<![CDATA[The Daily Tar Heel]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2024 12:25:57 -0500 Fri, 01 Mar 2024 12:25:57 -0500 SNworks CEO 2024 The Daily Tar Heel <![CDATA[UNC women's basketball falls to Boston College, 78-74]]> The North Carolina women's basketball team (18-11, 10-7 ACC) fell to Boston College (12-18, 4-13 ACC), 78-74, in Chestnut Hill, Mass. on Thursday night.

In junior BCtransfer Maria Gakdeng's return to Conte Forum, the center posted 16 points and 10 rebounds for UNC. Sophomore guard Indya Nivar had 16 points off the bench. Guard JoJo Lacey dropped a game-high 23 points on 5-for-8 3-point shooting to help Boston College snap a 10-game losing streak.

Gakdeng knifed through the 2-3 zone defense for UNC's first two buckets, using her length for an early block and offensive board. However, the Eagles came out shooting 5-8 from the floor, including 3-4 from beyond the arc, forcing a quick timeout from head coach Courtney Banghart within the game's first four minutes.

"We were really careless with our shooting," Banghart said. "We didn't knock down shots and it's hard to win if you're going to shoot 19 percent from three."

Out of the huddle, graduate guard Lexi Donarski cashed in a three to improve the Tar Heels' previous 2-for-8 clip. Lacey countered with her third triple of the contest, but the Eagles began to cool off as North Carolina's defense clamped down and fueled a second Donarski bucket.

Despite grabbing thirteen boards in the quarter, UNC amassed a two-minute scoring drought to close out the quarter down seven. The Tar Heels shot just 28 percent against a Boston College team that previously allowed opponents to convert 46 percent of their attempts, a bottom-20 figure nationally.

With the shot clock expiring, senior guard Alyssa Ustby found her stroke from distance to open the second quarter with her second three of the season. After missing her first six shots, senior guard Deja Kelly followed suit to collect her first three points. Senior forward Alexandra Zelaya halted prior offensive difficulty by converting an easy runner off the bench to spur a 5-0 run for the Tar Heels.

However, North Carolina trailed 35-29 after Ustby's put back was waved off at the buzzer. The team committed seven turnovers, matching their game totals from the previous two contests.

Entering quarter three, North Carolina conceded a pair of Boston College layups that necessitated a premature timeout by Banghart. Gakdeng entered double figures, finding her own misses and deterring Boston College in the paint to be the bright spot for the Tar Heels on both ends of the floor. Nivar netted back-to-back layups for nine off the bench, forcing Boston College to regroup with a whistle. Following Ustby's fourth foul, the Eagles strung together seven unanswered points to safeguard an 11-point advantage.

A dramatic final 15 minutes found the starters returning to the scorer's table. Ustby manufactured feeds to Gakdeng and Nivar, allowing the duo to add to their double-figure efforts. First-year guard and former walk-on Sydney Barker's first ACC career points could not have come at a better time, swishing a long-ball that added to a 7-0 Tar Heel run.

"Whenever my name was called, I just had to be ready and I think just try and go in and play as hard as I can and play together with the girls out there," Barker said.

Lacey knocked down another three, but committed two consecutive fouls that took her out of the contest and allowed Barker to knock down another clutch 15-footer. In a 17-3 spurt, North Carolina continued to roll, coming up with clutch steals and urgent drives from Nivar and sophomore forward Teonni Key. After the Eagles missed a pair of free throws, Barker grabbed a board and remained down on the floor, triggering an officiating intermission.

After trading free throws, Kelly, corralling an Eagles inbound, allowed Nivar to reach the stripe and bring UNC within one possession. With the clock ticking down,UNC was unable to surmount an 18-point deficit in what would've been the largest comeback in the Banghart era.

"I think this particular version of our team is still working through what happens when adversity hits inside the lines," Banghart said. "We had some guys that were a little careless with possessions, we forced some shots, we got shot hesitant."

Ahead of the ACC tournament, North Carolina will look to rebound with a rivalry season finale against Duke in Chapel Hill on March 3.


@dthsports| sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts assures connection to conservative donor's company is nonpartisan]]> UNC's interim Chancellor Lee Roberts currently serves on the board of directors ofVariety Wholesalers, Inc., a private retail company whose CEO and chair isJames Arthur "Art" Pope, a conservative donor, formerstate government official and current member of the UNC Board of Governors.

During his tenure ontheBOGfrom 2021-23, Roberts reported income he received from the company in compliance with theState Government Ethics Act, which requires members ofstate boards todisclosesources of income above $5,000.

The money Roberts received from Variety Wholesalers was a director's feefor serving on its board as a non-shareholder, Pope said. Though Roberts remains a board member, he said he will forgo payment while serving as interim chancellor at UNC. Roberts must continue to disclose his income in 2024 due to his role as interim chancellor.

Since 1990, individuals affiliated with Variety Wholesalers have donated more than $4.5 millionin campaign contributions, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that tracks and publishes data on campaign finances and lobbying.

As of the time of publication,allaffiliate donor contributions for politicalcandidates in 2024 went to Republicans. All but $45of total affiliate donations made by individual members, employees, owners and their immediate family members went to Republican- or conservative-aligned candidates and groups in 2024.

Roberts said he does not think there are any ties between Variety Wholesalers and the North Carolina Republican Party, and that his service on the company's board is nonpartisan. Hesaid he intends to continue leading the University in a nonpartisan way.

"I've meant it - I've done my best to do that in my first six weeks here, and I'm going to continue to do that," he said."Serving on a corporate board, no matter what company it is, has no bearing."

Roberts is registered as an unaffiliated voter in North Carolina, but in eight of the last nine primary elections, Roberts has chosen a Republican ballot. He also donated $5,000 to the N.C. Republican Senate Caucus in 2022, according toOpenSecrets.

Roberts succeeded Pope as state budget director from 2014-16, serving in the role under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.Pope served as budget director from 2013-14.

Roberts donated $2,500 to support McCrory in his 2016 gubernatorial election, which he lost to current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.Roberts donated $1,000 to Cooper in 2012 during his bid for N.C. attorney general.

Sloan Duvall,president of UNC Young Democrats, said she thinks Roberts entered his chancellorship intending to be nonpartisan andhas not made any decisions that suggest otherwise.

"We're not going to refuse to work with someone just because they have a different political belief than us, or in the past they've had different political beliefs than us,"shesaid. "That's not how you get anything done in North Carolina."

In anop-edpublishedby The Daily Tar Heel last week,five UNC students commented on Roberts' connection to Pope, alleging that the interim chancellor's claims of nonpartisanship are false.

"Art Pope is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful man in North Carolina," Toby Posel, a UNCsophomore who co-authored the op-ed,said. "He has spent a couple decades building out a vast network of political power and influence using his huge family fortune."

According to OpenSecrets, Pope has donated more than$1.6 million to filers affiliated with the Republican Party over the past 26 years.

In a letter published in The DTH responding to the op-ed, Pope said, "I am fortunateto have had the benefit of the advice and experience of Roberts as a member of my company's board of directors since 2019, before either of us were members of the UNC Board of Governors."

He critiqued the students' op-ed as left-wing propaganda, calling their claims outdated and saying it is unfair to describe Roberts as partisan in 2024.

Popesaidhe does not view participating in a democracy, voting in an election or donating to candidates as making an individual partisan.

"I've certainly made political contributions in the past, generally as the result of personal relationships - knowing the candidate [or] prospective officeholder," Roberts said. "I have a lot of admiration for anybody who runs for public office, and I want to support them, but again it just doesn't have any bearing on how I do this job. I'm firmly convinced that it has to be done in a nonpartisan way."

When asked if Roberts was a friend, Pope said, "Yes. Yes, he is."


@dailytarheel |university@dailytarheel.com

Chancellor Lee Roberts gave an interview in his South Building office on Friday.

<![CDATA[Carrboro Town Council approves modifications to stormwater plan, conditional rezoning]]> During their meeting Tuesday night, the Carrboro Town Council discussed stormwater management within neighborhoods and conditional rezoning for property at 1307 W. Main St.

What's new?

  • Randy Dodd, the Town's stormwater utility manager, gave a presentation for modifications to the Stormwater Utility Rate Structure plan, which determines annual service charges for Carrboro's stormwater program.
  • He requested a rate amendment to fund the recently developed Watershed Restoration Residential Assistance Program. The program is designed to support stormwater infrastructure.
    • The rate amendment would also provide funding to hire a new stormwater assistance coordinator, he said.
  • Community member April Mills said the tax increases from the rate amendment should not go toward paying a salary and, instead, be used for remediation for stormwater damage.
  • Community member Solomon Hoffmansaid he supports the Town's increased investment in stormwater management and modifying the rate structure to assist homeowners. However, he said the residential assistance program may not be beneficial or accessible for homeowners facing flooding issues.
    • Since only a small amount of Toms Creek is actually on his property, he said, he is not able to initiate stormwater efforts such as streambank stabilization along the creek to reduce erosion.
    • He said he is hopeful residents along the creek would consider stormwater management efforts, but it is still a notable investment for them, and that not all residents experience the same flooding issues.
    • "We wish that the Town could take more full responsibility for the cost of streambank stabilization - with the consent of the landowners - so that we aren't relying on our neighbors to make significant investments that they wouldn't have much incentive to do," he said.
  • Tina Moon, the Town's planning administrator, gave a presentation for a text amendment to the Land Use Ordinance. The amendment requests an increase in maximum height of buildings in the R2 residential district to 65 feet.
  • She also proposed an amendment to the zoning classification of property located at 1307 W. Main St. Under the amendment, the property would be moved from the B3 neighborhood business district to the R2 district.
    • The proposed rezoning for the property would include greater parking spaces, proximity to transit and more open space.
    • "For Carrboro to meet its climate goals and its sustainability goals, it has to get a little bolder and more dense," Jim Spencer, a local business owner, said. "There's a need for a lot of housing in this town, and to have housing that is quality, construction, and a local team that understands the area and complies with a lot of these goals of the comprehensive plan."
  • Community member Diane Robertsonsaid residents of Carrboro are concerned about the new vision that is being presented by the amendment.
    • "The shipping container architecture that has taken over this area, one block after another, undermines the total understanding of the vernacular architecture that this community was built around," she said.

What decisions were made?

  • The council voted unanimously to pass the modifications to the Stormwater Utility Rate Structure plan.
  • The council voted 5-1 to approve the land use ordinance text amendment and the conditional rezoning of the property at 1307 W. Main St. Council member Randee Haven-O'Donnell voted against both.
    • She said there hasn't been a conversationabout human scale in relation to the size of buildings in the community.

What's next?

  • The council will hold its next regular meeting on March 5 at 7 p.m.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

A storm drain on the UNC campus.

<![CDATA[Orange County Schools vacancies decreasing, but still impact students]]> In Nicole Lester's 19 years of teaching, the 2023-24 school year has been her most exhausting.

Until mid-October, she was A.L. Stanback Middle School's only Exceptional Children teacher, where she works with 27 students - some of whom are nonverbal, have epilepsy or struggle with aggressive behavior. Lester said her workload should have been split between three teachers, rather than one.

"It drains all of your energy from you," Lester said.

According to the district's recent Human Capital Recruitment and Retention Update, the number of vacancies on the first and 40th days of school decreased by 29 percent and 35.6 percent, respectively, from the 2022-23 school year to the 2023-24 school year.

The district also reported 114 new hires across teaching and administrative roles, bolstered by recruitment strategies that include referral bonuses, alternative licensure support and student-teacher partnerships with local colleges.

Anne Purcell, the Orange County Board of Education chair, said the central office releases an intent form for teachers to indicate if they will return next school year, which gives the district a better idea about which teachers are coming back.

She also said the upcoming job fair at Cedar Ridge High School is an opportunity for prospective teachers to learn about job openings and interview with administrators. The district hired six teachers from the job fair last year alone.

But, there were still 38 reported vacancies during the 2023-24 school year.

Purcell said there are many better-paying professions that have attracted people that otherwise would have been teachers.

