjustments for the campus as deemed appropriate.

Safety Practices

Chowan University procedure follows recommendations from the CDC, the state of North Carolina and local health providers as general guidance.

We are committed to implementing a range of measures to help promote health and well-being among students, employees, and campus visitors and to help reduce risk from potential exposure and spread of COVID-19. Procedures set forth in this document are meant to meet minimum threshold requirements for general campus, day-to-day experiences. Where applicable, more stringent requirements will be communicated via signage or university personnel in areas in which potential risk of exposure or infection of COVID-19 are greater.

Responsibility to follow these university policies fall to individual faculty, staff, students, and campus guests in order to promote a good social order with mutual care and respect for others. The language primarily employed in these policies reference the main campus in Murfreesboro, NC, these policies also apply to off-site locations in which Chowan students learn and employees work.

All members of Chowan community (faculty, staff, students, and approved campus visitors) returning to campus are expected to adhere to these primary responsibilities:

1.           Daily health monitoring
2.           Practice physical distancing and wearing cloth coverings when appropriate
3.           Practicing good personal hygiene
4.           Reporting symptoms or possible exposure

Social Distancing

Currently, the CDC reports that the COVID-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other even when symptoms are not present.  CDC Social Distancing Guidelines


Because infection of COVID-19 may not produce symptoms, the cloth covering of the nose and mouth is meant as an added precaution against potentially infecting others. Continue to maintain separation from others of at least 6 feet.  CDC Mask Guidelines

Community Spaces

As individuals may be without symptoms of COVID-19 yet test positive for the disease, all persons on campus must maintain at least 6’ of space (physical distance) of separation from others. CDC Social Distancing Guidelines

Health Monitoring Responsibility

Any individual on campus must monitor potential symptoms daily before coming to or interacting with others on campus.  According to the CDC, anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

· Fever
· Cough
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Fatigue
· Muscle or body aches
· Headache
· New loss of taste or smell
· Sore Throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
· Diarrhea

Faculty and staff who have symptoms including a fever of 100 F / 38 C degrees or greater must stay home and contact their primary medical provider and notify Human Resources (hr@chowan.edu). Human Resources guidelines can be found at chowan.edu/hr.

Students with any symptoms including a fever of 100 F / 38 C degrees or greater must call Health Services at (252) 398-6248. Commuting students must not come to campus and residential students must not leave their campus residence. CDC Symptom Monitoring Guidelines

Physical Distancing and Cloth Covering Responsibility

Currently, the CDC reports that the COVID-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other even when symptoms are not present. Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, also called social distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside your home. As individuals may be without symptoms of COVID-19 yet test positive for the disease, all persons on campus must:

·       maintain at least 6’ of space (physical distance) of separation from others
·       limit gathering into groups
·       minimize time in crowded places

In some scenarios that involve natural vocal projection (singing, lecturing, etc.) a minimum of 15’ is strongly encouraged. In general, this responsibility applies to all environments on campus (classrooms, offices, library, residence halls, etc.) There are naturally occurring congestion areas in day-to-day life on campus (dining, restrooms, elevators, etc.) that need extra consideration. When physical distancing is not possible (small spaces, entering/exiting classrooms and building, congested areas, etc.) cloth coverings are expected to be worn. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for physical distancing. Because infection of COVID-19 may not produce symptoms, the cloth covering of the nose and mouth is meant as an added precaution against potentially infecting others. Continue to maintain separation from others of at least 6 feet.  CDC Face Covering Guidelines

Good Personal Hygiene Responsibility

According to the CDC, handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. When soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  CDC Handwashing Guidelines

All faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors are expected to follow posted signage regarding use of shared campus spaces and resources. Living in community commits us to consider the needs of others before ourselves.

The University is employing additional cleaning and disinfecting measures in response to COVID-19. However, all who live and work at Chowan are expected to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily in their areas daily. CDC Cleaning/Disinfecting Guidelines.

Daily Self Monitoring 

Students, faculty, and staff are expected to complete their own daily self-checkup to help monitor their own health.  Click here for more information.

