COVID-19 and Student Organization Events

The message below is posted on behalf of Tim Wilkinson, Associate Dean for Student Engagement


Greetings Student Organization Leaders,

As you know by now, Wake Forest University is following best practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This update is to ensure that you have received the specifics of President Hatch’s communication on March 11th, as well as to update you on the status of on and off-campus events for the foreseeable future.

The Office of the Dean of Students has been provided guidance from the COVID-19 Special Events Committee regarding the status of all university events, both on and off campus. Please read the updates below.

General Student Updates:

All in-person classes, both in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, have been suspended until further notice. Wake Forest University will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.

  1. Classes are cancelled from Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 22, so that faculty and staff can plan for academic continuity and prepare for remote delivery of course instruction.
  2. Classes will resume remotely on Monday, March 23. Students should expect to hear directly from their respective professors and/or degree program leaders soon about how to prepare for class. It is unknown at this time when classes will return to an in-person format.
  3. Students should not return to campus if possible. All undergraduate residential students should have registered their plans with the Office of Residence Life and Housing at go.wfu.edu/housingportal by Friday, March 13. Housing will be made available for students with appropriate circumstances.
  4. Campus will remain open. Deans will provide additional information and guidance to support remote course delivery and continuity of needed student services. Staff should consult with their supervisors about specific expectations and resources to complete job assignments if remote work is needed due to health concerns.

Off-Campus Events:

All off-campus events are to be canceled, postponed or virtualized, regardless of the number of expected event attendees. This is a necessary precaution due to these off-campus event factors:

  • Hosting events in private homes
  • Event occurring in close quarters/requiring considerable personal interaction
  • Participants potentially coming from locations with high infection rates post-spring break

If you are unsure if the event should occur, we have been advised to ask, “is the event critical to the core mission of Wake Forest University as it relates to COVID-19”? If you cannot answer yes to this question, the event should not occur.

Per the Centers for Disease Control, there is currently no vaccine for preventing COVID-19 and avoiding close contact is a key prevention measure.

Additionally, it is imperative that university and local medical and law enforcement resources be able to focus on the challenges stemming from COVID-19, as opposed to off-campus social events. Knowing the steps being taken by governmental agencies, educational institutions, and professional sports leagues, the Wake Forest University community must also play its part.

On-Campus Events:

With a limited number of Wake Forest students expected to be returning to residence halls, we are postponing, canceling or virtualizing all on-campus registered student organization/fraternity and sorority events with an expected attendance of more than 50 people.

In addition, please pause on the coordination of events after April 15th until we have further guidance.

If your organization/chapter is sponsoring an event, it is your responsibility to follow the guidance below and either cancel or virtualize the event.

Required Event Cancellation Checklist:

Review the checklist to understand the necessary steps to cancel your events and ensure all items are considered.

Unless indicated below, please do not email or call individuals to cancel as it will inundate their inbox. Instead, use campus systems (i.e.: DeaconSpace, Catertrax, etc.).

If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to us. As of right now, the Office of Student Engagement is operating on regular hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 pm. Staff are available for one on one meetings and consultations. Please e-mail stdengmt@nullwfu.edu with questions, concerns, or to schedule a meeting time. Please also continue to monitor coronavirus.wfu.edu for additional updates.

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