"We just are not competitive, and we have to be to have good teachers," she said.

Christina Clark, the president of theOrange County Association of Educators and an English teacher at Cedar Ridge High School said, during the pandemic, teachers received "coverage pay."

They received a stipend of $60 a day provided for teachers who acted as substitutes during their planning period. Now, she said, the district no longer provides the stipends.

Lester said, even as the district has increased sign-on bonuses, existing teachers are not paid a retention bonus and, thus, there is no incentive to remain in the OCS system.

"If you're staying put in one district, you're basically getting slapped in the face," Lester said.

Purcell said OCS does not have the financial capacity to offer retention bonuses. According to a 2023 Education Law Center report, North Carolina is ranked last in the country for school funding effort.

"The state has got to come through and give more money for teachers," Purcell said.

Clarksaid, when she's made offhand comments about leaving her position as a teacher, she can tell it causes her students anxiety.

Without a permanent instructor, students are more likely to just complete their tasks rather than engage with classmates and teachers, she said.

"Everybody suffers when there isn't a certified teacher in the room," Clarksaid. "There's some loss of care as well."

Lester said the OCS Central Office should offer more support to help teachers like her manage their classrooms.

"What is more important than keeping the children safe?" she said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Four North Carolina airports awarded money for terminal improvements]]> On Feb. 15, four North Carolina airports received a total of $45 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for airport terminal improvement under theBipartisan Infrastructure Law's Airport Terminals Program.

The program plans to allocate $5 billion between 2022 and 2026 to improve the conditions of airport terminal infrastructure within the United States.

Three commercial service North Carolina airports - Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)and Wilmington International Airport (ILM) - are among those that received this year's funding. Avery County Airport was the only general aviation airportinNorth Carolina to be allocated funds.

For the 2024 grant, the FAA received a total of 636 applications,totaling over $7 billion. Of these, the FAA awarded$970 million to114 airports.

CLT received $27 million to replace up to 16 passenger board bridges, ground power units and pre-conditioned air units. RDU received $12 million to contribute towardtheir Terminal 2 security checkpoint, baggage claim and the expansion of the federal inspection station.ILM received $4 millionto partially fund their terminal access road and terminal curb front expansion and realignment projects.

Rebecca Gallas,director of aviation for the N.C. Department of Transportation, said each commercial airport will be allocated their funding from the FAA through the Memphis Airports District Office. She saidher office will be responsible for administering general aviation airport funding.

Jeff Bourk,airport director at ILM, said the application required a project description, a reasoning for the project, a cost estimate and a specified contractor. He said that while theyapplied for more funding than they received, they did get a substantial portion of their requested amount.

Bourk saidfor an airport to receive this funding, their project must be shovel-ready and associated with a terminal expansion.

Gallas said this is the first time that an North Carolina general aviation airport has received funding through the program. She said Avery County is also the only North Carolina airport without a dedicated terminal facility.

"Avery County is just over the moon about that $2 million because that, for them, is an absolutely transformational project," she said.

In 2022 and 2023, Asheville Regional Airport received airport terminal funding. CLT also received funding in 2023.Gallas said she is hopeful that during the next two years of this program, more state airports will be awarded funding.

Robert Furberg, a Carrboro resident, frequent flyer and parent of a pilot,said he was happy to hear about the funding since investments in infrastructure showcase growth in the community. Airports are also a representation of the place someone is visiting, he said.

"I feel like a lot of these airports are getting the facelift they're due so that they can keep up with the growth that we're anticipating in this region," he said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Chapel Hill's first Black employee pushed against systemic community health issues]]> Adelia Compton, known by the Chapel Hill community as "Nurse Compton," was the first Black employee of the Town. Through her work in the early- to mid-20th century, she pushed to improve the health of the local Black community, which had been largely neglected by the Town and University.

Comptonwas born on April 20, 1873, in Nelson County, Va. She was educated as a nurse at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, which was established in 1901 to train Black nurses, saidMolly Luby, the community history coordinator for Chapel Hill Public Library.

"She wasn't just a nurse," Danita Mason-Hogans, a civil rights historian and Chapel Hill native, said. "She was also a teacher, and she was an organizer."

Luby said Compton arrived in Chapel Hill on Dec. 31, 1923, after being recruited by the American Red Cross.

Compton began her work at the health department of the local community club and became Chapel Hill's first Black nurse. She surveyed the Black community and discovered its lack of accessible sanitation and health facilities.

Chapel Hill's infrastructure at the time was largely controlled by the University, Luby said.

"They owned the utilities," she said. "They were the ones who bypassed the Black community."

In 1926, the Town started paying a portion of Compton's salary, making her the first Black employee of the Town of Chapel Hill. The American Red Cross continued to pay about half of her salary and the remainder was paid through funds raised by the Black community, Luby said. TheTown, however, failed to pay the salary it promised Compton consistently and in its entirety, Mason-Hogans said.

Within a month of her arrival, Compton had visited 200 families in Chapel Hill.

She set up a system for hauling trash, taught courses in health and arranged clinics with doctors from Durham. Compton also made house calls for families who could not attend her clinics,did laundry in her home for sick families andset up fundraisers with local schools to raise money for health care.

Shielda Rodgers, associate dean for inclusive excellence at the UNC School of Nursing, said representation in health care is important to achieve open communication between patients and providers.

Angeline Baker, president of the Central Carolina Black Nurses Council, Inc., said the Black community looks up to Black nurses as leaders in health care.

"Without those trailblazing types of people, some communities would have no health care at all,"Rodgers said.

Compton also established the Mothers' Missionary Clubs, three women's health clubs that became a neighborhood support system.

"What evolved out of this tradition was a tradition of Black women supporting and encouraging each other to attend to the needs of the community," Mason-Hogans said.

Compton resigned from her formal duties as a community nurse in September 1944 at the age of 71,Luby said. She spent the following years running a small grocery store from her home.

Compton died on Sept. 5, 1964, at the age of 91 and was buried at the Chapel HillMemorial Cemetery.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Orange County approves four-year strategic plan, contingent on subcommittee]]> Last Tuesday, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved its newest strategic plan, which will clarify and outline the County's goals, values and priorities for the next four years.

The County hired BerryDunn, a national consulting firm, to help determine the six strategic goals included in the plan: environmental protection and climate action, healthy community, housing for all, multi-modal transportation, public education and a diverse and vibrant economy.

Sally Greene, theBOCC vice chair, said the plan's strategic goals naturally emerged through the plan's development process.

"It was a very useful and productive process to gain public input in the process to give us a check to know that we're responding to community interest and to our own priorities and values," she said.

To ensure the success of the plan, the BOCC has established performance measures- concrete targets the County plans to achieve within four years, Greene said. The BOCC decided to establish a subcommittee of staff members and three commissioners to improve the plan's success criteriato refine performance measures.

Travis Myren, the deputy county manager, said the subcommittee will likely be officially created during the BOCC's meeting on March 19.

Myren said thatin the next couple of months, the County will focus on ensuring that its capital budget and operating budget align with the plan's six priorities.

"As the board makes budgetary decisions, I would expect that each of the goals is probably included in some way, shape or form depending on the policy initiatives at the time," he said.

The strategic plan will update community members monthly, quarterly, biannually and annually. The County will collect feedback at regular periods and use it to revise its objectives.

Chapel Hill Town Council member Melissa McCullough said the goals and priorities of local municipalities and the County tend to align- from addressing housing to climate action.

"We live in a county and we live in a region, and a lot of things that we need to do, we need to do in coordination and collaboration with our neighbors," McCullough said.

Greene said Orange County community members should read the plan and provide positive or constructive feedback to contribute to the performance measures.

"Personally, I think that the result that we've achieved is a very strong articulation of what our values and goals are as we go forward in finding the future of Orange County," Greene said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Column: Listen to music better. Put on the whole album.]]> There's always at least one hour of my day, if not six or seven, that is accompanied with uninterrupted music blasting from my phone, headphones, speaker or TV.

I confess, I regard myself as a better listener than others. This is because I listen to music in the same way I read a book.

For me, the changing of titles from track to track is like turning the page and reaching a new chapter.

I guess I should preface that I don't listen to all my music "left to right," but when in the mood, I'll fill my commute to work, hour of doing laundry on Sunday or minutes of waiting for my air fryer to cook my Trader Joe's Orange Chicken by listening - front to back - to an album.

Now, listening to whole albums is almost a lost art. In many ways, we can attribute the death of this experience to Spotify and other streaming tycoons. These platforms emphasize clips, skips and quick cuts; nothing is to be listened to in full anymore.

To me, this is like skipping a chapter or even the climax of the novel. If I were to be reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," it'd be a crime to my understanding and appreciation of the books to entirely skip when (spoiler alert) Cedric Diggory dies, or when Voldemort returns.

For me, looking in a non-literary way, there were so many songs I realized I loved that were lost in the system of skips I'd been sucked into.

The overwhelming takeover of streaming has its obvious pros, but its cons are a little more hidden. Less popular songs routinely get less attention in a self-feeding cycle. If I don't feel my curiosity piqued by a song title or it has low marks of listens, I'm just never going to choose to blast it over something popular that I already know I love.

Listening to a whole album helped me realize how much I love the song "Still Sane" by Lorde, which I never would've just chosen over the amazing, Billboard-charting"Royals," which comes a few tracks before.

Further, artists really write their albums with intention toward the order of their songs. It'd be a crime to listen to Lana Del Rey's "Norman F***ing Rockwell!" and skip through to "hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have" in the same way you shouldn't skip Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." all the way down to the last track, "DUCKWORTH."

These tracks are intentionally last and if I always put them into a random playlist, in a way, part of the truth behind the song is lost.

Now, I'm guilty of subscribing to Spotify Premium and having various playlists featuring a number of artists, styles and the like. I love making a monthly playlist that encapsulates what I've been obsessing over and I always find something fun about my generated "daylist."

But after a while, I get really bored of that. Full albums help me beat this.

Taking time to listen to full albums honors the artist's wish and, selfishly, helps me defeat the burnout of feeling like I'm listening to the same songs over and over. Now, when I return to my precious playlists, the lyrics of my on-repeat songs are more meaningful, dimensional and novel. I probably even have new discovered songs to add to them.

Admittedly, it can feel really odd steering away from my beloved, perfectly curated playlists and tapping on the large, intimidating album to listen all the way through. Patiently listening through a whole album reinforces sitting with the uncomfortable. As I'm going through my daily skincare routine, for once, I don't know the lyrics and beat drops of every song in rotation. It's kind of scary, but fun. What new song will I find and hyperfixate over? Albums are more than the sum of their parts. Listen to it chapter by chapter: Sparknotes doesn't exist for albums.


<![CDATA[Ackland Art Museum in process of acquiring 'anti-Putin' works]]> The Ackland Art Museum is currently in the process of formally acquiring two works of art by Nadya Tolokonnikova, a founder of the feminist performance art collective Pussy Riotknown for advocating against Russian President Vladimir Putin's leadership.

The museum's Acquisitions and Loans Committee, which is made up of five members,decidedto acquire the pieces after a rare voteon Feb. 21.The results of the vote were three members in favor, one abstaining and one against.

One of the pieces is a short film created by Tolokonnikova, which was filmed in the United States.

In the video, individuals anonymously don balaclavas and burn a10-foot by 10-foot portraitof Putin,using shivs forged out of jail bars to put the ashes into vials. The other artwork is a multimedia piece thatcontains one of the vials holding the portrait'sashes.

Tolokonnikova gained publicity after she participated in an anti-Putin protest concert in a Moscow cathedral in 2012, performing a "Punk Prayer" with Pussy Riot. Three members were convicted of hooliganismfollowing the performance. Tolokonnikova and one other member servedabout two years in a Siberian prison labor camp after starting a hunger strike in prison protesting the conditions.

Peter Nisbet, the deputy director for curatorial affairs at the Ackland, said in a statement that the museum's monthly meeting included a spirited discussion about the potential acquisition of Tolokonnikova's works, which are a part of her "Putin's Ashes" collection.