Self Monitoring and Quarantine Protocol ​

All students, faculty, and staff who report COVID-19 symptoms or who are exposed to the virus must follow the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols established by Chowan University. 


If you feel ill or experience symptoms of COVID-19:

  • AVOID all contact with others. Stay at home or in your room. Do not go to class, work, dining halls, etc.
  • CALL to self identify. 
  • Call the Wellness Center at 252-398- 6248 between 9 am and 4 pm and our health provider will assess you. 
  • If after hours or the weekend, please call Public Safety at 252-398-1234. Please share your mobile number with them and Public safety will contact our health provider with your phone number and location. Our health provider will call the student and assess.
  • TRANSITION to a temporary self-Isolation space if you are directed to by our health provider. If so, Residence Life will coordinate the isolation space with you and the CARES Team will review service available to you while in self-isolation

Remember to protect yourself and others, you must ACT if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. 

If a student tests positive while on campus, and if they are able to travel home by personal vehicle, they will be encouraged to do so. The CDC warns against mass transportation for anyone testing positive. If they are unable to leave campus, they will be relocated to our quarantine residence hall. Our University nurse will provide the necessary care and monitor them daily. Students in quarantine will be provided their meals and access to any services necessary to include, counseling, pastoral care, etc. If a student tests positive we will begin contact tracing to test all persons they may have encountered in conjunction with the local health departments.  

Faculty & Staff:

If you feel ill or experience symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Employee reports Covid-19 exposure to supervisor 
  • Employee is sent home immediately if on-campus or remains at home if not on campus
  • Human Resources alerted to the situation by the supervisor and responds by contacting our health provider to being the exposure evaluation process. 
  • Human Resources completes a documented confidential log on the medical event, specifying date/time frame, event details, resolution.

Full Employee details are available at chowan.edu/hr. 

Care Commitment
Responsibility to follow the university policies fall to individual faculty, staff, students, and campus guest in order to promote a good social order with mutual care and respect for others. Students will be required to sign the attached community compact, Chowan Strong-Safer Together. The compact is our agreement to care for self, others and this place.

Safe Return Move-in Information

It is very important that we commit to caring for self, others, and this place. An example is being on campus when we are able to properly screen students. 

Saturday, August 21 - 9:00am - 3:00pm (New Students) 
Saturday, August 21 - Staggered Check-in for Returners
Sunday, August 22 - Staggered Check-In for Returners 
Monday, August 23 - 9:00am - 4:00pm - Approved Late Arrivals 
Athletic return dates will be communicated by the respective coaches. 

We will do our best to assist students who make arrangements prior to Check-In Days. Also, if you are flying to this area and need transportation to campus, you should contact Public Safety immediately with your flight information (burked@chowan.edu).  Thank you for your cooperation in a successful fall semester on campus!

For full move-in details click here. 

Self Monitor 10 Days Prior to Check-in*

Given the increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the country, we are also requesting our students throughout the United States to self-monitor for at least 10 days prior to coming to campus. During self-monitor, you are asked to wear a face mask in public, limit your interactions with others, and wash your hands often.

*As of Spring 2021; Fall 2021 requirements will be updated as we continue monitoring local, state, and federal guidelines.

Check-in Assessment 

When you arrive on campus, you will be required to participate in a health screening before you check-in. The screening will include having your temperature checked and answer pertinent questions. All students will be required to take a BinaxNOW Antigen COVID-19 Test which is a nasal swab test but does not require a lab for analysis and results are available in 15 minutes. The Chowan community will be expected to complete a daily self-health screening prior to attending classes or beginning your day on campus.

Academic Affairs

The Academic Calendar

Chowan University has made adjustments to the spring 2021 semester to support health and encourage learning. We will continue to evaluate the calendar and make adjustments as necessary. There will be no spring break for 2021. To view the calendar, click here. 

Teaching and Learning*

As always, Chowan’s goal is to offer an outstanding academic experience to every student. In spring 2020, Chowan faculty had one week to pivot to remote instruction; this fall will be very different. Chowan seeks a full return to in-person instruction for fall 2021.

