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March 18, 2020

BPSS participants:

We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and one another during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As this situation continues to quickly evolve, we are committed to being flexible and supportive of all of you. We realize that each of you may have a unique set of concerns and needs right now. You may be wondering about how you can participate in BPSS activities online. You might be handling the responsibility of caring for loved ones. You are likely dealing with anxiety over this crisis in general. Regardless of your situation, the staff at CCPS is here for you. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns after reading through the information below. Our highest priority is your safety and well-being.

Keeping all of that in mind, below you will find guidance on how to continue logging components of BPSS in the portfolio as you are able:

General

  • During this time that the University has instructed students to stay home and work remotely, you should not engage in University-sponsored, in-person service.
  • If you have committed to provide service to an organization/agency (whether through courses, internships, fellowships or as individuals), you should communicate with your primary contact at the organization about this change. We encourage you to ask whether you could serve this organization from home. Please document your communication with the agency for University record-keeping purposes.
  • We recognize that it will be impractical for some agencies to provide remote assignments and that educating Carolina students is not their primary focus during this time. In those cases, we will be flexible and work with you to ensure that this does not prevent you from receiving the credit you need to graduate.

Hours

  • In line with what is mentioned above, we will be flexible about what counts as service. For example, students may document efforts to reach out to elderly or other at-risk neighbors/community members via phone calls and letters/cards. We recognize that your remote service activities may not be tied to a specific organization.
  • This is also a reminder that BPSS emphasizes three dimensions of service: direct, organizational and policy. As venues for direct service have become more limited, this is a great opportunity to remotely participate in organizational and policy service.

Orientation

  • The orientations scheduled for March 24 and March 31 are canceled. We’re working on organizing a remote orientation.

Skills Trainings

  • Skills trainings previously scheduled through March are canceled. We’re working to offer those remotely in the near future.
  • We will send out a list of free online trainings that you can log to fulfill that component while Carolina remains online-only.
  • If you have taken more than one service-learning course during your time at Carolina, you can log the second course as a skills training.

Service-Learning Courses

  • If you are currently in a SLC, please communicate with your primary contact at the organization with which you’ve been working. We ask that you request assignments that allow your service to be completed from home. You should document your communication with the agency.
  • If remote work is not possible, we will work with you to ensure this does not prevent you from receiving credit.

Graduating Seniors

  • We will be flexible and use discretion with seniors who are still trying to fulfill BPSS graduation components. If this is a concern for you, please reach out so that we can discuss your options.
  • Please still log any hours and skills trainings you have by April 1 to give us an idea of how close you are to fulfilling components.

 

Be on the lookout for the BPSS newsletter, where we will share opportunities to participate in remote skills trainings and orientations. Please feel free to email bpss@unc.edu with any concerns or questions. We will continue to be responsive to the situation as it develops, with our focus on prioritizing the health of our communities, local and global.