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Tuesday September 21st

Faculty Executive Committee discusses Franklin Street rush, vaccine distribution

<p>Screenshot from the Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021.&nbsp;</p>
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Screenshot from the Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021. 

The Faculty Executive Committee discussed students rushing Franklin Street, campus vaccine distribution, budget decisions and the Silent Sam settlement at its meeting Monday. 

Franklin Street rush 

Mimi Chapman, chairperson of the faculty, said the criticisms of how UNC handled the first Franklin Street rush in January improved the response to the most recent occurrence. 

The March 6 student gathering was dispersed in about five minutes, Chapman said. 

“The police presence was much greater on Franklin Street,” Chapman said. “They were much better about getting out messaging to students. I saw a lot more social media messages about what was expected of students and other ways to celebrate.”

Vaccine distribution 

Deb Aikat, a professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, said he wants the committee to work on communicating to students how to get vaccines when they qualify. 

Aikat said there should also be communication to professors who qualify to get vaccinated — because some faculty members who work at home are not getting vaccinated due to concerns surrounding health disparities.  

Chapman said vaccine recommendations are not faculty governance's place, but she will ask the provost to address the matter. 

Beth Mayer-Davis, a professor of public health and seat member, said it is important for people to get vaccinated — especially as there is an increased availability of vaccines. 

“As a matter of public health, if you reasonably think that you are a part of the group three — you know, University professors or staff or someone working in higher ed — then go and get your shot,” Mayer-Davis said.

Budget cuts

Aikat said many departments are concerned about the University's budget. He said there is a lack of clarity over recent budget cuts. 

Chapman said John Townsend, who serves on the UNC-Chapel Hill Endowment Fund Board, will speak on the University endowment in great detail at the Faculty Council meeting Friday.

Silent Sam settlement

Eric Muller, a law school professor and seat member, said he wants the group to invite Clayton Somers, UNC’s vice Chancellor for public affairs, to better understand the details of the now-vacated settlement between the UNC System and North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans over Silent Sam.

“I feel that in a situation where there is a major event that happens within the ambient of some piece of our University, it is our usual practice and it is entirely customary to ask that the person who leads that area to come in and talk to us about it,” Muller said. 

Chapman said the committee will invite Somers before the end of the semester. 

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