"There was concern that perhaps the performance glorifies violence or suggests a tacit support of a physical attack on world leaders," Lauren Turner, the associate curator for contemporary art and special projects at the Ackland,said in an email statement to The Daily Tar Heel. "I am glad these concerns were voiced and discussed; as a museum, it is crucial that we consider how our own actions may impact a wide array of audiences."

Nisbetsaidthat the committee usually does not vote formally because a consensus is typically established before meetings.

Hesaid the vote ispurely advisory, because the final decision on all acquisitions is always made by the director, who then endorses the acquisition.

Turner was the curator and voting member who proposed that the works enter the Ackland's permanent collection.Shesaidthat she feels both works are part of a symbolic performance that allow for performative catharsis because Tolokonnikova and other performers live with the "very real" consequences of artistic resistance, including exile and imprisonment.

"I believe the meeting went exactly as it is designed to go," Turner said. "If we didn't anticipate the potential for differing opinions, we would never have established a voting process years ago."

Carolyn Allmendinger, the director of education and interpretation for the museum, said she abstained from the vote because she didn't feel she was sufficiently informed to vote responsibly. She saidshe feels like she still hasa lot more to learn about the pieces before presenting it to the public.

"I feel that the internationally known political consequences that Tolokonnikova (and her colleagues) receives again and again in response to her artistic output are proof that art can [be] an incredibly powerful method of communication," Turnersaid. "And Tolokonnikova is part of a long history of art being used to such ends."

Tonya Turner Carroll, the co-owner of Turner Carroll Gallery andCONTAINERmuseumvenue,alsoserves as a member of the Ackland's National Advisory Board.

After meeting Tolokonnikova in October of 2022, Turner Carroll's home gallery displayed her work.

"Of all the artists I've ever worked with, I believe that Nadya is one of the most impactful on contemporary society," Turner Caroll said.

The visit to the gallery, which [Lauren] Turner attended, is what started the process of acquiring the two works. The two worksare on-site currently and will be officially acquired when paperwork is processed, according to Turner.

Though these works will be a part of the museum's permanent collection and often accessible to University classes and other groups, there are no immediate plans for them to be on display.

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Column: UNC has a PLUS Swipe problem]]> Were you planning on using a PLUS Swipe for dinner? I hope you're okay with fried chicken.

All meal plans offered by Carolina Dining Services at UNC include PLUS Swipes alongside traditional swipes. Depending on the meal plan, students receive either 25 or 35 of these swipes. Rather than going to the dining halls, a PLUS Swipe allows students to get a special food combo from some restaurants on campus. Several locations accept these PLUS Swipes, including popular national chains such as Chick-fil-A and local favorites like Mediterranean Deli.

While this current system seems like a great way to vary your meals from typical dining hall food, it has a glaring issue: the lack of PLUS Swipe variety later in the day.

CholaNad, Med Deli, Alpaca Peruvian Chicken, Bandido's and Bento Sushi all close at 3 p.m. These five restaurants also happen to have the most variety in their food offerings, making them ideal choices for patrons with dietary restrictions. These locations all have at least one vegan combo option, with Alpaca, CholaNad and Med Deli having combos that are both vegan and gluten free.

After 3 p.m., the only places where students can use a PLUS Swipe for dinner are Chick-fil-A, Bojangles, Alpine Bagel and Subway. The Scoop stays open until 5 p.m., but only serves ice cream and sorbet. Not only are these options much more limited in menu, with fried chicken, bagels and sandwiches serving as the only entree options, but they also cater much less to patrons with dietary restrictions. None of these establishments offer a vegan or gluten-free PLUS Swipe combo option. Subway, Alpine Bagel and Bojangles have meager vegetarian choices.

Meal plan holders with dietary restrictions are practically forced to use their PLUS Swipes early in the day. This time period may not work for everyone. When purchasing a meal plan, the allotted 25 to 35 PLUS Swipes are factored into the pricing, making not using them equivalent to burning money.

While UNC's PLUS Swipe system is flawed, other universities have more effective systems. Northeastern University has a Meal Exchange system, through which students can convert one of their typical meal swipes into one that can be used at other dining locations across campus. These exchanged meal swipes essentially function the same as a PLUS Swipe.

This exchange process can be done two or three times per week, depending on the meal plan a student holds. This frequency allows for students to use between 30 and 45 alternative meal swipes each semester, significantly more than UNC grants students.

Not only does this system grant students more Meal Exchanges than UNC offers PLUS Swipes, but the hours of the retail locations that accept these Meal Exchanges are much better. Northeastern University has eight on-campus locations in which Meal Exchanges can be used, with six of these establishments being open until at least 7 p.m. the majority of the week.

Furthermore, most of these locations offer Meal Exchange combos keeping patrons with food restrictions in mind. Seven of the eight Meal Exchange-eligible restaurants offer vegetarian options, and four of them include vegan options. The large presence of establishments offering vegan and vegetarian options signals to students that their dietary needs are a priority of Northeastern - needs that seem to be placed on the back burner by UNC.

UNC's PLUS swipe system is flawed. The main way the system could be improved would be by urging locations like CholaNad and Alpaca to increase their hours. This would help bolster the PLUS Swipe options available to students in the late afternoon and evening. Doing so would increase the variety of food for all students and let students with dietary restrictions know they are valued by CDS and UNC at large.


<![CDATA[Column: Reflections on love and loss across continents]]> I've always thought the greatest moments in life exist in the mundane. There's so much love in the little things. When I think about my favorite memories, I find myself engulfed in the smell of strong filter coffee shared with my parents while an old romantic comedy plays in the background.

These weren't days I planned to be special, but there they are - indelibly etched in the corridors of my memory.

It's hard for me to reconcile my reverence for ordinary moments with the fact that so many people I love live across the world. I was 10 years old when I moved from Bangalore, India, to Cary, North Carolina. Young, but old enough to remember.

Those moments - the ones we unearth with the people we love on the most random of days - couldn't happen an ocean away from my family. I know my experience isn't particularly unique on a campus like UNC's. So many of our families immigrated to the United States before we were born, or we are immigrants ourselves.

For many, our relationships with our extended families are defined by bi-monthly FaceTimes and annual trips to the motherland. Deep-seated familial love exists despite the physical barriers between us, but these impediments shape our experience of loss and of grief.

Soon after my family moved to the U.S., my grandfather died. I felt this loss profoundly. I wondered if it was actually worth it - the pursuit of the American dream - if it meant not being able to hold your loved one's hand in their final moments.

A few weeks ago, my mother called and told me my great-grandmother died. I saw her briefly in the summer of 2023, and she was mostly incoherent, but my main memories of her are from before my moving to the United States. I have no memories to speak of in between, given that I spent the vast majority of that time in the United States. When I saw her last July, I remember feeling sorrow- for the time I missed out on with her. Still, the years we spent apart made holding her hand on that day even more special.

Lately, I can't help but think about my loved ones' mundane moments, especially the ones I am absent for.

I write this column from a coffee shop in Chapel Hill, while they are thousands of miles away pursuing careers, raising families and making new memories. Perhaps this loss is simply part of the price we pay to forge a future in this country. I'm paying it, but I'm also grateful for the opportunities that living in the U.S. affords me, for the versions of myself I've cultivated over the past eight years and for the people I have the privilege of loving here.

As I walk through campus, I try to be conscious of this trade-off. I remind myself to make the most of my life here, because it is precious and because it did not come for free.

Make no mistake, physical distance and time cannot erase love. Affection can transcend distance, time and even physical health. Many of us will spend the majority of our lives far from our relatives. We honor that sacrifice by forging our own paths in this country, never forgetting from where we came.



<![CDATA[Alberto Osuna hits two solo homers in No. 17 North Carolina baseball's 12-3 win over Longwood]]> Senior first baseman Alberto Osuna hit two solo home runs as the No. 17 North Carolina baseball team (7-2) beat Longwood (6-2), 12-3, Wednesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. It was Osuna's fourth career game with two homers and first since 2022. Osuna, graduate outfielder Anthony Donofrio and first-year catcher Luke Stevenson each tallied three RBIs.

"Once you slow down, everything else slows down around you," Osuna said. "It's been a lot of preparation - kind of slowing myself down before the game, on deck. And then when I'm in the box, at that point it's see it and hit it and stay relaxed."

It was a short outing for UNC's starter- first-year righty Boston Flannery. He struggled with command, walking three in one and a third innings of work.

Longwood scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. Noah Campanelli walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch from Flannery.

The Tar Heels got on the board in the bottom of the inning through the first Osuna home run.

"He's more balanced," head coach Scott Forbes said about Osuna. "He and [hitting coach Jesse Wierzbicki] have spent a lot of time on his base and his swing, and it's paying off for him."

UNC then took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Donofrio drove in two with a two-out double to right and scored on an Osuna double to deep center.

After sophomore right-hander Matthew Matthijs pitched two and two thirds innings of scoreless ball in relief of Flannery, senior righty Ben Peterson came on and found trouble in the top of the fifth. Tanner Thomas doubled to lead off the inning, and a walk and a wild pitch left two in scoring position for the Lancers. But junior right-handed pitcher Aidan Haugh entered the fray and shut things down, striking out Willie Havens and inducing a pop out in foul territory.

The Tar Heels loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth for Donofrio, who walked to force in a run and end the afternoon for Longwood starter Owen Simmons. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Casey Cook scored on a wild pitch before Stevenson plated two more with a two-out knock. Graduate infielder Alex Madera grounded out to leave three stranded, but UNC led 8-1 after five innings.

The Lancers plated two unearned runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Perez singled to left and senior outfielder Patrick Alvarez and junior outfielder Vance Honeycutt struggled to field, each committing errors that allowed the runs to score.

North Carolina got both runs right back and more in the bottom of the frame. Osuna hit his second homer, a laser to right center to tie Honeycutt for the team lead at five. The ball had to fight the wind and still traveled 405 feet.

"He's got the most raw power of anybody I've coached," Forbes said.

Also in the inning, Stevenson recorded another RBI single, Madera reached on a fielder's choice to drive in a run, and graduate designated hitter Eliot Dix scored on a wild pitch.

Led by Matthijs and Haugh, the UNC bullpen was solid, not allowing an earned run over seven and two thirds innings of work.

"The bullpen was pretty dang good," Forbes said. "[Matthijs] continues to throw well. Aidan Haugh continues to throw well."

The Tar Heels continue their homestand on Friday, when they will begin a three-game set against Princeton. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.


<![CDATA[UNC men's basketball's theme song 'Get Back' captures attitude of the team ]]> YTB Fatt's "Get Back" encapsulates the attitude of the No. 9 UNC basketball team this year.

It is the team's theme song for the season and acts as both inspiration and motivation for the Tar Heels: a reminder of what was and a promise of what could be.

"It really just turns us up; because all of us, last year, we didn't like how it went, and I think that song really interpolates as a group how we feel and what we tryna do," graduate center Armando Bacot said.

How did the team land on the song?Well, according to graduate forward Jae'Lyn Withers, it was queued up during a weight room session one day. The rest of the team listened, and the lyrics resonated. All of them had something to prove - they each needed to get back to where they once were.

For Bacot and senior guard RJ Davis, that is the national championship game they lost in 2022. For junior forward Harrison Ingram and graduate guard Cormac Ryan, it is more about proving they can compete with the best players in the nation after transferring from less successful programs. But regardless of why, they all want to get back.

Now, whenever the Tar Heels have a tough win or a disappointing loss, they play the song as a reminder of their goals. It fuels them and motivates them to keep on pushing as the season continues.

It is not the only song they listen to, however. Music is a huge part of the team's culture. It brings them together, gets them in the zone and fosters a sense of team spirit and camaraderie that shines through on the court. And it all starts with the customCarolina Blue Bumpboxx that Ingram convinceddirector of operations Eric Hootsto get at the beginning of the season.

Ingram said hewanted to bring swag to the team - something that would get everyone's energy up. So, he settled on the Bumpboxx. Now, before every home game the team brings the customized boombox out with them onto the court, usually on the shoulder of Zayden High or Duwe Farris. After a win, they blast it in the locker room, dancing and bouncing around in celebration. They even travel with the speaker so they can listen to their music on the road.

