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August 13, 2021

Dear Undergraduate Students,

Prior to the Spring 2021 semester, we sent you a message detailing ways to optimize your spring experience at Carolina. With the fall semester approaching and our community returning to campus, many of you will be in Chapel Hill for the first time. Here are some tips to help you with the transition:

  • Get Vaccinated: Before arriving on campus, our number one recommendation for you is to strongly urge you to be vaccinated and provide your vaccination status within ConnectCarolina. This is the best way to keep you and your fellow Tar Heels safe. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or how to get vaccinated, please visit the Carolina Together Website. As outlined in the Updated Community Standards, if you are vaccinated, you are exempt from the Carolina Together Testing Program and only need to quarantine if symptomatic.
  • Engage Yourself with Campus: On August 15th from 8pm to 12am the Carolina Union will present their 25th installment of our annual FallFest to welcome the entire campus back to Chapel Hil. Regardless of your year, we encourage you to go to these events and safely spend time in person with your friends and fellow Tar Heels. After the event, visit HeelLife and SmallFest Involvement Fairs to learn about how to get more involved with campus activities. As indicated in last week’s message from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson, you may also want to acquaint/reacquaint yourself with campus units that aim to support you, including Campus Recreation, the Office of the Dean of Students, Carolina Union, Campus Y, and LGBTQ Center.
  • Contact Academic Advising: If you need guidance throughout any aspect of the enrollment process, we recommend visiting the Academic Advising website. You can make an appointment or enter the queue to meet virtually with an advisor. In-person appointments will be available starting in mid-September.
  • Connect with Accessibility Resources & Services: For those who need to arrange academic accommodations and associated resources, we encourage you to connect early with Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS). Please email with questions and/or to set-up a meeting. Also, take time to explore the ARS Hub, which manages ARS resources, test and exam scheduling, accommodation notifications, and provides a platform for communication between instructors and students.
  • Reference the Academic Calendar: It’s important to note that emergency grading accommodations in response to COVID-19 are no longer in place. This means that all Pass/Fail Declarations must be submitted by the deadline of October 14th. We encourage you to learn more about the Academic and Registrar’s Calendar so you know the key dates of the semester such as the last day to add/drop, the deadline for filing for graduation for each term, reading days, final exam dates, and more.
  • Use the “Class Features” Tool: As you register and finalize your course selections, we recommend that you use the new Class Features Tool in Connect Carolina. Through this tool, faculty may provide additional information on a course’s required textbooks, materials, components (grading breakdown), and policies so you know more before you enroll. This also means that you may have access to draft syllabi, frequently asked questions, or other helpful documents before the first day of classes! Instructors can upload additional information to Class Features so make sure to check back frequently as information may change.
  • Visit the Learning Center and the Writing Center: As noted in the spring, we recommend making note of a tremendous resource here at Carolina: the Learning Center. There you can improve your academic skills and/or grades, get better at managing time, get questions about learning disabilities answered, and learn strategies to apply your strengths!
  • Consider a Campus Job: If you’re looking for a job next semester, we hope you’ll consider one on campus. Information on work study, academic, and non-academic positions can be found on the Student Employment Website. Please note that work-study positions may be offered remotely or in-person. For any questions, please email or visit the Work Study website.

Most importantly, please take time to rest, reacquaint with your friends and make new ones, and attend to your wellness. If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed about returning to campus, we understand and help is available. Visit the Healthy Heels blog for tips and tools for coping through the continuum of daily stress. In addition, we encourage you to contact the Dean of Students team, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Wellness.

Welcome back, Tar Heels. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Abigail Panter
Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

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