Returning to campus safely with 'The New Norm'

Monday, August 3, 2020

As UNC Charlotte prepares to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester—as well as faculty and staff, most of whom have been working remotely since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic—the University has launched “The New Norm: Your Health. Our Community,” an educational campaign promoting new safety and community standards designed to protect Niner Nation. 

Beginning Aug. 3, information outlining the vital role of each person in the University community to keep everyone on campus safe—featuring 49ers mascot Norm the Niner donning a protective face covering at all times—will be shared across the University’s social media channels, through campus signage (including digital platforms) at the main campus and The Dubois Center, and on

“Through a virtual focus group process, students and other campus leaders overwhelmingly pinpointed ‘The New Norm’ from an array of creative options designed to galvanize the campus community in an effort to maintain collective health and wellness,” said Colleen B. Penhall, chief communications officer and associate vice chancellor for University Communications. “Their input has been instrumental in keeping the interests of Niner Nation at the heart of the campaign as it developed.”

Take the Niners Pledge

To kick off “The New Norm,” students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the Niners Pledge, an expressed commitment to upholding the 6W's: Watch, wash, wait, watch, wipe and wave, steps that foster a healthy environment. In a message last Friday to faculty and staff, Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber introduced the Niner Pledge and asked members of the campus community to commit to taking it.

“A successful fall semester depends on all of us,” she said. “I hope you will join me in pledging your support of this effort.”

Take the Pledge!

An Ongoing Effort

Elements of “The New Norm” will be visible and accessible from late summer through the coming semester: 

  • Informational “What to Expect” videos on FacebookTwitter and Instagram in regard to residence halls, classrooms and academic spaces, Student Health Center/CAPS/wellness, campus dining, transportation, physical distancing and face coverings (featuring Dr. Robert Jones and CHHS faculty), testing for COVID-19 and contact tracing

  • Return to campus bags: Faculty and staff will receive kits through interoffice mail that include items for a safe re-entry to campus. Residential students will receive theirs at move-in, and commuting students will pick up theirs upon arrival for their first day of classes. Kits include disposable and branded cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer for daily wellness checks and informative, back-to-campus literature.  

  • Virtual Town Hall meetings for students and families 

  • Virtual Town Hall meetings for employees: Information and registration links will be sent directly to faculty and staff inviting them to sign up to participate in town halls scheduled throughout the fall to share operational updates and answer questions. Responses to questions from summer town hall meetings are found in these FAQs.

Additional information

Explore the information below and more on the Niner Nation Cares website.

For faculty and staff

​For students