Mental health wellness and awareness have become central focuses for universities across the country, and this is no different at UNC.
Soon, outside of the Campus Y, students will walk by a pastel-accented mural of UNC’s campus, embellished with various flowers and a large Rameses in the center.
The Campus Y’s first-year council initiated the project last spring and distributed an artist application throughout campus.
The council wanted a mural that would uplift spirits and unite students, improving mental wellness and mental health awareness — identifying a favorite in a digital sketch by junior biology major Tam Le.
“Instantly, we were like, 'wow, that's awesome, that's exactly what we wanted,'” Cayson Tiedge, a member of the first-year council, said. “We saw it highlighted the beauty of the campus and the connectedness of the campus. That was a big thing we wanted the mural to speak to.”
Le said she was inspired by natural scenes on campus, like Polk Place and Coker Arboretum, and by the native North Carolina flora she learned about in a botany class.
Included in the mural are some of the University's iconic symbols, like the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, the Old Well and Rameses, UNC's mascot. For Le, Rameses represents a sense of campus unity.
“I really enjoy school spirit and sport events, and I feel like the school spirit is what bonds us together,” she said.
Le wanted the mural to inspire fellow students to look around and truly absorb the surrounding environment and let the energy "heal your mental health.”