Despite the love they all have for the Bumpboxx, picking songs to play can be a hard decision. Most of the time it depends on vibes, Withers said. They take into account what they listened to the day before, what the mood is in the room and how much they want to dance, among other things.

Davis and sophomore guard Seth Trimble even have a "no rap before noon" rule, which limits what the team listens to during morning workouts.

"There's no need for it," Trimble said. "No need for all that yelling before 12 [p.m.]."

Another thing that limits the team's music choices? Head coach Hubert Davis' "no cursing" rule, which he reinstated from the Dean Smith era. He does not want the players playing music in the Dean E. Smith Center that contains profanity - a tough restriction, considering a lot of their favorite song choices.

Withers said this rule is somewhat flexible - Davis is not always watching, and when he is not, the team plays the uncensored versions of the songs.

At the end of the day, though, there is one song that they can all agree on. The Tar Heels keep coming back to "Get Back." And they are going to keep on playing it until the lyrics finally ring true.

"I feel like everyone on the team, we all have a chip on our shoulder," Ingram said. "We all are doubted, we're all viewed as not good players, whatever you want to call it, and this is our get back year."

Listen to the men's basketball team's favorite songs here:


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[First-year pitcher Jason Decaro dominates in No. 17 UNC baseball's win over VCU]]> Ignited by six innings of one-run ball by first-year pitcher Jason Decaro, the No. 17 UNC baseball team (6-2) grabbed the lead early and never relinquished it in an 8-2 victory over VCU (4-4) on Tuesday.

After a one-hour delay, Decaro took the mound for UNC. He had his fastball working early, topping out at 95 mph and retiring the side in order in the first inning.

After UNC loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, graduate right fielder Anthony Donofrio capitalized with a little-league grand slam. Doubling through into the right field corner, the VCU right fielder kicked the ball around that allowed all three runners to score. When the relay throw reached home, Donofrio attempted to take third base and appeared to be out by a mile. The VCU catcher, though, sent the ball back to Richmond, throwing it over the third baseman's head and into left field. Donofrio reached home safely, giving UNC a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

With runners on the corners and no outs in the third, senior third baseman Jackson Van De Brake grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, ending any further threat for UNC but scoring a run in the process.

With the 5-0 lead, Decaro shined against the Rams. To leadoff the fourth inning, Madera robbed VCU of its first hit by stretching to his right and bringing in a line drive while tumbling to the ground. Decaro retired all 12 batters that he faced through four innings, striking out three.

The Tar Heels provided Decaro more insurance in the bottom of the inning. After retiring the first two batters, VCU walked first-year designated hitter Gavin Gallaher. Another first-year, catcher Luke Stevenson, brought him home with a 402-foot triple off the top of the center field wall, extending UNC's lead to six.

Reflecting on the hit after the game, Stevenson thought he had a home run initially, but "got to show off the speed instead.

Decaro's perfection ended through 4.2 innings when VCU designated hitter Eli Weisner worked a nine-pitch walk for the Rams' first base runner. Decaro retired the next batter and became the first UNC starter since Opening Day to pitch at least five innings.

"We needed somebody to show us that they have the capability to go out there and throw five plus innings," UNC head coach Scott Forbes said.

UNC's offense found more two-out magic in the bottom of the fifth. The Tar Heels once again worked a walk with two outs and nobody on, and redshirt sophomore left fielder Casey Cook cashed in with an RBI triple of his own down the right field line. Senior first baseman Alberto Osuna brought in Cook and UNC's eighth run of the game two at-bats later, capitalizing off the shift to narrowly beat out an infield RBI single up the middle.

Decaro's no-hit bid ended in the sixth with a leadoff single by VCU center fielder Cooper Benzin. The Rams brought him home with a single into center to end UNC's shutout. Decaro completed the sixth and final inning of his outing with a groundout to shortstop, walking off the mound to a standing ovation from the sparse Boshamer crowd.

"[I] definitely built off my outing last week and improved on certain areas that I had to improve in and really happy with how today went," Decaro said.

With an 8-1 lead behind them, the Tar Heels cruised to their sixth victory of the season. VCU added a run in the eighth, but senior pitcher Connor Bovair shut the Rams down 1-2-3 in the ninth and secured the six-run win.

"I thought that was probably the most complete game that we played all season, top to bottom," Forbes said.

UNC returns to Boshamer Stadium on Wednesday for another midweek game against Longwood.



<![CDATA[UNC to launch new Bachelor of Science in applied physical sciences]]> This fall, UNC will be rolling out a new Bachelor of Science degree in applied physical sciences for students graduating in 2028 and after.

Richard Goldberg, teaching associate professor and director of undergraduate studiesin the applied physical sciences department, said the major focuses on four pillars: engineering design and thinking, computational data science skills, ethics and entrepreneurial mindset.

"The overall idea is that students get engineering skills in a liberal arts context," he said.

He said since the university has strengths both in and outside of the sciences, it has a unique position to help students understand different ways to tackle large challenges.

Juniors and seniors in the program will have the option to concentrate in one of two tracks, he said. One track is materials engineering, taught by faculty in the applied physical sciences department. The other is environmental engineering, a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences and the department of environment sciences and engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Both concentrations combine foundations in chemistry, biology and physics with engineering principles. Goldberg said he hopes to see the major expand to four or five tracks in the future.

Because UNC does not have an engineering school, it can partner with other science departments to bring engineering skillsets to students.

"I am excited for the APS undergraduate students to have the opportunity to work closely with the APS and ESE faculty at Gillings to engineer a better environment," Rebecca Fry, interim chair of the department of environmental sciences and engineering, said in an email statement.

Theo Dingemans, chair of the department of applied physical sciences, said designing the major was a very fun process. He went on several trips to visit similar programs across the country, where he said other universities were helpful in showing their labs, facilities and curriculums to him, which he was able to translate back to UNC.

Though the department's applied physical sciences and engineering minorlaunched in 2020,Goldberg said the department has worked on this program since 2018. The major was going to be made official in 2022, but was pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goldberg said most of the courses for the major, excluding a still-developing senior year capstone design project, are already being taught at UNC through the APS minor.

"We've been tweaking them and improving them, so that way we can start with a really high quality major from day one," he said.

UNC first-year Nina Dhillon said she would have joined the new program if it were an option when she was applying to UNC. Dhillon is currently majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in appliedsciences and engineering.

"My high school was very engineering-focused," she said. "So honestly, when I came to UNC, I was set on UNC, but I did want whatever the most engineering major they had here."

Dhillon said she chose the university for its reputation as a school, not for a specific major. She said she hopes to earn a master's degree in engineering and pursue a career involving engineering or 3D-printing work similar to an internship she held in high school.

Theapplication process for the major will be similar to the minor. Applicants must complete four prerequisites in english, chemistry, calculus and physics, and they must submit a 300-word essay expressing their interest in the program. Transfer students can apply as long as they meet the requirements.

The twowindows for students to apply take place fromNovember to December of 2024 and March to May of 2025. Goldberg saidwhile he anticipates high demand, only 40 students will be accepted per year.

"We think that by bringing in the students with their ideas, with their creativity, that it can really make this program flourish," Dingemans said.


<![CDATA[Editors' Notes concert series to feature local artists]]> You hold in your hands The Daily Tar Heel's inaugural music edition, a celebration of the musicians and music lovers who have filled Chapel Hill and Carrboro with unique melodies and lyrics for decades.

Along with this edition, we are releasing the first episode of Editors' Notes, a video music series shot in The Daily Tar Heel office, featuring guitarist and UNC sophomore Bill Moore.

This series was born out of the desire to provide fresh, accessible coverage of the Triangle's local musicians through the Lifestyle desk, inspired by the work done by past arts desks at The DTH.

This summer, as we began defining Lifestyle and its coverage, I discovered that once a semester for several years,our former arts desk, Diversions, collaborated with Local 506 to host a free show with local bands.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro are home to musical legends ranging from Elizabeth Cotten to Dexter Romweber, and industry staples likeMerge RecordsandCat's Cradle - it made perfect sense that Diversions hosted these "Dive Parties."

The concerts were an accessible celebration of local music, and as Lifestyle gained its footing at The DTH, I began to think about ways that the desk could continue to elevate the work of our area's musicians in new ways.

The past several weeks have been full of brainstorming sessions, filming and editing. Conversations about this series began in the fall, but it wasn't until January that an artist and date were arranged for filming.

Emi Maerz, the assistant Lifestyle editor, and I sat in the office to create the banner and garland for the set in early February. That week, our writers began working on the stories you'll read in this edition.

The co-editors for our Audio &Video desk, Natalie Bradin and McKenzie Bulris, worked with our Multimedia Managing Editor Carson Elm-Picardto perfect the audio and video setup, and, on Feb. 17, we filmed Bill Moore perform a set of four original songs.

We've drawn inspiration from countless other music series - most notably, NPR's "Tiny Desk Concerts,"as well as other students, like WXYC's "Backyard BBQ" live music segments and The Daily Aztec's "Basement Beats" - but Editors' Notes has become our own.

It has been Lifestyle's goal to reflect and uplift the everyday life of our community since the beginning of the school year, and that includes paying homage to the songs and artists that make it special.

If you're an artist interested in being in an episode of Editors' Notes, please send a short bio and sample of your work to lifestyle@dailytarheel.com - we'd love to have you in the office and on the show.

While it's no Dive Party, I hope that this series and edition shows our commitment to celebrating local musicians and highlights the breadth of art present in our community.


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Bill Moore remains true to the energy and history of local music traditions]]> UNC sophomore and guitaristBill Moorefell down the rabbit hole of American roots music when he found the lyrics of Olde English folk songs in familiar bluegrass and Bob Dylan tunes.

"I just kind of wondered: 'How is this possible?'" he said.

Exploring that history and cultural exchange led him to where he is now: playing the swing, jazz and blues guitar styles you would likely hear in the streets and warehouses of the N.C. Piedmont region a century ago - with allowance for personal style, of course.

But for Moore, whose debut album "New Piedmont Style" released this month, this is just what music is supposed to sound like.

The subject matter of the album's songs, like "Durham Women" or "Hillsborough," is hyper-local to Moore's native Chapel Hill. He is inspired to write about the landscape around him by what he calls "cowboy songwriters," who wrote about the West with intense poetry.

When he wrote "Hillsborough," Moore worked for theMusic Maker Foundation -which financially supports blues and roots musicians. The foundation also provided the field recording equipment Moore needed to record his album,which took only a few hoursin a small studio under an HVAC repair shop.

In his twice weekly drives to Hillsborough for work with Music Maker, Moore came up with the main hook: "It's good to be back in Hillsborough" and built from there.

Shouting out locations in songs, Moore said, is a tradition in the style he most identifies with: the Piedmont blues.

The Piedmont blues - popularized in the Triangle during the early 20th century by Black working class musicians - is primarily dance music, utilizing Ragtime'srhythms and major chords. The music was the soundtrack to tobacco auctions and Black social life in Durham between the world wars.

After playing guitar for 10 years, Moore found some of his biggest influences within the style, like Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Boy Fuller. Both once lived in Durham, right down the road from him, decades before.

Moore said he tries to remain faithful to the genre's energy and combine it with other styles, but also looks for the things that connect him honestly with the music, without co-opting the style from Black musicians.

"You have to acknowledge that there are several different influences to this music, but also whitewashing this kind of music is exactly the opposite of what I want to be doing," he said. "If you want people to know about this music, and you want to educate them, you don't want them to come away with a false impression about it."

Mooreplayed gigs around Chapel Hill in Southern Village and at Lapin Bleu. In January, he performed solo at a student multimedia mixer, which he was particularly nervous for, but Moore said the audience received the music like they had never heard anything like it.

"That kind of thing always makes someone who plays 'dead music' feel really happy because it's not that it's not applicable, it's just that people don't know about it anymore," hesaid.

