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Carolina Connection – Oct. 16, 2021

As UNC grieves multiple student suicides, university leaders are weighing how to best support students through tragedy. Some UNC community members say the mental health services on campus are inadequate for students in need. After Chancellor Guskiewicz cancelled classes for a “wellness day,” parents rallied at UNC with a message of love for students. UNC students and faculty have begun getting COVID-19 booster shots. YikYak is back, but the app’s anonymous posting feature and its troubled past are raising concerns. The N.C. State Fair – back after a year off for the pandemic – is a place where homegrown apples get to shine.

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Carolina Connection – Oct. 9, 2021

A recent count found that homelessness in Orange County increased more than 40 percent during the pandemic. UNC is making deep cuts to the library budget, sparking concern from researchers and faculty. The Class of 2020 gets its long delayed graduation ceremony. Student beekeepers try to make the campus friendlier too pollinators. Brands are paying students to go viral on TikTok.

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Carolina Connection – Oct. 2, 2021

The American Association of University Professors plans to investigate political interference in the UNC System. The Chapel Hill Police Department starts a new program designed to find out which bars and restaurants are serving people who later drive drunk. A new class registration system tries to end registration-day panic for students signing up for popular classes. Two students have started a doughnut business as a unique way to carry out their religious faith. A UNC student is a gold medal winner in the 2021 Paralympic games.

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Carolina Connection – Sept. 25, 2021

The Faith Hedgepeth murder case has sparked a broader discussion of violence against Indigenous women. UNC housekeepers struggle to do their jobs amid COVID-19 and staffing problems. Amid controversy, UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media seeks a new dean. Despite “high anxiety” on campus, Chancellor Guskiewicz says he’s confident about UNC’s COVID response. Mushroom foragers find delicacies in the most unlikely places. Paperhand Puppets are back, exploring themes of renewal in the pandemic.

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Carolina Connection – Sept. 18, 2021

Chapel Hill Police have announced an arrest in the 2012 killing of UNC student Faith Hedgepeth, but the investigation has just begun. UNC students continue to push for a COVID-19 vaccinate mandate, but UNC System President Peter Hans is deferring to state health officials. Smoke shops and hemp stores are selling Delta-8 – a legalized version of the psychoactive compound in marijuana. After two years, members of the UNC Campus Safety Commission decided to disband, saying their recommendations are being ignored. Two UNC juniors create a support group for people with OCD. Now that student athletes can profit off their name, image and likeness, some Chapel Hill small businesses are signing them to endorsement deals.

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Carolina Connection – Sept. 11, 2021

UNC remembers the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. For many student veterans, the anniversary has special meaning. North Carolina is expanding a program that help community college students finish their teaching degrees at UNC System schools. Protesters hold a “Vaccinate UNC Now” rally to demand a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students. 22 Chapel Hill restaurants have closed during the pandemic, and others have tried to adapt to stay alive. UNC upperclassmen want the first floor of Davis Library to be loud again.

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Carolina Connection – Sept. 4, 2021

UNC students are back on campus, but without a vaccine mandate, some people are wary about returning to full-capacity classrooms. Some UNC students who’ve sought weekend COVID-19 tests on campus have faced high fees and limited availability. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Student Body President Lamar Richards engage in a strongly-worded exchange about whether UNC is doing enough to keep the campus safe from COVID-19. UNC libraries are eliminating overdue fines for most items, hoping to make their collections more accessible to everybody. First-year and sophomore students work to find their niche at Carolina. A Franklin Street cafe is expanding, despite opening just before the pandemic hit.

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Carolina Connection – May 1, 2021

UNC seniors are stressed about finding employment after they graduate because of how COVID-19 is affecting the job market. Some LGBTQ student of color at UNC have created their own spaces after they’ve felt excluded from mainstream on-campus groups. North Carolina is gaining a 14th seat in Congress. The Chapel Hill Town Council has declared a climate emergency and developed a climate change action plan. Summer is going to be the season of the cicada. Two Broadway professionals traded in stage lights for light fixtures as they started a business to renovate RVs.

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Carolina Connection – April 24, 2021

Some North Carolinians view Derek Chauvin’s conviction as a step forward in police accountability but want to see more criminal justice reform. Women are questioning their safety after incidents of harassment on Franklin Street. UNC announces a climate action plan which aims to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder struggle with pandemic-related stress. Virtual proctoring is becoming the new normal for people who take tests during remote learning. UNC’s Athletic Director launches a video series to discuss collegiate athlete compensation. Movie fans are heading back to theaters.

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Carolina Connection – April 17, 2021

A new study finds student loan debt continues to purge graduates’ wallets well into their adult lives. UNC suggests new names for campus buildings that previously honored white supremacists. University administrators are hoping for a full in-person campus in the fall. UNC has stopped administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines, forcing students to find other options. From pick-up games to video games, intramural sports at UNC have gone virtual to keep people connected and active. One student-run theater group held in its first in-person performance in more than a year.