During 2023, many students worked to highlight representation of their communities on campus. Here is a rundown of some of the most notable student projects that aim to bring more inclusivity to UNC:
Founding of the first Black Pre-Law Student Association
In September, UNC junior Jaleah Taylor — alongside Black Student Movement President Joann Obioma and UNC junior Taylah Smith — founded the first Black Pre-Law Student Association at UNC.
“I noticed that a lot of our white counterparts had a lot of networks and resources already when they came in, and a lot of Black students just didn’t have that,” Taylor said.
The organization aims to build community and networks for Black pre-law students through a variety of professional development and social events. Taylor said she felt there was a need for increased visibility of Black pre-law students, especially given the Supreme Court's striking of affirmative action.
"Black people are unique and they bring a different perspective, especially into law," she said. "I think that is the shared experience among all of it."
Hiring of Asian Americanists after student petition
Joanna Yeh, a junior at UNC, said there is a serious lack of educational resources for Asian American studies.
UNC sophomore Christina Huang said the lack of an Asian American studies program at an institution where the incoming class of 2027 is 25% Asian or Asian American and the undergraduate class is 15% Asian or Asian American contributes to the invisibility that they already feel.
In the fall of 2022, Yeh, alongside members from Students for Asian American Studies at UNC, petitioned for the expansion of opportunities in the department.
As a result of the petition and the desires of Asian American students, the University moved forward with the decision to implement a cluster hire of three faculty members focused on this area of study in spring 2024.