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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.

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Carolina Connection – April 10, 2021

Hubert Davis makes history as the first Black head coach of a major revenue sport at UNC, but he faces an uncertain roster with several key players transferring out or entering the NBA draft. A recent study shows Black first-years are struggling with their mental health at a higher rate than their classmates. Health experts are debunking COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories. North Carolina’s drag culture creates a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Sets of siblings at UNC are struggling to differentiate themselves from the family members they can’t seem to escape, even in college.

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Carolina Connection – April 3, 2021

UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams announces his retirement after 33 seasons in Division One basketball. Williams said he takes personal responsibility for his team’s struggles the past few years and felt he was no longer the right man for the job. This announcement shocked many in Chapel Hill and left Tar Heel fans wondering who would fill Williams’ sneakers. Also this week, UNC opens an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic. A new study is examining what life could look like once more people are vaccinated. UNC students reflect on one year of remote learning as they hope to returning to a normal campus experience in the fall. Students share how they’ll spend their last day off before finals.

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Carolina Connection – Mar. 27, 2020

UNC is planning to open an on-campus vaccination site for students and staff. Asian American members of the UNC community shared their stories of racism during a year that’s seen a sharp increase in hate crimes. Despite successive mass shootings, gun legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress. After a year without performances, the UNC Marching Tar Heels are preparing to make their debut. A drama professor’s play about a pioneering Black journalist is premiering virtually at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Members of the Class of 2020 are angry because of UNC’s plans to celebrate them with a “reunion” instead of a full commencement. Resident advisers are struggling to create community on a socially-distanced campus.

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Carolina Connection – March 20, 2021

Indoor bars are now allowed to open in North Carolina, but some health experts and residents say it’s still not safe. A new UNC study finds first-year students are struggling with mental health issues because of social isolation and distance learning. Losing a loved one is always tough, but it’s become especially difficult for people who couldn’t say goodbye because of the pandemic. Dairy farmers are trying to survive in an industry that was already barely hanging on before COVID-19. In North Carolina, women are still underrepresented in politics despite national strides in equality. Not only can a mask protect you from COVID-19, but it might shield against seasonal allergies.