He tries to practice three hours every day for guitar, voice and banjo, which he is learning to play for the Carolina Bluegrass Band.

"If you're playing at the level of a lot of the original players, you have to really play all the time," Moore said.

Some days, he said thatit can feel like all he does is sleep, go to class, practice, eat and work on the Weekly Weirdo - a humor magazine he and his roommate started this year - and repeat.

Part of Moore's mission is keeping the genre alive, whether as a professional musician or as a historian and supporter. Whatever he does, he wants to make a living off of music, he said, and now is the time to start building the foundation.


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Editors' Notes 1 - Bill Moore]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Who's on aux: Employees set the mood in Chapel Hill establishments]]> When customers walk into RumorsChapel Hill, a colorful, eclectic thrift store, they might hear anything from soft indieto death metal playing over the store's speakers, Rumors store manager Juliet Magoonsaid.

"It's all over the place, basically, depending on the mood that day," she said. "I mean, we have so many different aesthetics, aesthetics of people."

On Franklin Street, wide varieties of music escape the insides of different storefronts.A student, resident or tourist might wonder who is controlling the music,strolling through Chapel Hill on a sunny afternoon.

Magoon was on aux at Rumors on Thursday and said she was going for more of a chill vibe, playing Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend.

But on a busy Saturday, she saidRumors employees might play something with more energy, like death metal, to keep up with the fast pace of the day.

"We don't really subscribe to just one specific style, I think it's just whatever you're feeling that day," she said. "And that's the fun thing about fashion, too. It's really just whatever you're in the mood for."

At the front of the store behind the cash register, a computer is connected to the aux, where employees take turns playing their own personal playlists.

"You can definitely tell who's opened that day," she said.

At the Chapel Hill location of French pastry and coffee shopLe Macaron, themusic on aux also varies depending on who is working.

Morgan Watson, an employee at the shop and a UNCsenior,said shehas recently been in a soul phase.

"My go-to playlist - it's not what I put on here, but it's the same vibes," she said. "It's early 2000s, you feel like you're in a movie - kind of easygoing, fun but chill."

Salma Mourad, another employee, said she plays mellow music like '90s artistJeff Buckley.

Both Watson and Mourad try to play music that contributes to the "coffee shop" vibe.

"It's a place where people can come in, and they're chilling and chatting, but they can also do work and [the music] flows between both," Watson said.

AtLight Years,a jewelry and gift shop, music is important for the customer experience, employee and UNC studentJordan Sturtzsaid.

"I love seeing whenever people are in here bopping or even singing along. You'll see sometimes, say it's a dad that's in here with the family, you start hearing him or seeing him tap his legs,"Jonnely Vides, another employee,said. "It's nice, it's fun because then you know that they're enjoying it."

On Thursday, VidesplayedKali Uchis. She said that recently she has been listening to Kali Uchis' new album"Orquídeas."Sturtz, on the other hand,has been listening to a lot of soft pop and folk.

Vides said the different music tastes of employees can match the different personalities of people who come into the store.

On Friday, Annagabriela Redding,a barista at1922 by Carolina Coffee Shop,playedMitski and Amy Winehouse.

She said many 1922 employees were going through breakups at one point, and they frequently played breakup songs on aux.

"I think, for us, the music represents more [of] who we are than in other places," she said. "We're a little less strict about music we play."

Magoon saidbeing less strict about who is on aux can inspire Rumors customers to express themselves and explore their identities.

"That's why I think it's fun to switch up the playlist a lot, because a lot of times people will hear stuff that they haven't before and be like, 'What is this?'" she said. "'I like this, I wouldn't normally listen to this.' Same with fashion."


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Q&A: Merge Records has had worldwide success, but loves its home in N.C.]]> The Daily Tar Heel's Margaret Hungate spoke with Merge Record's label manager, Christina Rentz, on the label's history and influence on the music scene in the Triangle and beyond, as Merge approaches its 35th anniversary.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

The Daily Tar Heel: Who was Merge Records founded by, and why?

Christina Rentz: Merge Records was founded in 1989 by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Theyare the lead singer and bass player of the band Superchunk.

The label came out of the desire to preserve what was happening in the local music scene in Chapel Hill - bands would form and then immediately break up, and there was no record of them ever existing. They started the label to release seven-inch records from local bands they were into, and it has grown ever since then.

Superchunk was on Matador Records at the time that Merge was founded, and eventually Merge started putting out Superchunk records, so they moved their records over to Merge as well. We started doing more full-lengths, and now we work with artists all over the world, we release albums everywhere in the world, and it has grown a lot.

The DTH: What has Merge Records meant to the Triangle music scene?

CR: I think having a successful record label in the area has made it a desirable place for musicians to move. It's more expensive than it used to be, but it is still less expensive than, say, Brooklyn or Austin. There is a very welcoming music community, and Merge sort of helped put the Triangle on the map.

But certainly, having three large universities next to each other is helpful - with great college radio stations and record stores and just a supportive arts community. Having us be a part of that has helped solidify the Triangle as a place where artists and musicians can come and find like-minded people who will help them create things.

Just in the last 10 years, more and more musicians have moved here even after we started working with them, and I think that has been really cool to see.

The DTH:Because Merge currently has less than 20 employees, what has been your role working with a smaller team in such a large network like the music industry?

CR: It is important for us to stay small so that our artists can make money, and that's always our goal. We try to do really equitable deals; we don't own anyone's music, we just license it for terms, but we try to be really artist-friendly because we're an artist-run label.

When I started at Merge, I was right out of college and did college radio promotions. Then I helped with regional press, which is tour press in different markets as bands were playing through, in addition to radio promotions. Then I did publicity for a long time, and now I'm the label manager, which is sort of operations, we don't really have traditional manager roles. I oversee all of that, from getting music from the artists to turning it into an album.

We have a fantastic staff, some who have been here for 20 years and others who have been here for two years, but it's always fun to get fresh energy and also have really experienced, giant brains who see a lot of the changing trends.

The DTH: Were you at Merge when they started to go more worldwide with their artists?

CR:In 2001, we released a Superchunk album called "Here's to Shutting Up," and then Superchunk didn't release another record for nine years. So, Merge changed at that point from being a label whose flagship band was very active and funded a lot of what we did, to focusing more on Merge and building Merge.

That's when we really started to grow - we worked with Spoon, continued to work with The Magnetic Fields, we started working with Arcade Fire in 2004. The focus changed from "we release Superchunk and other bands" to "Merge Records is a place for indie artists that are getting a ton of attention,"and it allowed us to grow in a pretty organic way.

The DTH: What does the milestone of the 35th anniversary indicate for the label?

CR: We're still here, which is very exciting. Every five years we throw ourselves a huge party at Cat's Cradle, and we celebrate the way that our roster changes and evolves based on the kind of music that we actually listened to, and we try to reflect the world around us a little bit more.

If you look at the history of Merge, it was a lot of guys with guitars, and we love guys with guitars and that will always be a huge part of our roster, but we have more women and people of color which I think is really important.

Having our roster reflect more about what we're listening to as times change and the world opens up and we do have more access to different kinds of music has been important to McCaughan and Ballance, and very cool for all of us on staff for sure.

So every five years, we're like, "Wow, look how different, look how much has happened in five years."

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance, co-owners of MERGE Records in Durham, North Carolina, stand in their office on July 18, 2013.

<![CDATA[Former Chapel Hill student bands remember a lifetime of music]]> In the mid-'90s, MTV came to Chapel Hill.

At the time, the town hailed as the next big place for music, Martin Godwin, rhythm guitar player and lead singer of the grunge-funk-rock band Knocked Down Smilin', said.

MTV came to town for severaldays and had Godwin's band - composed of himself and other UNCstudents - play at a fraternity house at 10 a.m., with all of the windows blacked out to make it give the appearance of nighttime. To this day, he is not sure if it ever made the air.

After their potential TV debut, the band decided to try touring for a while. They traveled up and down the East Coast for five years, playing with a number of artists, among themHootie &the Blowfish, Spin Doctors and Widespread Panic.

"Unfortunately, we never quite got over the hump, as I tell folks," Godwin said. "We did better than a lot of bands in terms of what we got to do and our success, but we never made it quite far enough to, you know, take the leap I don't think."

Knocked Down Smilin' is one of countless bands started in Chapel Hill by college students whose love of music outlasted the groups themselves.

After they broke up, two of the Knocked Down members continued with music professionally. Drummer Bogie Bowles moved to California and eventually played in blues artist Joe Bonamassa's band. Bass player Mason Pitts eventually moved to Sweden and played in a band called Apollo Glide.

Godwin is currently the managing director of an executive search firm in Charlotte and is still friends with his former bandmates.

Not every band lasts forever, but some get an encore.

Mitch Bennett is an adjunct professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and the rhythm guitar player and singer of indie rock band Megayacht, which started as a band of college students in the '90s and recently got back together. When Bennett moved back to Chapel Hill two years ago, he called up his former bandmates, and they picked up where they left off.

"When I would visit, we'd play music, and hang out, and talk about music, and see shows and it really kept us connected for those 15 years or so while I was away," Bennett said.

The band played at The Cave and other local venues, and has recorded and released songs on streaming services since reuniting last fall. Bennett said the biggest difference between then and now is how easy it is to get music out there.

"It used to be such a high barrier to be able to put anything out, it was so expensive," Bennett said. "And now, you just kind of release it, and it's out. There's something really nice about that. There's no gatekeepers."

David Shaw was the drummer of late '80s and early '90s band Wreckhouse. Back then, he said, bands needed to have demo tapes to get gigs, and he remembers recording theirs over a chaotic three days in a studio.

One of their many gigs was attended by a reporter forThe Daily Tar Heel after the band left a note in her DTH mailbox. Her 1990 review headline read: "And those drums… Oooh those driving drums," which Shaw said blew him away.

The official band Wreckhouse only lasted about a year, but Shaw stayed in the industry. He is currently the co-general manager of Yep Roc Records in Hillsborough.

"We did reunite, just the four of us alone, no one else witnessed it, and played in Brooklyn last August," Shaw said.Some of the bands might be over, but for Bennett, Shaw and Godwin the music never really ends.

Godwin still plays for fun with a group in Charlotte. He has no big expectations anymore, but he still loves to perform. His son is a junior at UNC and plays in his own band, Cat Named Blue.

"Every moment is precious," Godwin said. "Every conversation you have with another musician onstage is unique and the opportunity to just have the opportunity to do that, you know, to get to do it. Not that I had to do it - I got to do it."


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['Therapy should be affordable to everyone': CAPS addresses financial burdens of therapy]]> In 2022, UNC launched the Heels Care Network, a mental health resource hub where students, faculty and staff can search for mental health support on and near campus.Since then, the website has averaged 27,000 visitors per year, according to UNC Media Relations.

Despite the broad accessibility of this resource, Counseling and Psychological Services Director Avery Cook said there are still several pervasive myths surrounding mental health access on campus.

"A lot of folks come in, and they think that there are session limits - that they only get a certain number of sessions at CAPS," they said. "That hasn't been true for about 15 years."

Cook also said they have heard students think there is a waitlist to see a CAPS therapist, which is not the case - they can walk into CAPS and speak with a therapist that same day.

Most of the services provided by CAPS are covered by the Campus Health fee, a mandatory fee paid each term through tuition and fees by all degree-seeking students. About 71 percent of the fee is allocated toward the Campus Health budget and about 29 percent goes to CAPS, according to Media Relations. Revenue from the fee constitutes a little over 50 percent of the total CAPS and Campus Health budgets.

Initial assessments, brief therapy, group therapy and referral coordinations at CAPS are all offered at no additional cost to the student. For medication services, CAPS works with students to bill fees through their insurance, Cook said.

CAPS's primary service is called brief therapy, which is not limited in its number of sessions and helps students work through one area of need. Cook saidbrief therapy is appropriate for about 70 percent of students who visit CAPS.

