The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 9th

Diversity was a focus at February's Faculty Council meeting

Friday’s Faculty Council meeting began with a unanimous decision to approve a resolution supporting LGBTQ academic initiatives.

“I believe very deeply in the governance structure of the institution, so I think this faculty needs to do as this faculty believes with respect to this resolution," Chancellor Carol Folt said when asked for her view on the resolution.

"I and (Provost Jim Dean) and all of us will do everything that we can to uphold the desires of the faculty.”

Don Hornstein, chairperson of the Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee, presented a report about the role of financial aid in supporting diversity.

“If we lose these students that depend on need-based financial aid, it’s not that we are shooting ourselves in the foot. We are shooting ourselves in the head,” he said.

Hornstein said students who are able to attend the University because of need-based financial aid are vital to the University’s success.

“We’re not just better off with the different vantage points they bring that reflect their ethnicity. We’re better off because they have made it under circumstances that are tough,” he said. “Diversity is a tertiary asset of the University, not just a benefit to those who receive financial aid that enables them to attend here to begin with.”

To continue the diversity discussion, senior Parker Martin talked about his experience as a student of color.

“If you’re a student of color here, you hear comments that you got here because UNC is trying to fulfill a quota or you’re here because of affirmative action, as opposed to your own brain power,” he said.

“The one I like the most is when you walk around and you have students or community members ask you, ‘What sport do you play?’ Being black here on campus is equated with athletics, as opposed to academics.”

While three resolutions regarding the Faculty Code of University Government were passed unanimously, debate broke out over a resolution in which the Faculty Council would endorse a report about ethics and integrity.

“I think it’s sounding a little bit more complicated than it is,” Folt said. “I think this is in a way just saying thank you to the committee. We endorse the work that you do.”

After suggestions were made to refer the resolution to the Faculty Executive Committee or postpone the decision until next month’s meeting, a 25-21 decision was made to amend the resolution to change the wording from “endorsement” to “recognition.”

Jennifer Coble, chairperson of the Educational Policy Committee, presented a resolution on undergraduate academic eligibility that would allow junior transfer students access to a ninth and tenth semester without need for approval. Coble said there are many transfer students who do not file an appeal to stay extra semesters and are burdened by the eight semester limit.

“It’s very difficult for a junior transfer student to get a bachelor of science and STEM major so there are students who would like to go that route but don’t because they’re concerned about graduating within the eight semester rule,” she said. “It can prevent students from taking advantage of great opportunities that they have here at UNC, like internships and research.”

The resolution, which also aligned the academic eligibility policy with Federal Title IV Regulations, was passed unanimously.

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