March 2022 NUUS -SUUSI is back in person!!!

SUUSI Is Back In-Person!

SUUSI 2022, “Gratitude,” will be held in-person on the campus of Western Carolina University, from July 17-23. The Core Staff met this past weekend, and we’re bursting with ideas and excitement! 
What to expect from SUUSI 2022? We’re anticipating a smaller and more intimate event, both in terms of the number of attendees and in the amount of space we take up on the WCU campus. We’ll all need to be on our toes, because events and locations may be a bit different from when we last gathered in-person in 2019. Read on to find out more about our plans, including the steps we’re taking to ensure that our gathering is as safe as possible.

Catalog Release Coming Soon!

The 2022 Catalog will go live on our website on March 20, with registration opening April 1 at 7pm. We will continue to use the new web-based interactive format we debuted last year. Beginning on March 15, the SUUSI website will be packed with up-to-date information about SUUSI 2022 programs and events. You’ll be able to search by type of activity (for example, Workshops) or by day.
This dynamic online format allows us to be flexible, adding new events as they become available and fine-tuning details like specific times and participants. Make sure you check back for new additions and announcements! They will be listed on the home page and publicized through our usual channels, like the NUUS and SUUSI's Facebook pages.
*We do understand that some of our participants strongly prefer a printed catalog, so a PDF listing will also be available on the website for events scheduled as of March 20. Please note that the PDF will not receive automatic updates.*

Multiplatform and Virtual Options

We understand that not everyone is ready to gather in person, so SUUSI 2022 will offer a few events in a multiplatform format. Worship services and concert hours will be streamed online, and we’re also developing plans for an informal daily time for online socializing. If you prefer not to travel to Cullowhee, these online options will be available for a small per-family fee.

Your Health at SUUSI

Everyone who attends SUUSI in person must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if vaccines are available for their age group. In addition, participants under the age of 18 must be up-to-date with all of the vaccines listed in the CDC’s Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, and staff and volunteers working with children must be up-to-date on MMR and TDap or Td vaccines. Documented medical contraindications will be accepted. SUUSI has a new Vaccination Coordinator position to help implement this new policy, and Sarah Gonzalez will be serving in this role. She is available to help with questions and concerns at
We are still finalizing our testing plans, but at present we hope to provide rapid Covid-19 tests to all participants as they arrive on campus. A negative test result will be required to enter check-in. This will minimize the risk of Covid spread from asymptomatic participants.
SUUSI’s mask policy will be communicated in the Confirmation NUUS (usually sent out July 1), based on current medical recommendations and the state of the pandemic in July. Please be aware that SUUSI and WCU may have different mask policies. SUUSI may require our participants to wear masks at events such as worship even if there is no overall campus mask policy; however, SUUSI cannot require WCU staff to wear masks on campus if the campus does not require it.

New Meal Options

WCU has an exciting new option for people who prefer to eat outdoors but have environmental concerns about disposable dishware! For a small deposit, you will be able to rent access to reusable “bento boxes” during SUUSI. Fill your box in the cafeteria and take it outside to eat. Then return it for a clean one that you can use at your next meal. At the end of the week, return your final bento box to get your deposit back.
Also new this year: the Youth program will offer daily onsite picnic lunches. Instead of picking your child up to go to the cafeteria for lunch, your child may stay at the Youth building for a box lunch. Children will eat outside unless it is raining, and will have opportunities for free play and socializing. Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch any time - you can sign up to have your own box lunch delivered to the Youth program as well.

New Social Options!

SUUSI has added an Intergenerational Core Staff member to coordinate and strengthen our age-group programming, including extensions for adults. Nicole Tearno will serve in this role. Nicole is offering two new programs this year to help adults make social connections.
Intentional Community Housing: You may request to be assigned to live in a small-group housing block with people who are committed to making new connections with their housing neighbors. Sign up for this option at registration, and we will send out a questionnaire that will help us group people based on shared interests and preferences. 
Adult Touch Groups: For years, our teens have been organized into small groups they commit to touch base with daily, providing a stronger sense of community connection. New this year, we’ll be offering adult touch groups as well, so that no one of any age feels lost in the larger SUUSI community. Sign up for touch groups, and we will group people based on shared interests and preferences. After an initial large-group meeting, your touch group will set your own time for daily meetings. SUUSI will provide optional, self-directed materials to help guide conversation.

Mindy Simmons 1958-2022

We are devastated to report the death of Mindy Simmons, SUUSI’s Nightlife Director and a longtime member of the SUUSI family. Mindy died in hospice on February 18, following an unexpected, brief, aggressive illness. A beloved icon of the Florida folk music circuit, Mindy served many different faith traditions and congregations in addition to her work with UU congregations and camps. She is particularly remembered for her sense of humor and her wide-open, generous heart. She made countless appearances on the SUUSI stage and in our song circles. Over the years, hundreds of SUUSI children learned her Rainbow Principles song in the youth program. 
We will all be working to carry out Mindy’s plans for SUUSI 2022, but please be patient if some details take longer to finalize than they normally would.
Mindy’s voice wove its way into every aspect of SUUSI, and her silence will be keenly felt. Please keep our musicians and the Nightlife staff in your heart. 

Apply for Staff!

SUUSI is built exclusively through the contributions and efforts of its volunteers. All departments are currently seeking staff members! Please consider sharing your gifts with SUUSI by applying for a staff position. Staff are compensated by receiving a credit for a percentage of their SUUSI registration and housing, up to 100% for full-time staffers. Apply now in SOLIS, the SUUSI Online Information System.
As always, find the latest information about SUUSI at

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