I figured it was about time for me to jump on that bandwagon, so I sat down and thought about the last time I felt truly overwhelmed with love for my school.
It happened like this: I walked, ill-prepared, into my astronomy class on the day of the test after staying up well into the single-digit hours studying. My hands were sweating, my mouth was dry -- I was wondering why I hadn't just gone to art school. Then it happened. The event that every unprepared test-taker dreams of.
A fire alarm.
The class filed outside jubilantly and then burst into amazed cheers as we discovered that the test was canceled.
Indeed, the GPA gods showered me with their finest meats and cheeses that day.
The best part was that the fire alarm was due to an actual fire and not a last-ditch effort of a student more desperate than myself. I never thought I would sing the praises of an electrical short, but, on that day, I sang with vigor and overflowed with love for UNC.
But I digress.
Sure, UNC may have a few too many jackhammers and buildings named for KKK founders, but our good old Light of the South seems to be doing well for itself. Be that as it may, I have a few logical (a shock, coming from me) suggestions for making the title "Southern Part of Heaven" have more truth and less wishful thinking.
1. Put all freshman on South Campus. Living in the tenement housing has become somewhat of a right of passage for UNC freshmen, and it shouldn't be denied to any new student!
Now I know emulating anything done by Duke University goes against everything we stand for, but their East/West campus system does a valuable service to freshmen by creating a stronger sense of community. At Carolina, a similar system would have like results.
2. Lenoir Dining Hall and Chase Hall should institute a Tupperware take-out policy and use cardboard cups and boxes rather than Styrofoam. There is no valid argument against making this switch -- what is there to lose from using recyclable materials or allowing students to use their own containers?
Why must Carolina Dining Services worship at the altar of a nonbiodegradable deity?
3. Serious attention should be paid to our arts program.
Chancellor Moeser, in his State of the University address, said "This University has not nurtured the arts as it should ... our programs in the arts have been neglected."
The size of our arts programs does not reflect the size of our student body nor the scope of the interests.
We have a ridiculously small visual arts department, a flooded music library, under-funded theaters and a great gaping void where there should be a dance program. The unbalanced (read: minimal) course offerings in the arts does everyone a disservice. And nobody likes a tortured artist.
4. The Honors Program should be increased in size. The program has accepted the same number of participants for roughly twenty years, even though freshman enrollment has increased by over a thousand in that same time. An increased program would allow for better access to the higher-level classes. Also, since out-of-state students (as compared with in-state ones) must have extremely impressive academic records to be accepted, logic dictates that the Honors Program would accept a greater number of out-of-state students.
This only perpetuates the polarization (it's subtle, but it does exist) of in-state and out-of-state students. Notice how out-of-state students are most often friends with other out-of-staters? This stems from more than just being grouped in the final C-TOPS.
So I say it's time for a call to action. We don't want our college years marred by regrets -- things we could have changed but didn't. It's time to grab the future by the balls and take the quality of our University into our own hands.
Logical? I think so. And to implement them would be almost as sweet as a fire alarm.
Erin Fornoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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