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The Daily Tar Heel

Campus and Community Advisory Committee discusses campus COVID-19 guidelines

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Members of the Campus and Community Advisory Committee meet over Zoom on Nov. 3, 2020.

The Campus and Community Advisory Committee met Tuesday to discuss the importance of faculty having empathy for students, and of clear and specific communication for UNC community members.

What’s new?

  • Allison Lazard, associate professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, said she would like to see a shift in perspective to treating students as adults who deserve the autonomy to make decisions about themselves. She said students are suffering, losing family members at an extended rate, losing out on their social networks and will be entering a barren job market.
  • She emphasized the need for empathy and said faculty needs to send a clear message to students that “we will meet you where you want us to meet you.”
  • Kurt Ribisl, a professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, joined the conversation to emphasize that the majority of students are behaving in accordance with guidelines and that the University needs to be tougher on the more egregious behavior. He said the University is going to be in this for a long time, and that it must create a more intensive communication campaign to change culture. 
  • The committee discussed the need for clear communication on what safety guidelines look like and what penalties are for breaking the rules.
  • The committee discussed a positive reinforcement system for students who follow the rules, such as health ambassadors who go around rewarding students and providing protective equipment to students.
  • The committee discussed creating a regularly communicated video vignette, where students, staff, faculty and community members could create videos to share their stories around COVID-19.
  • Kira Griffith, president of the Residence Hall Association, proposed an idea of a visual element in public areas of “what it means to be a Tar Heel,” which would help give a clear image to students of what guidelines look like.

What’s next?

  • Aaron Bachenheimer, executive director of off-campus student life and community partnerships, will open the meeting to talk about “stories from the road” of experiences he has had with off-campus students this semester. He will also answer questions about Town enforcement.
  • Chairperson of the Faculty Mimi Chapman suggested that Jonathan Sauls, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, return next week to discuss what COVID-19 rule enforcement should look like.

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