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.
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.
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.
College students are stepping up to help with the national shortage of poll workers due to the coronavirus. UNC health experts are encouraging people to get their flu shots. A new app hopes to help healthcare workers with their mental health. First-year students reflect on their first few weeks as Tar Heels. While UNC’s isolation dorm is now almost empty, a few former residents say their experience was less isolating than the name suggests.
UNC student groups are virtually helping new voters register to vote in time to cast their ballots this year. The Chapel Hill community honors the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a march focused on her fight for equality. Some members of Greek organizations across the country say fraternities and sororities need to be abolished. UNC’s history department will not accept new graduate students in 2021. A team of students is continuing to grow gardens on campus, while also growing community.
With UNC moving classes online and cutting back campus operations because of COVID-19, some students worry about the future of their on-campus jobs. Some of these fears were realized last week when Carolina Housing announced that student employees’ jobs would be terminated at the end of October. A new mural coming to Carrboro will honor the fight for an end to systemic racism, while a movie theater in Chapel Hill shines a light on Black stories to start community conversations on race. Because of Coronavirus restrictions, some couples are turning to courthouse weddings. UNC’s oldest co-ed a capella group, Tar Heel Voices, adapts to singing virtually.
The Tar Heel football team returns to Kenan Stadium this weekend, but because of COVID-19, no fans will be there. A UNC study finds that obesity is a COVID-19 risk factor and can lead to more complications with the illness. With students returning to college across the country, some campus health services are struggling to keep up with testing. Meanwhile, some students have decided to put a pause on their education. For some UNC musicians, being forced to stay at home has led to creative breakthroughs.