Almost 70 students and nine faculty and staff were awarded Wednesday afternoon for their achievements this year at UNC. In an awards ceremony in the Great Hall of the Student Union, the recipients shook Chancellor James Moeser's hand as part of a long tradition of recognizing exceptional leadership and scholarship. "As you can tell by the great variety of awards presented today we have truly outstanding students, teachers and staff at Carolina. We are proud of each and every one of you," Moeser said in his opening remarks to the crowd of about 400 people.
If students don't know that UNC's Campus Health Services' building is named after singer James Taylor's father, that's probably not the only thing they don't know about Campus Health. The James A. Taylor building has housed student health services for 28 years, and at a focus group Wednesday, some students realized it has been in need of a makeover. Mary Covington, assistant vice chancellor for campus health, said that almost immediately after the building was completed in 1980, it became clear that the structure couldn't accommodate all that Campus Health wanted to provide.
When a man on Franklin Street mocked the chants of students marching to support an end to sexual violence Wednesday "Out of the halls, into the streets, we won't be raped, we won't be beat," shouted the students participating in Take Back the Night, the 11th annual march to raise awareness of sexual assault as part of the UNC Women's Week. Michael Bronson, acting treasurer for Project Dinah, a women's safety and empowerment initiative at UNC, said he hopes he inspired the men who saw the march to take sexual assault more seriously.
After facing scrutiny on its transparency last semester, the Student Bar Association responded to criticism from UNC's law community. The two main issues with SBA's policies were the organization's refusal to provide copies of funding requests and its closure of meetings during private discussions that kept students from understanding its inner workings and knowing where the group's money was allocated. The SBA is the student governing body for the UNC School of Law.
Dr. John Diggs, a black physician who completed his medical degree at the University of Buffalo, calls medical science his forte. And Wednesday night in Peabody Hall, Diggs used more than just his forte to show students the negative effects of abortion. He drew from history and politics to support the pro-life position. "If you say abortion is OK, you are saying it is OK to apply capital punishment to an innocent bystander," Diggs said.
Monday night in Memorial Hall, Sister Helen Prejean spoke to a crowd of 600 people, bringing her experience with death to life.Prejean is the author of the 2007 summer reading book, "The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions," which is based on her firsthand experience with two men on death row who she believed to be wrongly convicted.As a spiritual adviser to several men who faced the death penalty, Prejean shared vivid stories contrasting the tension between upholding the death penalty and recognizing a person's humanity.
Forty years ago, a man named Preston Dobbins and a small group of black students at UNC laid the foundation for the Black Student Movement, inspiring the growth of what is now the second-largest student organization on campus. Boasting an annual membership of more than 400 students, BSM's array of committees allow the organization to hone in on specific issues pertaining to black students. "As issues changed on Carolina's campus and the climate around Carolina changed, we developed other committees that answered the needs that we had," BSM Vice President Racine Peters said.
Students and faculty joined forces with local officials Wednesday night to kick off this week's Focus the Nation events. The precursor to the national symposiums that address global warming began with an "environmental social" in the Student Union Great Hall and featured a governmental panel later in the evening. "The environmental social is something they try to do every year to try and get people together," said Jarrett Grimm, a coordinator for Focus the Nation at UNC.
Chemistry professors and students said goodbye to the more than 80-year-old Venable Hall on Wednesday afternoon and now await the arrival of a new Venable Hall. "This is an old building that should've been torn down a long time ago," chemistry professor David Lawrence said. "My colleagues certainly feel that this is a terrific thing that's going on." Construction of the science building replacing Venable Hall is scheduled to begin in mid-March and should be completed by August 2010, said Peter Krawchyk, assistant director of Facilities Planning and Construction.
After establishing a women's learning community at UNC last semester, the Department of Housing and Residential Education plans to provide the same program for male residents beginning in fall 2008. Men at Carolina, a learning community specifically for men on campus, will be located on the third floor of Cobb Residence Hall and will house between 20 and 30 residents. Activities for M@C - as the community will be called - will include guest speakers, group discussions and field trips.