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What the Employee Forum had to say about ConnectCarolina, Weeknight Parking Program

Employee Forum.jpg
Employee Forum delegates Jeff McQueen and Tiffany Carver look on as Director of Transportation and Parking Cheryl Stout speaks about the Weeknight Parking Plan. The plan, set to begin in Fall of 2019, require a permit for parking on campus after 5 p.m. on weeknights. Photo by Edward Trentzsch.

With important changes on the horizon, the UNC Employee Forum held a general meeting on Wednesday at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center to discuss ConnectCarolina, weeknight parking and the Northside Neighborhood Initiative. 

The Employee Forum is a group of non-faculty employees who meet to address the concerns of University employees. Wednesday’s meeting was held without the presence of Forum Chairperson Shayna Hill, who missed the meeting due to illness. Forum Secretary Tiffany Carver from the School of Social Work led the meeting in Hill’s absence. 

ConnectCarolina is getting a makeover

Starting the weekend of May 17, ConnectCarolina will undergo an update to change the appearance of its website. While the final appearance of the website is still to be determined, the new look will feature a tile-based format that will make it easier for users to navigate the site.

Speaking on the website changes, Manager of Change Management Anita Collins discussed the need for a more mobile-friendly environment. With students and employees frustrated with the look and difficulty of site navigation, the new format will emphasize efficiency. 

“The things that you use most often will be brought to the front ... instead of having to go through those millions of menu options,” Collins said.

Update on Weeknight Parking Program

The Weeknight Parking Program is a new initiative launched by UNC Transportation and Parking that will require a nighttime permit for parking on campus after 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Beginning in the fall, all students except first-years can register for a weeknight parking permit after paying a $6 fee as part of the total transportation fee. All daytime and park-and-ride permits will be honored during weeknights. Employees will have several options for weeknight parking, including purchasing a weeknight permit on a sliding salary scale. 

For some, the impact of this plan may be a big inconvenience. 

“A housekeeper who has an evening shift who now has to pay for parking and has children and already has many, many things going on — this is going to be very difficult for them,” Delegate Tracy Wetherby Williams said. 

With the August kickoff for the Weeknight Parking Program quickly approaching, Director of Transportation and Parking Cheryl Stout said she knows the importance of an informed community.

“We will do everything that we can to communicate with the community,” Stout said. 

Northside Neighborhood Initiative

Staff members of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, a public history center located near Chapel Hill’s Northside neighborhood, spoke to the Forum about housing opportunities for University employees. Aimed at preserving the welcoming atmosphere around the historic neighborhood of Northside, the Northside Neighborhood Initiative provides home ownership opportunities consistent with the neighborhood’s vision. Historically, Northside is the largest African-American community in Chapel Hill.

Kathy Atwater, community advocacy coordinator at the Jackson Center and lifetime Northside resident, said the vision for Northside is greater than any neighborhood boundary. 

“At the Northside festival last year, over 600 neighbors came together to eat, sing and celebrate a community that can change to preserve this future as a vibrant and historical place,” Atwater said. “And that is Northside.”  

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