North Carolina opens COVID-19 vaccine appointments to essential workers, including UNC employees and many students. However, people with chronic illness and other risk factors have to wait a few more weeks. Despite more vaccine accessibility, some people are still skeptical about getting the shot. Healthcare works bear the mental weight of being on front line fighting the pandemic. While an unprecedented number of women are serving in government, systemic barriers prevent gender equality. As if the pandemic weren’t scary enough while you’re awake, it’s now also invading people’s dreams.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School parents are struggling with whether to send their kids back to school in-person. UNC’s new student body president promises to give marginalized students a voice. This year marks the 45th celebration of Black History Month, but some members of the UNC community say more can be done. The Carrboro Town Council recognizes the artists of two Black Lives Matter murals. Carrboro High School students launch a podcast featuring Black student voices. As gyms reopen, some people don’t feel comfortable returning to their workout routines. A UNC student made a surprising scientific discovery while taking a walk around campus.
COVID-19 has created challenges for people who are struggling with eating disorders. UNC’s mental health wellness days give students a break from the pressures of attending college during the pandemic. The UNC System Board of Governors raises student fees and tuition for some students. A study finds that the key to getting people to wear masks may be positive reinforcement. A Raleigh group is opening a high school to help teenagers overcome drug addiction while earning their diplomas. The UNC baseball team welcomes a new coach in a season that could be overshadowed by COVID-19. A brightly-colored visitor surprised some bird watchers when it appeared in the Tar Heel state.
Students who rushed Franklin St. after the UNC/Duke basketball game defend the celebration, as others raise questions about safety and privilege. UNC is investigating hundreds of possible violations to the COVID-19 community standards as a result of the celebration. Several members of the men’s basketball team who were caught partying maskless following the game will face internal discipline, but no suspensions. Meanwhile, a group of UNC faculty is calling for Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz’ resignation for his handling of the Silent Sam settlement. Students now volunteering at COVID-19 testing centers. We hear how singles and people in pandemic relationships plan to mark Valentine’s Day.
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.