In August, the Campus Y officially announced Yalitza Ramos as its director. The Campus Y is UNC’s hub for social justice on campus, bringing together students, staff, faculty and community members together to promote positive social change.
Ramos’ appointment as director is a positive step for the organization, especially after over a year of challenges for the Campus Y.
In January of 2020, the former director of the Campus Y was suddenly dismissed from the position without a cause provided. In the interim, Ramos filled the position. Just a few months later, the pandemic moved the University, including Campus Y, online. This January, the Campus Y was broken into and vandalized.
Ramos handled these issues while serving in the interim position and still demonstrated her leadership abilities despite these challenges. Throughout the pandemic, the Campus Y has continued its social justice mission. This includes housing 31 student social justice organizations that focus on social and environmental justice issues within five areas: community inclusion, education and youth development, public health, global issues and advocacy.
Student leadership also continues to push barriers. Last year, co-presidents Veda Patil and Thilini Weerakkody, made history as the first leaders to be both women of color. This year’s co-presidents, Patrice McGloin and Montia Daniels, are the first Black women to serve in the role.
The Campus Y continues to progress social justice issues at the University, and Ramos’ appointment follows suit.
The Editorial Board is excited about Ramos’ official role as director of the Campus Y. We look forward to what she will sustain and develop in this position, leading one of UNC’s most important institutions.
In the new director position, Ramos has already listed some of her most pressing goals. In an interview with The Daily Tar Heel, she emphasized creating an inclusive space, demystifying social justice on campus and building connections between the Campus Y, other University departments and community organizations.
Given the history at the Campus Y and at this University in the past two years, these goals are especially important as the Campus Y continues to be the hub for social justice at UNC and in Chapel Hill.
As the Campus Y enters this new phase, the Editorial Board looks forward to seeing its social justice efforts continue. This includes the commitment to maintaining a safe space for all members of the community to gather.
The Campus Y is a physical presence that should be protected to ensure that learning and gathering can happen safely. Coming off nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Campus Y has already emphasized a commitment to transparency and accessibility, which is paramount for UNC social justice organizations.
In a hybrid space, it is imperative that students and the broader community understand what the Campus Y is doing and how they are addressing the social justice issues brought on since the pandemic began.
We are confident in Ramos’ ability to meet these goals. Given her past experiences, role in the interim position and her goals for the upcoming year, we are looking forward to seeing the Campus Y’s commitment to social justice as they move into a new stage with Ramos at the lead.
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