2022 was a year that brought both old and new to the Chapel Hill community.
We saw history repeat itself through championship games and midterm election cycles, while new celebrations and challenges continued to arise.
For the first time since spring 2020, UNC’s campus returned this fall with no face covering requirement — a stark contrast to January, when students greeted their classmates on FDOC with a smile hidden behind a mask.
The women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams went undefeated all season, bringing home two NCAA National Championship titles in the process. The UNC men’s basketball team overcame a rough beginning to the season but bounced back to beat Duke twice, play in the National Championship and come into the fall 2022 season with a preseason number one ranking.
While these celebrations and victories aren’t a stranger to the campus, familiar struggles also have made their return, such as faculty welfare and pay inequities. Rallies and activism have continued in hopes of higher pay for the University housekeepers — an issue that some argue has been around for over fifty years.
After months of conversations regarding the failure to grant tenure to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, a settlement was finally reached between her and the University. The settlement aims to increase diversity and equity movements throughout the campus and elevate the voices of people of color in the community.
Concerns and conversations over campus accessibility and safety issues are still echoing throughout the halls as broken elevators remain unfixed and efforts to fund repairs remain in progress. The University’s deferred maintenance backlog reached nearly $1 billion this year.
Chapel Hill residents continue to face increased costs of living and dwindling affordable housing options. The Town continues to allocate funding to various initiatives in order to provide solutions.
As we continue to see familiar recurrences, new forces are also influencing the University.
UNC welcomed new deans and other administrators after months of leadership changes and retirement announcements. The new leaders have begun their positions and have been met with positive feedback from both students and staff.
Confusion arose among many students at the looming possibility of up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness through the Biden administration. However, after recent blocks put up by courts, some are left with less hope for the possibility of relief.
After the overturn of Roe v. Wade this summer, North Carolina re-instated a 20-week abortion ban on Aug. 17. After state and national decisions were made regarding abortion, student body conversations and advocacy are ongoing.
In October, The Daily Tar Heel produced "The Abortion Issue:" a 20-page paper and interactive website dedicated to covering abortion. It included state and campus reactions to the court rulings surrounding the issue, resources for community members and more.
The future of affirmative action awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC argued that affirmative action is a necessary component in the college admissions decision process and many students await the outcome of the case.
Throughout the fall semester, lead was found in the drinking water of 80 buildings on campus. The University's Environment, Health and Safety office launched a four-phase testing plan, but many students and staff remain concerned.
A permanent memorial, dedicated to James Lewis Cates Jr., was unveiled in the Pit earlier this month to honor his life. Cates was a 22-year-old Black Chapel Hill resident who was murdered by members of a white supremacist motorcycle gang in 1970 on UNC’s campus.
Celebrations of identity and culture were captured through gatherings, dances and club meetings. The Holi Moli festival was celebrated as the largest student-run event on UNC’s campus as brightly-colored powders colors painting the sky. South Asian dance group Bhangra Elite attended the East Coast Showdown competition and won the first-place title.
As the year comes to a close, many University and surrounding community members reflect on familiarity and change.
And whether they were expected or not, we continue moving forward. Onto the next.
Welcome to The Daily Tar Heel’s 2022 Year in Review.
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