For students seeking long-term therapy outside of CAPS, there are several resources to offset the cost. Cook saidCAPS has a specific fund to cover outside therapy for students who demonstrate a high level of need. Others can be set up with providers who offer psychotherapy on a sliding scaleat a reduced cost or can be connected to different clinics that also have lower fees.

Tausha Watson, a licensed psychologist in Chapel Hill, said she works with low-income students to offer psychotherapy services at a price that meets their needs while covering overhead costs for her business.

"I really do believe that people should be able to receive financial assistance, that therapy should be affordable to everyone,"Watson said.

Watson said the most common reasons why students would need a sliding scale is because the provider they want doesn't accept their health insurance plan, they need to access therapy without their parents knowing or they prefer to forego using their insurance for other reasons.

Under the Student Blue health plan, administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, there is a $10 copay fee for undergraduate students seeking mental health services from providers within their network.

Watson also said many providers in the area are hesitant to accept Medicaid insurance due to unwanted audits and interference in therapy, so some students with Medicaid choose to pay out-of-pocket and have the cost reduced with a sliding scale.

"A lot of time with students who have Medicaid, they're going to struggle to really find outside providers who are Medicaid providers here," Watson said.

UNC sophomore MariTyndall said she walked into CAPS in the fall of 2022 when she was on Medicaidand received help from referral coordinators to match her with a therapist in the area who fit her needs and took her insurance.

During referral coordination, CAPSproviders account for students' preferences regarding the identity and background of a therapist and send them several suggestions that fall within their parameters. Tyndall said this process helped her get set up with a Black, female therapist who specialized in substance abuse issues.

Shesaid she is currently working with CAPS to avoid the fee of an official ADHD evaluation so she can be prescribed medicine by a psychiatrist.

"That was a really neat thing that took a load off my shoulders because I've had an ADHD diagnosis since I was two," Tyndall said.

According to Media Relations,CAPS saw 1,812 different students for walk-in appointments last semester, provided 2,414 total brief therapy appointments and serviced 7,067 total medication appointments.

Well Ride, a program started by the Undergraduate Student Government and currently managed by CAPS, provides free Lyft rides for students who live on campus to get to their off-campus therapy appointments.

"Our goal is to make sure that we do everything we can to help students overcome the barriers that they may have to get the services that they need, whenever possible," Cook said.


Texture courtesy of Adobe Stock

<![CDATA[Triangle jazz scene embraces vibrant artists and an evolving genre]]> In 1979, N.C. Central University was the firstuniversity in the state to offer a bachelor of music degree in jazz studies.

NCCU was at the forefront of providing jazz education to students in the Triangle and is located in the center of a flourishing jazz scene in Durham.

The genre,which was invented and innovated by Black communities in the early 20th century, found a home in Durham, which has a strong history of Black achievement, success and involvement, Brevan Hampden, a jazz percussionist based in Greensboro, said.

The jazz scene in the Triangle became as colorful, vibrant and connected as it is today because of the efforts of members of the jazz community in the late 1970s, such as piano player Brother Yusuf Salim.

Instructors and their students across universities in the Triangle performed together at clubs and bars - a tradition that continues today. Hampdensaid everyone played different styles of jazz together, which created understanding and camaraderie among musicians.

He said that the jazz programs and bands at universities in the Triangle pass down the traditions of jazz music to younger generations, allowing the music to evolve.

Ira Wiggins, a saxophonist, flutist and educator, was the jazz ensemble and jazz studies director at NCCU from 1991 to 2021. During his 30 years at NCCU, he said it was a challenge to get students to buy into jazz music, as many had never been exposed to it before. He said he taught students the necessity of learning the language of jazz before innovating and pushing the music in new directions.

"In terms of language, you have to listen to that over and over and over," Wiggins said. "I would always tell my students that when you learn to speak as a kid, your parents didn't give you books - you just listened to how they talked, their friends, the community and you learn language."

Even though he is retired, Wiggins said he continues to develop his own style and incorporate new ideas into his repertoire by listening to recordings and practicing daily.

Lenora Helm Hammonds, director of graduate programs for jazz studies at NCCU, said that as a developing musician, it's important to have somewhere to play so you understand how the music works.

"The musician's journey is very much shaped by the opportunity to interact with your peers on stage and in social settings," she said.

A number of venues in Durham today encourage the tradition of musical interaction. Kingfisher, a cocktail barin downtown Durham, has live jam sessions on Tuesday nights, and Missy Lane's Assembly Room frequently holds open mic nights and improvised performances.

Lydia Salett Dudley, musician and producer of Lydia Salett Dudley & Jazz Xpressions, wasn't a jazz listener but was drawn in by the history of the music.

She said that to keep audiences engaged who aren't familiar with the history, her band incorporates their own experiences into the performances to keep the music fresh. For Dudley, this comes in the form of gospelor R&B flairs.

First formed in Durham, ZOOCRÜ blends popular American genres - hip hop, rock, blues and gospel - into jazz to create Black American music, according to their website.

"Somebody told me that in art you learn the rules so you can break them, and I don't think that we would have been able to gain this much notoriety locally if we didn't have that mentality of just being fearless and wanting to learn," Alan Thompson, saxophonist for ZOOCRÜ said.

When they were first starting out, Thompson said the group was denied opportunities to play at venues throughout Durham.That opportunity finally came on Franklin Street, when they started to play in front of Cosmic Cantina every Friday night.

Thompson said that as jazz has become a fine art, the only way to get your foot in the door to become a musician is through college, which can limit opportunities for those who don't pursue higher education.

"I think that it's great to pay homage to our past ancestors, but I think jazz culture has a way of putting more attention on the artists that are no longer here with us, rather than pouring into these new emerging artists and fighting for equity and things of that nature," Thompson said.


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Greensboro's first Black-owned doula studio opens in Southside]]> In Southside Greensboro, in between two hair salons, is the city's first Black-owned doula studio.

Bump.Baby.Bliss Doula, Counseling and Ultrasound Studio opened its first physical location on Feb. 1, and its one-month anniversary will be at the start of Women's History Month.

The studio's grand opening was on the first day of Black History Month, and the same day in 1960 that four Black North Carolina A&T University students made history by holding a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter.

"To be an alumna for A&T- to do it on Feb. 1 because they made such a major impact on things that we couldn't do and fighting for the rights for us to be able to do those," Courtney Hall, owner of Bump.Baby.Bliss and clinical social worker, said. "So it was important to me to make my ancestors proud, make people that have stood and fought for social justice [proud]."

Bump.Baby.Bliss is a resourcefor prepartum, postpartum and all other maternal wellness needs such as ultrasounds, early DNA gender testing, birth doula support and perinatal therapy.

The business was founded nine years ago after Hall's first son turned 1-year-old. Throughout that year, Hall obtained several licenses including doula training and counseling to add to her business name. Hall signed the lease in November 2023.

Hall said the business name was intentional and reflects on the different stages in pregnancy.

"Bump, which you have a baby bump, the baby and then the bliss is all the blissful things that sometimes isn't so blissful, but after which is kind of like your postpartum phase," she said.

Hall said maternal health had been a childhood passion after finding out her mother was having twins.

"Once I found out that we were having twins, like I was gonna have twin brothers, I was just overly obsessed," Hall said. "I think I was in like fifth grade when I wrote a paper about twins. I did a research paper. I did all these things and I was just literally obsessed with the woman's body and children and all the things. So that was my first 'aha moment.'"

Charity Brown Griffin, an assistant professor of psychology services at Winston-Salem State University, said Hall had been a doula for three out of her four children. She said, years later, Hall still wishes her "doula babies" happy birthday and keeps in contact with them.

According to a 2021 maternal mortality rate report from the CDC, Black women are nearly three times more likely than white women to die during childbirth.

"Regardless of your race, I will say first and foremost, I absolutely recommend Black birthing people to get a doula to have that support system, again, only look at the data on Black maternal mortality," Brown Griffin said.

Goldie Wells, Greensboro's District 2 citycouncil member, said Bump.Baby.Bliss is a real asset to the city, especially in a district where the population is predominantly Black.

"I plan to go over and visit so that I can get a full understanding, tour and knowledge of what's happening at the studio,"Wells said."I'm also pleased because it is a minority, female-owned business."

Wells said Hall would be classified in the City's Minority and Women Business Enterprise program, which seeks to promote economic inclusion in Greensboro's marketplace.

Hall said Bump.Baby.Bliss' next steps are mentoring other doulas, hiring interns and transitioning for herself so she can work at Bump.Baby.Bliss full time.

She said after two years, she'd want to see Bump.Baby.Bliss have more locations in surrounding cities.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Photo courtesy of Courtney Hall.

<![CDATA[The story of Elizabeth Cotten, the 'Freight Train' picker]]> Before Elizabeth Cotten was a pioneer of folk music, she taught herself how to play her brother's banjo when she was 8 years old.

She frettedthe guitar strings with her right hand, picking the bass strings with her left fingers and the treble strings with her thumb. This technique created a unique sound and became known as"Cotten style."

Cotten was born and raised on Lloyd Street, now a part ofCarrboro, in 1893. Carrboro as it is now known was not fully incorporated until 1911.

She wrote one of her most popular songs, "Freight Train"at the age of 11 or 12 about thesection of North Carolina Railroad that she could hear and see from her Lloyd Street home.

But, her song isn't one of love for her town; it's one of escape.

"It was about jumping the freight trains because there was no way to get out," Glenn Hinson, an associate professor of folklore and anthropology at UNC who studies music, said.

Hinsonsaid that Cotten grew up during a period of rich artistic wealth in Orange County's Black community and that instrument playing accompanied by oral poetry was a common creative expression for women of her time.

"There was, of course, a constant effort to create places of joy to express resilience, which very much felt a part of that community," Hinson said. "At the same time, they were living with a constant specter of both white violence and, even more so, white repression."

In "Shake Sugaree," which is likened to a traditional children's folk song, Cottensings downhearted lyrics with a bright voice:

"Everything I've got is done and pawned."

'Freight train, freight train, run so fast'

The Town of Carrboro proclaimed Jan. 5 as a day to celebrateCotten in 2022.

She was posthumously inducted into the North Carolina Musical Hall of Fame in 2019. She bears a number of awards and accolades from folk music and arts organizations alike. She won a Grammy for "Elizabeth Cotten Live!" in 1985 and was recognized as a "living treasure" by the Smithsonian Institution the year prior. Cotten died in 1987.

A marker honoring her in downtown Carrboro says, "Libba Cotten composed, recorded "Freight Train" (1958). Key figure, 1960s folk revival. Born and raised on Lloyd Street."

Down the roadfrom Lloyd Street, a mural of Cotten sits right at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro line on North Merritt Mill Road, as does a bikeway bearing her name - all by the railroad that she sings of in "Freight Train."

This Carrboro, however, was not the one that Cotten knew.

She worked at the Alberta Cotton Mill- a textile mill in the space now known as Carr Mill Mall, named after white supremacist Julian Carr.

The lastknown lynching in Orange County happened when she was 5 years old.

Black residents of the area worked at the mill or in service jobs at the University, earning less than $5 a week.

"You can easily presume that the 11-year-old working, cleaning the household, cleaning the dishes, emptying the slop buckets of a working class white family who were working at the cotton mills - you can pretty much know that her presence was at every turn dehumanized,"Hinson said.

'Please don't tell what train I'm on'

By 1943, Cotten stopped playing, picking and singing andmoved to Washington, D.C.

"When folks moved up the road, the first place in the up-the-road journey was always Washington, D.C., because Richmond was still the South," Hinson said.

Cotten likely only earned pennies more than she would in Carrboro, but Hinson said that there was a more embracing community with larger Black neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. He saidwomen who were musically skilled during that time tended to play less in public settings once they married.

One day while working inLansburgh's Department Store, she encountered a young Peggy Seeger roaming around. She returned her to her motherand later began working in the folk-famous Seeger family home.

During the time she worked for the family,Mike Seeger recordeda number of Cotten's songs and released them through Smithsonian Folkways recordings. UNC's Wilson Library holds a large collection of Seeger's recordings, which span years and artistic variety - from Doc Watson to Mississippi John Hurt to Cotten herself.