·  Courses will be designed to be delivered in person.
·  Social distancing will be practiced by limiting classroom occupancy. 
·  Masks will be worn in all classes and meetings at all times.
·  Measures such as removing chairs and posting signs and floor/table stickers indicating where to enter and exit a building, classroom, and stairwell, where to sit or stand, how to use an elevator, etc., will be in place.
·  The majority of remote and hybrid sessions will be delivered in real-time, to enable immediate interaction and discussion.
·  Some classes will consist of remote lectures and small, in-person sessions.
·  Some courses will assign alternating groups of students to attend in the classroom on alternating days.
·  Some courses will break large classes into smaller cohorts.

With the support of a new Instructional Designer, the staff in Information Technology, and a team of faculty members working this summer, instructors will incorporate innovative pedagogies for blended, hybrid, and remote learning. This will allow every student to have hands-on learning with fewer person-to-person contacts. 

*As we continue to monitor local, state, and federal guidelines, we will update our plans for the fall semester.

Course Delivery and Attendance Policy
The University is planning for an in-person experience for all undergraduate classes in fall 2021. Graduate courses will be predominantly virtual with some existing online and hybrid course options. In-person undergraduate courses will follow the traditional attendance policy. All policies will be outlined in the course syllabus.

A student who may need special accommodations for an underlying medical condition may contact Dr. Ella Benson, Dean of Accessibility Services, at bensoe@chowan.edu for assessment. Employees should refer to the HR website and contact Human Resources at hr@chowan.edu for assessment of accommodations. 

Hawk Flight Book Program*

Book Pick-up for the Hawk Flight Book Rental Program this semester is by appointment only.  Students will receive an email with a link to schedule an appointment to pick-up their books in the Bookstore based on their approved arrival time and their financial clearance.  Emails will be sent from  hawkflightbooks@chowan.edu.  Questions regarding books should be sent to that email address, or you may call the Business Office during business hours at 252-398-6290.

*As of Spring 2021; Fall 2021 updates are continually being added.

Residence Life

Fall 2021 Move-in
New students will move in on Saturday, August 21, and returning students will be assigned either August 22 or August 23 move-in dates. See details here

Residential Guidelines 
Residence Life guidelines, modifications, and education can be found here

Student Life and Campus Ministry Programming
Student Life and Campus Ministry will follow all University Guidelines and Policies regarding COVID-19 and created additional safety guidelines found here


Food Service*

Chowan University dining services lead by Pioneer Catering completed a fall 2020 start-up reconfiguration of the Turner Cafeteria, Chowan Room, and Hawk’s Nest designed to ensure social distancing during meals.   The maximum dining occupancy at each location is as follows: (Note: Traditional maximum occupancy provided for reader convenience)

Thomas Dining Hall – 242 patrons (Traditional Max Occupancy – 495)
Chowan Room – 40 patrons  (Traditional Max Occupancy – 88)
Hawk’s Nest – 222 patrons  (Traditional Max Occupancy 855)

Each table will have a sticker reflecting where students are to sit for dining.  This strategy allows for rapid cleaning recovery as students complete their meals and assists with making certain the social distancing requirements are maintained.  Meals may be consumed in one of the three locations subject to the new maximum limits or may be selected in a “To Go” model.  Students selecting a “To Go” option will have the option to receive a second carry-out box to facilitate “seconds.”

In the event a student is quarantined on campus, the university will deliver meals to each residence hall location subject to medical guidelines for each meal period.  Quarantined students will be provided a menu ahead of the meal delivery to note their preferred meal choices  


Dining Calendar:
Thomas Dining Hall will open on Saturday, January 16 beginning at dinner. The Hawk’s Nest opening will be communicated via email to students. The cafeteria will be offering athletic and early arrival support beginning January 4th - hours will be communicated by Chowan email. 

Faculty and staff who wish to take advantage of Pioneer services will be asked to take their meals in a “Take Out” fashion.  This will ensure that the dine-in resources are adequate to meet student demand.

