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The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: Thank you, UNC professors, faculty and staff

The Old Well pictured on Monday, March 23, 2020.

As the school year comes to an end, the 2019-2020 Editorial Board would like to take a moment to thank all of the professors, faculty and staff who are supporting the University during the COVID-19 pandemic. The last six weeks have been a challenge for everyone at UNC, and we want to extend some gratitude to those who have helped us carry on. The crises, challenges and hardships of this pandemic are not reserved to just students. Despite this global pandemic, UNC has continued to educate and serve.

Since finding out about the transition to remote learning, many professors have been attentive to students’ needs and have worked to adapt syllabi to ensure learning continues until the end of this semester. It has not been easy for all students to adjust, and the patience many professors have shown is remarkable. Our professors are exceptional educators, but they are also parents, partners and people whose lives have been affected by this pandemic. 

Since spring break started in March, there have been a series of tough decisions that the administration has had to make. With that, there have been inevitable consequences for each decision. And still, the University’s relatively quick action is something that this Board appreciates. From the student surveys, to refunds for students living on-campus, to optional pass/fail, there has been a lot of work done to support students during this time.

Along with instructors and administrators at the University, many of UNC's staff members have been working to maintain organizations, communities and spaces on campus. The UNC experiences outside of the classroom are some of the most important to students, so to those working to support those groups, we are incredibly appreciative.

While there is a lot to be grateful for, there are some issues that the University still needs to address. Graduate students need to be better compensated and have more leniency in their work. The University also needs to think critically about how remote learning will affect different populations of students and how the changing economy will limit students' ability to come back to campus in the fall. 

A thorough plan should be developed for how to support students' learning next semester, whether UNC will be bringing students back to campus or continuing remote learning. Programming for international students needs to be clear and expressed early on. Plans need to be in place for the protection of both 'non-essential' and essential workers alike, even if students don't return to campus. Lastly, UNC should continue its efforts to support the greater Chapel Hill and Carrboro area and be a central community resource when we begin to recover from this pandemic.

There have been a series of challenging events for the University this year, and our Editorial Board has discussed and commented on many of them. There is always time to hold the University accountable for its missteps, but right now the Editorial Board wants to express our gratitude to everyone involved in supporting students and the greater UNC community. In these unprecedented times, it is comforting to know that our community will still be the same resilient, supportive community until we (eventually) return.

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