To all the essential workers supporting the University: the Editorial Board would like to acknowledge the work you are doing and extend our utmost gratitude.
As the University takes our money and exploits your labor, we all get caught up in a COVID disaster. The media often gives students a platform to speak on these issues, but workers are just as affected by the University’s poor decision-making. Know that the tireless work you all are doing does not go unnoticed or unappreciated — at least not by us.
Workers at UNC advocated for better working conditions, and the University largely ignored them. The danger you are putting yourselves through to salvage our ‘college experience’ is ridiculous. In just one week, multiple COVID-19 clusters emerged and the University canceled all in-person classes. Students living on-campus were also forced to leave.
While much of the conversation about these clusters is centered on students, the workers who clean and manage campus spaces deserve the same level of compassion and concern.
The workers who maintain facilities, work in dining halls, clean dorms and support sick students do the labor that ensures this University can continue functioning. Pre-pandemic, that was already an incredibly difficult task. Now you all have to go the extra mile to follow University, state and national guidelines while risking your own health.
The Editorial Board is aware of the sacrifices you are making — and we cannot thank you enough.
Without a doubt, UNC failed its students, faculty and workers. Bringing students to campus and resuming in-person instruction against recommendations of public health officials is pretty damning.
Workers on campus have been let down by both the University and its students. Students are gathering off-campus, violating social distancing and community guidelines. All the while, students return to campus each day for classes or other gatherings. This puts the lives of University employees — many of whom are Black or people of color, and therefore at higher risk for COVID-19 — in danger.
You deserve better.