In January, Chowan University will have a professionally installed disinfectant barrier installed throughout the campus to include all dining areas (this was also completed in the fall). The disinfectant barrier is designed to enable our surface and seating areas to act as a retardant of bacteria exchange thereby providing a level of protection against contagions to assist with flattening the pandemic curve.

Our custodial service provider – Aramark – has realigned their cleaning schedule to introduce an early morning and early evening deep cleaning strategy for all our dining and academic facilities.  Teamed with Pioneer resources, the university feels that the dining facilities will be continuously monitored and cleaned as patrons complete their meals.  Each evening, Aramark will perform an exhaustive cleaning after each cafeteria location is closed in alignment with the specifications and expectations of the disinfectant barrier to achieve maximum protection throughout the fall semester. 

*As of Spring 2021. We are continually updating this information to reflect our plans for Fall 2021.

Student Life

To provide meaningful, safe, and healthy experiences for all members of the community, the University will be reimagined. 

The University will modify facilities to include limiting capacity in spaces; closing, where possible, informal gathering places; creating visual cues to direct community members where to enter, exit, stand, etc.; installing, where possible, barriers to ensure physical distancing; and removing furniture in public spaces.

Please see the Fall 2020 Safe Reopening Student Affairs Guidelines for more details. 

Campus Visitors

Prospective Student Visits
Chowan University has a desire to ensure the health and safety of our students and community. Prospective student campus visitors must register and adhere to CDC and government guidelines in addition to the Chowan University guidelines. All prospective students should register at chowan.edu/visit. 

Residence Life Guest Visitation Policy*
No outside guests are allowed, only Chowan University students can visit each other in the residence halls and apartments. Social distancing is expected throughout campus.

Whitaker Library*
To best protect our community, Whitaker Library will be open to Chowan students, faculty, and staff ONLY.  This is a difficult decision, but one we feel is necessary for overall safety.  Other members of the community with authorized borrowing privileges may contact the library at library@chowan.edu or 252-398-6212 to schedule curbside pick-up of physical items (between 9am and 4pm, M-F) or to request scans of chapter pages sent by email.  

*As of Spring 2021. We are continually updating this information to reflect our plans for Fall 2021.


To be in accordance with national, state, and university guidelines, the Athletics COVID-19 Task Force has determined guidelines and procedures with which all athletics staff must comply. These guidelines will affect practice, fitness, and strength and conditioning sessions. In addition to the aforementioned, the operation of the athletic training rooms and training room procedures have been adjusted to ensure the safety of student-athletes and staff.  Please click here for the full athletic guidelines. 

Continued Safety Measures

The University will prepare a public health plan that includes COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols, quarantine guidelines for students diagnosed as positive and for students who had contact with a diagnosed individual, and self-isolation guidelines for an employee who is diagnosed as positive or who has been exposed to or come in contact with an individual who has tested positive.

To provide safe spaces where learning, teaching, serving, engaging, living, playing, and working together can thrive, the University will modify facilities to include limiting capacity in spaces; closing, where possible, informal gathering places; creating visual cues to direct community members where to enter, exit, stand, etc.; installing, where possible, barriers to ensure physical distancing; and removing furniture in public spaces.

To facilitate social distancing, University faculty will employ a mix of instructional delivery methods to include in-person, hybrid, and remote, while maintaining instructional excellence in all courses.

To provide meaningful, safe and healthy experiences for all members of the community, the University will reimagine every dimension of the Chowan experience, including student organizations, residential life, dining services, athletic events, special programs, performances, exhibitions, admissions events, commencements, alumni and philanthropic activities, etc.

The University will implement standards, processes, and responsibilities for routine cleaning and disinfecting high-touch points and public spaces, such as classrooms, lobbies, and restrooms, etc.; for identifying areas to be deep cleaned following a presumptive for confirmed COVID-19 case; for distributing cleaning and disinfecting supplies to employees who have the responsibility of disinfecting their workspace on a regular basis several times per day; and for installing hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic points throughout campus.