Chancellor’s Forum announces a cluster on N.C. A&T’s campus

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A cluster of eight students have tested positive for COVID-19 in Pride Hall

Jamille Whitlow, TheYard Editor

The Chancellor’s forum covered the following topics: Student Government Association (SGA), Academic Affairs, COVID-19 testing, budget forecast and voter engagement. 

Padonda Webb, Interim Executive Director of the Student Health Center, announced that a cluster of eight students have tested positive  for COVID-19 in Pride Hall; the university is in the process of tracing people who have come in contact with the cluster of students. In the meantime, she advises students who reside or visited Pride to get tested. 

Webb stated that N.C. A&T’s rate is 4 % and it is below state level. State level ranges between 5-6 %. Here below are the number of tests performed on campus and the capacity of Haley Hall: 

  • The university has performed 4,200 tests.
  • Out of 4,200 tests, 174 of those tests came back as positive and identified as remote. 
  • 140 students tested positive and live on-campus.
  • The quarantine building, Haley, is at 30% capacity. However, by the end of this weekend, it should decrease to 25%.

Brenda Caldwell, SGA President  did an overview of events that SGA had hosted throughout the semester such as the mask giveaway with the New Student Programs. As for October and November, SGA is planning to engage students by allowing students to meet with their class officers.

As for academic updates, Beryl McEwen, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic affairs, announced an increase of student enrollment from Fall 2019. 

  • 12,753 students (1.6% increase; Fall 2019: 12,556)
  • 11,130 undergraduate students (.82 % increase; Fall 2019: 11,039)
  • 1,623 graduate students (7%; Fall 2019: 1,517) 

For the budget forecast, Robert Pompey, Vice Chancellor over Business and Finance, presented that auxiliary operation revenue has declined by 38%, which is $27 million. Examples of auxiliary revenue falls under dining, housing, athletics and the health center. The use of cash reserves and the CARES Act funding will be used to make up for the decrease of revenue.

As for voter engagement, Dr. Melody Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Student affairs,  went over the Office of Student Development’s plan to make voting available for students on campus. With the Civic Engagement Coalition and the use of five phases to encourage students to actively go to the polls:  

  • Phase One: Voter Registration (registering students to vote across campus) 
  • Phase Two: Voter Education (informing students about the ballot and information needed for the polls)
  • Phase Three: “Get out the Vote” (empowering people to go to the polls, activist events) 
  • Phase Four: Civic and Service Learning (partnering with different organizations within the community)
  • Phase Five: Cultural Change institutionalization (shifting the culture of N.C. A&T to be more civically involved)

At the end of the forum, a Q&A was initiated by Chancellor Martin and Todd Simmons, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations.

During the Q&A, Simmons answered questions regarding student’s concerns about the semester. One announcement he made was that on Oct 15, N.C. A&T will announce virtual homecoming events on their website and social media platforms. 

In August 2021, the school plans to make all parking passes will be virtual. The license plate will serve as the parking permit. As for incoming freshman who plan to have cars on campus, will not be able to do so unless they complete the following requirements: 

  • Completed their first semester and maintains a 3.2 GPA 
  • Completed 30 or more credit hours

For more information about some of the questions asked during the Q&A, visit the A&T Register’s twitter @TheATRegister for an overview about the Chancellor’s forum.