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UNC-system happenings for Feb. 4, 2015

ECU frat suspended after assault reported

After receiving reports of a sexual assault, East Carolina University suspended its chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. The University also put 16 other fraternities in a “social moratorium,” according to university officials. 

The penalties came after someone reported a sexual assault at an off-campus fraternity house at 2 a.m. on Jan. 25. The Greenville Police Department is investigating the incident. 

East Carolina representatives said in a statement the university will not comment on an ongoing police investigation. But the vice chancellor for student affairs, Virginia Hardy, said that “appropriate action will be taken” against any members of the student body, including fraternity brothers, who commit illegal activities. 

Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sig Ep, as it is commonly known, is currently banned from acting as a chapter — not only for social events, but for service projects, recruitment and other ventures. The other 16 fraternities included in the school’s Interfraternity Council only face a suspension on social activities.

UNC-C professor leads flu mapping project

Scientists at UNC-Charlotte are determined to crack the code. 

And it’s not just any code, but the flu, a disease renowned for its ability to grow and change throughout the year, making it difficult to prevent.

Daniel Janies, distinguished professor of bioinformatics and genomics at UNC-C, and his team recently released a report on flu mapping, a way to use the science of genomics to study the viral patterns of the flu.

When asked what he thought the highlights of his study were, Janies described the H7 strain of the virus.

“People thought it was regional, but our data has shown the genes associated with it have been transmitted around the world,” he said.

The H7N9 strain is one example — it has been localized to China for the past three flu seasons, but flu mapping shows a different story, Janies said.

“We’re able to see that it may have the capacity to escape China,” he said.

Janies said while the flu is possibly the best example of “worldwide coordination” in fighting a disease, he believes that flu mapping will play an integral part in strengthening present knowledge of the flu.

NC A&T celebrates famous 1960 sit-in 

Fifty-five years later, the famous Greensboro sit-in — considered one of the key events that inspired the 1960s Civil Rights Movement — still continues to impact the community.

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A celebration took place on Friday honoring the four N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University freshmen who sat at the segregated counter of the Woolworth store on Feb. 1, 1960 and refused to move. 

The sit-in sparked similar movements across the South at other universities. 

The Greensboro Four were honored at the ceremony this weekend. Taylor McCain, a granddaughter of one of the four A&T students, is currently a junior at UNC-CH. 

“That sit-in was so important because it empowered others to take action,” McCain said. “The students decided to make a change, and it happened.”

McCain hopes others will continue to appreciate how meaningful the story is for people today.

“Put yourself in the shoes of someone who was discriminated against in the ’60s,” she said. “The ability to sit down with someone who doesn’t look like you and have a meal is so important.”

Student deaths at App State spark concern

Over the course of the current academic year, nine students at Appalachian State University have died. Four of the deaths were eventually ruled suicides.

After the first death, students told themselves that every school has its share of tragedy. Now, however, that mindset has changed.

“My parents talked about pulling me out of school,” said Abigail Rubio, a freshman at ASU. 

Students seem to be responding well to the university’s efforts to help with the healing process.

“The chancellor sends us emails and there have been plenty of counseling sessions,” Rubio said.

Anthony Lobo, another ASU freshman, said some students have taken to graffiti to express their feelings over the string of deaths. 

“It’s an effort to memorialize, to hold onto the memories of these students,” Lobo said.

Neither student thinks the university’s mental health care or counseling services are to blame for the deaths.

“Those few students who are too shy or afraid to take advantage of the services are the ones who you hear about in the news,” said Rubio.