Incoming students have the opportunity to go on several tours offered at UNC that highlight the campus’s history and culture.
For Sarah Carrier, a North Carolina research and instructional librarian at UNC, focusing on UNC's history from student and staff perspectives prioritizes voices that have received less attention at the University.
Carrier is a co-creator of the Black and Carolina Blue Tour, which tells the story of Black life and history at UNC. The tour aims to make UNC's history of slavery, racism, memorialization and activism available to students and visitors.
Stops on the virtual tour include Carolina Hall, the former site of the Silent Sam Confederate monument and the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.
Part of the tour is devoted to labor activism on campus, according to Carrier. With recent protests by UNC housekeepers over higher wages and free parking, she said learning about labor activism is one example of where students can build context for current issues while building a community to improve the experiences of other people on campus.
“That's why we collect archival material and why we collect about UNC-Chapel Hill," Carrier said. "It is not only our story as a community, but it's exciting to be able to see yourself, in many ways, in these stories."
She said that much of the campus’s history is inherently diverse, allowing people to see themselves in stories told through the tour. She said incoming students can resonate with a cause that they have experienced personally or have found important.
“We want for all students, especially students of color, to see themselves in this story and that students have made UNC what it is,” Carrier said. “All of the struggles and successes, and there are still struggles underway — things that need to be faced down and addressed. By seeing these successes and by seeing the long history of this, I think that it is helping us to have conversations that move us, that help us understand the present and move into the future.”
Admissions tours are also offered for prospective students interested in knowing more about UNC.