Cotten only began playing and performing for others after Seeger's release of her music.

The Seeger family gave Cotten the nickname "Libba" - perhaps a loving nickname for a longtime nanny, in their eyes. But, music history scholars say she did notlikeit.

Despite this, multiple awards and honors have been given to her under the name "Libba." Carrboro's municipal government even remembers her with that name.

'They won't know what route I'm going'

Scott Nurkin, a local artist and UNC alumnus, installed the mural of Cotten in 2020which bears the name Elizabeth- but it isn't the first public art homage he has helped make to native North Carolinian musicians in their hometowns.

"She liked Elizabeth Cotten, so I've always been keen to mention that and that's why it's on anything that has to do with my mural," he said.

Nurkin created theNorth Carolina Musician Murals project, which displays musicians on murals in their hometowns across the state. From John Coltrane in Hamlet to Thelonious Monk in Rocky Mount and Betty Davis in Durham, Nurkin has created a trail of musical history in the state that transcends jazz, folk, rock and soul genres.

Cotten's late popularity was partially due to phenomenon in the '60s of white artists rediscovering already popular and successful Black artists, Nurkin said.

Many of the musicians that Nurkin has made murals of like Coltrane, Monk and Cotten gained ground once they left North Carolina and went north.

"They left here young, and much of what happened musically for them happened elsewhere, happened in the North," journalistKirk Rosssaid."So reflect on that and let's make sure that we have a community here where somebody doesn't feel like they needed to get out of here in order to to live a better life."

'Freight train, freight train, run so fast'

In a 1966 taped interview with Mike Seeger - who grew up in Cotten's care - Cotten recounts her life, music, her first guitar and banjo.Cotten bought that first guitar from a shop in Chapel Hill for $3.75. She named it Stella.

"And that guitar, the lost child at Lansburgh's store, is what made me what I am today - a 'Freight Train' picker," she said "That's the truth."


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

Photos courtesy of Makayla Key and North Carolina Collections.

<![CDATA[Letter: Op-ed uses decade-old progressive propaganda to accuse Roberts of partisanship in 2024]]> To the editor:

The Daily Tar Heel published a Feb. 20op-ed, "'Nonpartisan' Lee Roberts receives income from far-right megadonor's company," that ineloquently claimed it was "bullshit" that interim UNCChancellor Lee Roberts is nonpartisan in 2024 because he is now associated with my retail company, and way back in 2010, a decade before I ever knew Roberts, I was a Republican who gave to Republican candidates and my company gave to conservative organizations engaged in constitutionally protected free speech. The DTH published recycled leftwing propaganda, from more than a decade ago, about how horrible Republicans, conservatives and my company were in 2010, in order to claim that makes Roberts partisan in 2024.

In particular, the op-ed writers accused my company of "targeting its store locations in Black and low-income neighborhoods." I am proud to say that my company has stores which provide thousands of jobs and serve hundreds of low income and diverse communities, in competition with the big box multinational corporations. Would the progressive op-ed writers prefer that I engage in redlining and not provide jobs, goods and services in low income and minority neighborhoods?

I am fortunate to have had the benefit of the advice and experience of Roberts as a member of my company's board of directors since 2019, before either of us was members of the UNC Board of Governors. My company, that Roberts is associated with, generates millions of dollars a year in taxes to support state and local government, including public education.

The organizations I support do not "push agendas aiming to defund public higher education." I have supported reducing the cost of public higher education while maintaining its quality, in order to avoid tuition increases, lower student fees and reduce crushing student debt. That is part of our constitutional mandate to provide public higher education "as free as practicable."

Also contrary to the op-ed, I have been a leading opponent to legislative gerrymandering by either party and have for decades advocated and proposed amendments to the state constitution to provide for nonpartisan redistricting.

The writers' lazy use of the pejorative term "climate denialism" to describe opposing views on the multitude of climate related government policies, regulations, subsidies and incentives does not merit a response.

In regard to the op-ed's overall accusation of partisanship,the University of North Carolina has been served in the past by former Democratic Party candidates. Former UNCSystem President Erskine Bowles was twice the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and served in former President Bill Clinton's administration. Former UNC System president Thomas Ross ran as a Democrat to be elected as a state judge, and later served as executive director of the progressive Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. I respect both men, and I appreciate their public service.

While Roberts, who is an unaffiliated voter, does not have a partisan history like Bowles and Ross, I believe we should appreciate his willingness to leave his business and serve the public as our interim chancellor.

James Arthur "Art" Pope
UNC, Class of 1978



<![CDATA['A really cool experience': UNC a capella groups balance commitment and fun]]> UNC a cappella groups have performed in a variety of places - by the Old Well on the last day of classes, atSunset Serenade, in the Pit and even at the White House. Some groups also release their own music.

But how much work goes into these performances?

According to the president of the Clef Hangers, Imani Chabikuli, a cappella is a large time commitment.

"We rehearse two times a week, three hours each," he said. "Beyond that, we usually do a good amount of gigs throughout the week."

The Clef Hangers are an all-male a cappella group and the oldest on UNC's campus. They hold a traditional concert each semester and perform at many private gigs throughout the year. Chabikuli said the balance of the group and academics caught him off guard his first year.

"I was kind of expecting it to be just another regular club," he said.

Since time commitments vary by group, some groups take a more laid-back approach.

According to their website, theAchordants, another all-male a cappella group, believe in having fun making music and not taking themselves too seriously.

When looking for a group to join at UNC, Achordants Music Director Luke Farinelli said he knew he just wanted to have fun.

"I did the whole suit and tie thing in high school, and I was like, I want to wear a jersey with a dumb name on the back," Farinelli said.

The Achordants put on a concert every semester consisting of comedy skits and over a dozen songs. Farinelli said in the week leading up to each performance, the group will practice four or five hours a day for the entire week.

"It's a lot of work," Farinelli said. "But man, even those five-hour rehearsals, when we do have them, go by very fast."

The Achordants have a sister a cappella group, Cadence, which consists of all-female singers. Olivia Stokes, the design chair for Cadence, said she was very fortunate to have found community in such an amazing group.

Cadence, like the Achordants and Clefs, rehearses twice a week and performs at the end of every semester featuring about a dozen songs in their show.

Stokes said she used to think the goal of music was to make it as clean and perfect as possible; through Cadence, she has since shifted towards the idea that music should be fun.

In addition to the concerts and gigs, all three of these groups record their music and have released albums on streaming platforms.

"It's a really cool experience to be able to record, and then also to hear yourself on Apple Music," Chabikuli said.

Some groups on campus, like the Walk-Ons and Tarpeggios, choose to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Rehearsing for the ICCA is a big time commitment, Farinelli said, because groups who compete have to commit even more time to rehearsal.

Although the Clefs rehearse six hours a week, they choose not to compete in the ICCA.

Chabikuli said the group values their gigs a lot, and they aren't willing to trade off those performances in order to practice for competition.

"Competitions are a really big deal and a huge time commitment," Chabikuli said. "And I have the utmost respect for the groups who do [compete]."

Many UNC a cappella groups have had successful showings at ICCA, most recently in February when the Tarpeggios won the ICCA quarterfinals.

While time management can be difficult, both Farinelli and Stokes said they have a close relationship with their respective groups which makes the many hours they've put in even more enjoyable.

"Going to rehearsal doesn't feel like extra work for me," Stokes said. "It just feels like I'm going to hang out with my friends."


@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['We've got to get that addressed:' UNC baseball bullpen struggles in 2-1 series loss to ECU]]> When senior pitcher Jake Knapp, UNC's ace, went down with a season-ending injury to his throwing arm, pitching coach Bryant Gaines sat down with the bullpen and told them they would have to step up.

"Our starters aren't going to go out there and go seven scoreless every day," senior pitcher Connor Bovair said. "It's our job to keep us in the fight."

In No. 17 UNC baseball's series against No. 11 ECU, though, the bullpen was unable to do that. Behind three starts of fewer than five innings, UNC dropped two out of three games to drop its first series of the year. Head coach Scott Forbes had to use ten different arms out of the bullpen throughout the series with four different pitchers working multiple days. The Tar Heels have not had a starter go at least five innings in six consecutive outings.

While Forbes said it's still early in the year, he plans to tweak the starting rotation as the season progresses.

"Things are going to change, roles are going to change, and that's up for us as coaches to figure out," Forbes said.

The struggles from UNC's rotation have not only been a byproduct of Knapp's injury a few weeks before the season began, but also the result of its inexperience. All three starters in the series against ECU had never started a game for UNC before this season.

First-year pitcher Folger Boaz, who has been UNC's most consistent starter so far in the season, began the series with a solid outing on Friday, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing just one run. Behind that performance, the Tar Heels were able to ride their top bullpen pieces to a 2-1 victory.

Sophomore pitcher Matthew Matthijs, who pitched in relief on Friday and Sunday, had high praise for Boaz through his first two collegiate starts.

"He already is really good," Matthijs said, "so he's going to continue to get better."

On Saturday, senior pitcher Ben Peterson did not have similar success, and waspulled in the fourth inning after giving up two earned runs. UNC found itself down 7-0 in that game, and a late push that saw the tying-run come to the plate in the ninth fell short.

In the rubber match on Sunday, it all came crashing down. First-year Olin Johnson managed to pitch just one inning and UNC's bullpen allowed seven runs in a back-and-forth 10-9 loss.

Forbes said he noticed that redshirt sophomore pitcher Dalton Pence, who pitched in relief on Friday and Sunday, was burnt out. Pence ranks second on the team in innings pitched. On Sunday, he was forced into action in just the second inning to relieve Johnson.

"He looked great,"Forbes said, "But it's too early in the season to just crush a kid."

While Forbes said he doesn't believe that the bullpen's overuse caught up to the team on Sunday, he admitted it did force him to make decisions that he otherwise would not have made.

Forbes said,had Johnson gone deeper in the final game of the series, Pence, a lefty, could have pitched in the eighth inning rather than senior pitcher Matt Poston, a righty. In an inning in which ECU plated two, Pence would have been a better matchup against the ECU lefty hitters in that spot.

Consistent short starts have put the UNC bullpen behind. Bovair is correct that UNC cannot expect its starters to go seven scoreless every game, but unless the starting rotation begins to eat up more innings soon, the Tar Heel relievers will feel the effects.

"Our bullpen is deep enough where it won't tax it, but we've got to get that addressed," Forbes said. "And we will."



<![CDATA[UNC Police welcomes new therapy dog, asks for community input on name]]> To UNC Police Sgt. James David, coming home to his two dogs at the end of the day is an essential stress reliever.

"Why not bring that same feeling to our campus community, to our students?" he said.

UNC Police will welcome a new goldendoodleat the end of Februaryas a police therapy dog for students, staff and faculty.David saidwith its newest member, the department aims to support mental health across campus, following the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and two gun-related incidents that occurred on campus in the fall.

The dog has not been named yet. UNC community members can vote on its name on the UNC Police website until Feb. 28.The final name choice will be announced on March 1.The new puppy, born on Jan. 4, is a "Standard F1B Imperial Red and Caramel Cream" goldendoodle, according to the breeder's website.

Voters can choose from fourname options, all significant women in UNC's history: Brooke, after Brooke Baldwin, journalist and television news correspondent; Gwen, after Gwendolyn Harrison, the first African American woman to enroll at UNC; Mia, after Mia Hamm, professional soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist; and Sallie, after Sallie Walker Stockard, the first woman to receive a degree from UNC.

"We really want to just highlight the impact that so many of our female trailblazers have had within the UNC community," David said.

UNC Police previously had a therapy dog for about two years, from 2018 to 2020, according to a statement from UNC Media Relations. The program ended when the dog's handler and the animal left the department.

Destiny Wylie, a UNC Police officer, who works in the community services division of the department will take care of the new addition and willbring the dog on campus to attend events and interact with students. Wylie said the new pet therapy program intends to provide a connection between the police and other members of the UNC community.

"We did this to build our partnerships and communications with students, faculty and staff," Wylie said. "This is for everybody."

