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Western Carolina University statement about residential instruction, first day of classes

By Chancellor Kelli R. Brown

Students spending time on campus


Western Carolina University had a successful first day of classes and is moving forward with residential instruction. We have implemented a series of changes including a mask mandate, lowering classroom density, and many other protocols through our Catamounts Care initiative. Additionally, we have erected outdoor tents throughout campus for student, faculty and staff use.

We continue to evaluate conditions that may influence our ability to deliver residential operations. We will continue to make decisions using a range of data - including health indicators - and involving local and state agencies, the governor and the University of North Carolina System and the Board of Governors, and regular meetings with local health and education leaders. We’re also committed to continued dialogue and shared governance with our faculty and staff senates.

WCU is prepared for many possible scenarios if local conditions warrant, including a change of instructional modalities. We had a wonderful first day of classes as we welcomed a nearly record-breaking number of excited students this fall. We strongly encourage the WCU campus community to continue embracing the Catamounts Care prevention strategies – avoiding mass gatherings, wearing face coverings, practice physical distancing, etc. – for a successful semester.

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