UNC is planning extra health and safety precautions for spring semester, but some students and faculty are concerned about the return to in-person classes. Students may face difficult housing choices if they come back to campus in January. In federal court this month, UNC is defending itself from a lawsuit that claims the admission process discriminates against white and Asian-American applicants. North Carolina voters cemented the state’s status as a political battleground in presidential elections. Churches in Chapel Hill are still worshiping, but some are doing it by live streaming and moving their services outside.
As the 2020 election results come in, UNC students reflect on casting their ballots, some for the first time in a presidential election. In North Carolina and other battleground states, young voters showed up to the polls at a higher rate than in 2016. Election experts discuss voter turnout and partisan divides. Also this week, thrift stores maintain their popularity as a sustainable option, even during the pandemic. A new drive-in movie theater in Chapel Hill brings the silver screen into the comfort of your car. UNC Opera turns to TikTok to make its performances more accessible and safer in the midst of COVID-19.
College health centers across the country have struggled to keep up with COVID-19. They’ve faced high testing demands and an influx of student cases, especially before classes moved online. While serving as their university’s hub for student medical care, many don’t have the authority to make large scale public health decisions.
This week, we explore how underrepresented groups are engaging in this year’s election. A national historically Black fraternity encourages early voting by holding a polling place event. Young people are voting early at higher numbers than in previous years. A court order has led the state to increase ballot accessibility for visually impaired and blind voters. Meanwhile, Chapel Hill businesses that opened during the pandemic are finding reasons to be optimistic about their futures. A local animal shelter holds its annual adoption festival online. Modern day witches perform spells while also fighting the stereotype that they wear pointy hats and ride around on broomsticks.
Chapel Hill town officials are discouraging people from attending the annual unofficial Halloween gathering on Franklin St. A UNC researcher is leading a study which uses genetics to help diagnose and treat eating disorders. Despite opposition, a proposed affordable housing development moves forward. UNC Pauper Players are trying to keep the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show performance alive by doing the “Time Warp” virtually. Turning 21 in the midst of a pandemic may mean that some people wait to order their first drink.
Musicians across the country are facing unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are finding it difficult to adjust to social distancing requirements in recording studios, closed concert venues, and a general lack of social interaction. That means they’ve had to fundamentally change how they make music.
Long lines and new COVID-19 safety measures marked the first day of early voting in Chapel Hill. University officials are encouraging asymptomatic students to get tested for COVID-19 frequently at the free Carolina Union testing site. UNC ranked 37th in the nation for the school’s free speech protections. The Town of Chapel Hill is working on a new project to help prevent flooding near Eastgate Shopping Center. Despite new pandemic restrictions, the Tar Heel women’s cross country team started their season with a win. Students are playing Dungeons and Dragons to escape the real world and create a magical new one.
After a chaotic start to the fall semester, some students and faculty members are concerned about how UNC will conduct the spring semester. Students are using Instagram to call out their peers for violating COVID-19 restrictions. UNC leaders say they’re addressing concerns that new federal sexual misconduct guidelines don’t protect survivors. The Adams School of Dentistry hosts a free clinic to honor the memory of the victims of the 2015 Finley Forest murders. Dating during the pandemic can be hard, but some students’ new relationships are blossoming. PlayMakers Repertory Company is giving UNC students virtual access to its performances for free.