UNC Charlotte assembles ‘Back-to-Campus’ safety bags for students, staff returning to campus

Students preparing to move back into UNCC residence halls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - UNC Charlotte students will be allowed to move into residence halls on campus starting Saturday. Students have been instructed to schedule a move-in appointment to limit the number of residents checking in each day.

UNC Charlotte students started the fall semester back in September, but all course instruction has been remote because of the pandemic.

Chancellor Sharon Gaber previously announced that select in-person instruction will resume on October 1. The plan is to have the university then revert to all online/remote classes after the Thanksgiving break.

In preparation for the return of students and staff members, the university had thousands of ‘back-to-campus’ bags prepared. UNC Charlotte shared a video on social media that shows the bags being put together. Each bag contains a Niner Ready communications folder, reusable logoed face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable masks, a digital thermometer, and a welcome guide for campus.

Rich Steele, Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Services at UNC Charlotte, spoke to WBTV in a Zoom interview about the bags Friday night. He explained that putting all the supplies together was a big undertaking.

“It was a pretty amazing journey,” said Steele. “It literally took months to find all the items that we needed, to get them on campus. There were delays of course with some of these items. It included 560,000 items to make up over 30,000 packets.”

He said the bags were packed over an eight-day period, and that close to 200 volunteer hours were grossed each day.

“We were, of course, very focused on a very safe return to campus this summer and it was paramount to us that our students, faculty and staff had all the tools they needed in order to take the actions that we are requesting of them,” said Steele.

The administrator also credited students and staff for complying with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“We have seen fantastic compliance from our campus population so far this fall and that will be the ongoing expectation. We know that everyone on campus will be committed to supporting each other’s health,” he elaborated.

Steele said the bags will be available for pick up outside of the campus student union starting October 1.

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