Two WVU students wearing masks sit on a bench at Woodburn Circle on Morgantown's Downtown Campus. WVU Photo/Scott Lituchy

WVU dean of students sets expectations to preserve on-campus academic experience for fall semester

West Virginia University Dean of Students Corey Farris sent a letter Monday (Aug. 10) asking students to make good choices and adhere to safety protocols. Farris warned house parties, going to bars and gathering in large groups will very likely increase community spread of COVID-19 and negative behaviors that could harm our community will not be tolerated. 

Read the letter.

To WVU students: 

It’s an exciting, yet challenging time as West Virginia University welcomes you to campus for the start of the 2020-21 academic year. 

The fall semester always revitalizes our campus and community with energy. Of course, this year will be like none before as we face the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. None of us anticipated – or would have chosen – our circumstances, but we have adapted so you can continue to progress towards your degree. While the decision to move some classes to online and hybrid modes of instruction has brought mixed emotions, we believe it is the best way to protect the health and safety of our campus community and those who live in Morgantown. 

We will regularly remind you to follow the health and safety protocols of mask-wearing (and wearing it properly over your mouth and nose), physical distancing (staying 6-feet away from others as much as possible), self-monitoring symptoms (common symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at and proper hygiene (wash your hands for 20 seconds). 

Remember, if you will be on campus for class, to use facilities or participate in activities you are required to be tested for COVID-19 before the beginning of classes. If you have not yet been tested, please schedule your test at Whether you plan to be on campus this fall or take online classes at home, you are required to complete a COVID-19 education module at Failure to complete either of these will result in a $250 charge on your student account and a referral to the Office of Student Conduct. 

Our goal is to increase our in-person courses as the fall progresses, but that depends on each of us being accountable to each other. You can help our University continue to have on-campus instruction by making good choices and adhering to safety protocols. House parties, going to bars and gathering in large groups will very likely increase community spread of COVID-19 and decrease the likelihood that we are back to normal anytime soon. We will not tolerate these negative behaviors that could harm our community. 

We will have activities and events throughout the fall through the “Refresh Student Activities Series” including WVUp All Night, pop-up concerts, wellness activities, crafts, competitions and adventure outings. Our traditional Welcome Week activities will be rescheduled at a future time when we can gather in large groups safely. 

We want you to experience everything that being part of the Mountaineer family offers, and we are here to support you on your journey. Enjoy a meal in one of our dining halls or on-campus restaurants (be sure to check out the new Panda Express in the Lair or the Starbucks in The Market @ UPlace). 

We know this fall semester will be different, but we will work together to make it the best semester we can. Be sure to let someone know if you need help with classes, getting involved in student organizations or even dealing with a bit of homesickness. It’s okay to ask – and we want you to. We’re here to help. 

Your resident assistant, your professors, faculty and staff all want you to succeed. Take your cues from those positive influences around you – and set great examples on your own. If we do that, we are sure to have a great year. 

Let’s Go! 

G. Corey Farris

Dean of Students 


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