Editor's note: This article is satire.
UNC students have been known to rally for causes we care about.
We’ve marched picket signs in protest of climate change inaction. We’ve sat in administrative meetings to advocate for tenure for Black professors. We tore down a Confederate monument on campus. And — more recently — some of us have wielded chalk to leave a message.
The message is simple: Unmask UNC. The details of this movement’s goals are unknown — apparently, you can only write so much in chalk before your hand starts to cramp.
But short and ambiguous messages left around campus tout masks as a “personal choice” and demand an end to UNC’s mask mandate. One message reads, “We are no longer the silent majority,” although I’m not sure chalk messages no longer than a tweet can count as breaking your silence.
Difficult public health discussions have been happening above ground for nearly two years and without the aid of Crayola sidewalk chalk. We’ve seen COVID-19 policies both strengthen and relax after long and realistic discussions about campus life during a pandemic.
Those pushing for serious changes to how UNC handles the pandemic have put their names and faces on the line to advocate for safer policies — this includes student leaders who have tirelessly pushed for PPE, vaccine mandates and a more gradual return to in-person instruction.
Now, messages without authors litter the brick walkways of campus, advocating for vague changes to public health policy — and these messages are nothing if not intentionally provocative.
One chalking demands a “pro-choice” sentiment when it comes to masks, comparing public health to women’s demands for increased autonomy over their own bodies.