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UNC Board of Trustees talks Student Stores, Carolina Hall

But his half-hour presentation covered topics from the progress of the chancellor’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill’s History and the Nighttime Travel Working Group to the status of Counseling and Psychological Services.

In addition, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack gave a brief, but detailed, update on Student Stores.

“We’re off and running,” said Crisp, the vice chancellor for student affairs. “What this means is that this last week of January and into February, this place is going to be jumping.”

History task force progress

After the renaming of Saunders Hall and the repeated alterations of the Silent Sam memorial during the summer and early fall, UNC created a task force in September to audit campus buildings and monuments.

Progress was initially slow; in November there were only five members.

Now, students, faculty and staff have volunteered to work on the task force’s various advisory committees, Crisp said. A website for the task force is also live.

The group, Crisp said, has made substantial progress on its report on Carolina Hall and a historical exhibit there, but the McCorkle Place report has lagged behind.

“We fully expect to have a good-looking draft design for Carolina Hall ... in March,” he said.

Despite the progress, Crisp warned against assuming the group’s work would be done soon.

“The overall task, we are going to be engaged in for years.”

‘We have made no decision’

The request for proposal for a private company to manage Student Stores has been live since Jan. 11, said Fajack, who made it clear that his office cares about the nearly 50 full-time employees.

“Our primary goal is to increase scholarship money for students,” said Fajack, who cited the Board of Governors’ cap-and-freeze financial aid policy and the elimination of the federal Perkins loan as two reasons why scholarship money is at such a premium now.

Bull’s Head Bookshop loses between $150,000 to $175,000 a year, according to Fajack’s presentation, and the stores’ annual sales have dropped to $25 million in 2015 from nearly $30 million in 2006.

“We would not be responsible managers if we didn’t explore this opportunity,” he said.

Safety update and CAPS

The Nighttime Travel Working Group, which began in September, is close to publishing its report, Crisp said.

Crisp was ready to leave the podium when he was asked by committee member Bill Keyes about the death of UNC graduate Priya Balagopal and mental health services for students.

Crisp said UNC has short-term crisis counseling but does not provide long-term therapy.

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“Our counseling center is at capacity every day,” he said.

Trustee Chuck Duckett was outspoken about the importance of CAPS and its funding.

“CAPS is something I think we should revisit on a regular basis.”