David said he hopes that this program will promote conversation around mental health and alleviate some of the stress of being a UNC student.

Current on-campus pet program Hugs And Pups Posse - Encouraging and Empoweringworks to improve college students' mental health by bringing dogs onto campus four times a week.

"It really is a home away from home and we've tried to make it a softer, safer place for students to be as well," the program's co-founder Cathy Emrick said. "I'm glad that the police are trying to move in that direction too."

Emrick said that interacting with police officers can be stressful, and she is glad there will be a dog accessible to students in those situations.

"It feels gratifying and validating to watch some of the new mental health efforts that have been growing around campus," Emrick said.

UNC Police is happy to bring back the program and hopes to continue its growth if well received by the community, David said. Plans for additional therapy animals have yet to be made.



<![CDATA['Relentless on the glass': Ingram and Bacot combine for 22 rebounds against Miami]]> RJ Davis rarely misses free throws. Any misfire comes as a "surprise" to teammate Harrison Ingram.

And on Monday night, Davis was on fire. After dropping a career-high 42 points, the all-time UNC leader in career free throw percentage stepped up to the line with 24 seconds on the clock and a 2-point lead over Miami.

"When he shoots the ball, I feel like everybody assumes it's going in,"Ingram said, "but we're taught to crash and so I crashed the boards."

Davis sank the first shot. No surprise. And then on the second -clang.

Luckily for the Tar Heels,the ACC's top rebounder in conference play was there. Jumping over not one, not two, but three (yes, three) Hurricanes, Ingram extended his right arm and tipped the ball out. He pumped his fist in celebration. Soon, Davis reclaimed the ball to kickstart UNC's offense again and North Carolina held on to claim a 75-71 win over Miami.

While Davis certainly carried the weight of the Tar Heels' scoring - 56 percent of its offense, to be exact -Ingram and graduate forward Armando Bacot combined for 22 rebounds.

"They've just been relentless on the glass," graduate forward Jae'Lyn Withers said. "There's a couple instances where they're fighting for the rebound and they both have their hands on it and one of them is like 'I don't want to let go,' and the other is doing the same thing. It's pretty tough keeping both of them off the glass for other teams."

North Carolina, currently sitting alone atop the ACC, leads the conference in rebounding thanks to Ingram and Bacot.

The power duo rank top-two in league action, with Bacot -UNC's all-time leading rebounder -taking the passenger's seat. They are the first pair of Tar Heels to average nine or more rebounds since John Henson and Tyler Zeller in the 2011-12 season.

It wasn't always that way. Or rather, Ingram wasn't always that dominant on the boards.

Rewind to December, when UNC was held to 33 rebounds -a season-low at the time -by UConn.

At halftime, Hubert Davis implored all his players not named Armando Bacot to crash the boards.

"He was saying Armando was the only one that had a couple of offensive rebounds," RJ Davis said on Dec. 5. "So that was a key emphasis of three, four and five getting to the glass, and doing that consecutively and consistently."

Now, Ingram sees that game as a turning point. Opponents were crashing the paint with full-force against a UNC team with two 6-foot guards in its starting lineup, making it harder to box out.

Ingram knew he had to start rebounding.

"We were losing games because of our size and [because] we weren't able to rebound," Ingram said, later adding, "I just got to the point where I was like, 'Screw all that.' Every rebound, I'm just going to go grab it."

Before UConn, Ingram averagedseven rebounds per game. And in the games since? Nearly 10.5.

That's not to say that Ingram hasn't had his challenges, though. On the road against Clemson in January, the junior wing struggled against Tiger forward Ian Schieffelin, only pulling down five boards.

At one point, Schieffelin kept four consecutive Clemson misses alive, which Ingram took full responsibility for.

"It was on me," Ingram said, adding with a laugh, "and I got subbed out for it."

Still, despite the lows, Ingram's shown a consistent want-to on the glass -displaying the energy, effort and toughnesshead coach Hubert Davis preaches.

Ingram's mother, Vera, said rebounding hasn't always been a strength of her son's. He's had to work on it. But through improved concentration, and thanks to intense summer conditioning (Ingram said he lost about 20 pounds), his impact on the glass is at an all-time high.

"He's definitely been more aggressive about it here at UNC for sure," Vera said.

And on Monday, in a messy game that saw the Hurricanes make an 11-0 run toward the end of regulation, the Tar Heels needed that extra aggression.

"It's tough, usually those games, when a team goes on a run like that, often they come back and they win," Ingram said. "I think it just shows us that we're tough. We had two guys miss back-to-back free throws and we get two offensive rebounds. For us, it's just kind of what coach always says, 'It's whatever it takes.' We figured out how a way get the win even though it was an ugly win."



<![CDATA['The best scorer in the nation': RJ Davis breaks Smith Center scoring record in win over Miami]]> RJ Davis couldn't wait to call his parents.

The time difference might be a challenge when reachinghis dad, however, as heis in Spain for work.The senior said he could not wait to tell them about breaking the scoring record at the Dean E. Smith Center - arecord held previously by all-time Tar Heel leading scorer Tyler Hansbrough -T-Hans as Davis calls him.

How did RJ feel when he learned he broke it?


Davis had a career night in the Smith Center in UNC's down to the wire 75-71 victory over the Miami Hurricanes. He finished Monday night with 42 points, shooting 63 percent from the field with seven threes.

His teammates were ecstatic, not just about the Hansbrough record -they would not learn about that till overhearing Marcus Paige discuss it on the bench- but for Davis breaking his career scoring record.

First year Elliot Cadeau, who was waiting to check in the moment Davis hit the career record-breaking three, stood up, put his hands on head and smiled in disbelief at what his teammate had just accomplished.

"Unbelievable," graduate forward Jae'Lyn Withers said. "I heard Marcus talking to one of the managers behind the bench they were saying that the record was 41. I believe he [RJ] had 38 at the time, and I was like 'Yeah he's for sure getting to 41'."

Davis did get to 41. He logged 42 points and made four threes in a row in a 3-minute crucial do-or-die period for the Tar Heels.

While the four-point win over Miami was not the hungriest game the Tar Heels have playedaccording to sophomore guard Seth Trimble, Davis shone as the only UNC player in double digits.

After not scoring in the first half and going 1-14 from the field last weekend in Charlottesville against UVA, Davis knew he was on from his first made shot.

"I think I hit my first three shots, I just felt in rhythm," Davis said. "Everything felt like it was going to go in and I was confident enough to stay there."

His top of the key three is something Davis tinkers with constantly. In practice he envisions the clock winding down and just takes reps shooting from deep. The 3-point range in particular has been a facet of his game that Davis spent the offseason and summer working on.

He'll toil on his three after his daily morning time in the gym with Trimble.

They'll put on some '90s R&B- no rap allowed before noon - some Usher, Ne-Yo, Drake here and there, and sweat it out.

And the work is paying off. Davis is a clear front-runner for ACC Player of the Year and is in the record big leagues - the Michael Jordan record leagues.

Davis outscored the rest of the team, a first for a Tar Heel since January 29, 1983, when Michael Jordan scored a career-high 39 of UNC's 72 points over Georgia Tech in Greensboro.

"RJ can lead an offense, I mean, he's a special scorer," Trimble said. "I think he's the best scorer in the nation. I mean, [tonight] just shows his impact."

Davis leads the ACC in scoring this season - by a margin of almost 100- and is the first Tar Heel with at least 1,900 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 3-pointers.

But as soon as he enters the locker room and the noise dies down and he's been rinsed in celebration by his teammates, Davis will turn his phone on, get notifications pings, maybe film some content for his next vlogand call his parents.

"Both of [my parents] really, they know I'm capable of doing this because they believe in me more than I believe in myself," Davis said. "So they're definitely going to be geeked and happy for me."

Davis is now in the UNC 40-point club with the likes of Bobby Lewis, Billy Cunningham, George Glamack, Harrison Barnes and Hansbrough.

But even the Smith Center scoring record is not the end-all-be-all for Davis. Once he starts draining buckets he doesn't want to stop.

"Once I got 41, I wanted 50," Davis said.

And does Davis have a 50-point game left in him?

"Tonight, I smoked like two free throws and a couple of threes," Davis said with a laugh. "But I think I do have a fifty game in me."



<![CDATA[Vinyl, CD listeners feel connected through physical media]]> For WXYC graduate student DJLuke Cimarusti,vinyl has a story to tell. When they buy a vintage record, they don't know how many people have owned it or how many stores it has been in.

"As I'm listening to it and Ihear the crackles and the scratches, there's a sense of 'I'm not the first person to connect with this music,'" they said.

Today, listening to music is as easy as clicking a few buttons on a phone screen, but some listeners prefer the physical copies for a sense of nostalgia and intention -2022 marked the 17th consecutive year of increased vinyl sales in the U.S., according to Luminate's U.S. Year-End Music Report.

The co-owner of All Day Records, Ethan Clauset, said the public's fascination with these forms of music has always been present.

All Day Records is located in Carrboro and opened a storefront in 2010. They primarily sell vinyl, along with CDs, tapes, stereo gear, books, magazines and occasionally some musical instruments.

Clauset said that a tangible copy of music carries more weight in a person's life than digital music, both physically and conceptually.

Vinyl holds memories, Clauset said. When someone listens to vinyl, theycreate associations with the physical cover art, the feel of the paper sleeves or the weight of the vinyl, he said.

President of UNC's Albums and Record Society, Nerrissa Crawford,said that listening to a physical copy of music can evoke a different feeling than merely listening to music on a phone.

"I think there's something really special about having a physical copy because it represents to me where music really originated and how it was formed and articulated,"Crawford said.

The Albums and Record Society is a student-run organizationthat discusses their thoughts on a chosen album and makes observations about the artist's perspective and process. In addition to weekly meetings, they host special events periodically.

"We did have a vinyl show-and-tell a couple of weeks ago," Crawford said. "So everyone bought a physical copy of their favorite vinyl and we just sat around talking about why it was our favorite vinyl."

Another WXYC studentDJ,Asiah Graham,has a record and CD collection of her own.

"I feel like with physical media, for me, it's a bit nostalgic because growing up when I was a kid, I had CDs and things like that,"Graham said."Obviously it became less common, but I feel that there's a special kind of connection to the music when you're holding it physically as you can see the cover art and different artistic choices with the music."

Cimarusti has noticed arise in record collecting amongst younger generations. They worked at a record store for two years and within that time, they said they saw multiple sale spikes, price raises and heavy foot traffic through the store, all so that a customer could get their hands on a physical copy of music.

They saidthe inconvenience and intentionality of choosing an album to put on a record player is part of what makes listening so enjoyable. Choosing to go out of the way to buy an album, they said, provides support for artists and displays personal expression.

"You don't really have any control over what music you are given or algorithmically told to listen to, so I think there's also taking control back into your music library and that's something that you build, something that you develop," Cimarusti said.

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[UNC and State Department program connect global communities through hip-hop]]> In 2011, then UNC student and current hip-hop artist Joshua "Rowdy" Rowsey cooked up something fresh in the dining hall.

Around the table, the hip-hop groupNo9to5 Musicwas founded. The group included Rowsey and fellow artists, who recorded projectsin the studio of theUndergraduate Library's Media and Design Center during their time at the University.

After growing his career between New York and North Carolina, Rowsey becameinterested in the global scale of hip-hop. In 2019 he was on the way to Mexico to teach students the genrethrough the organization Next Level.

Next Level, an initiative bythe U.S. State Department, wascreated at UNCby music professor and former chair of the music department Mark Katz. Katz is the founding director of Next Level, but its current director is Junious Brickhouse.

"The broadest goal is not actually just to help people become better rappers, but to use hip-hop as a platform where people from different countries, different identities, languages, any number of differences, can come together and connect over a shared bond, a shared love for hip-hop," Katz said.

Next Level was launched in 2013 after receiving a federal grant and collaborating with a number of hip-hop artists.A year later, the first team of U.S. hip-hop artists went on a two-week residency to India.

Since then,Next Level has visited and taught inunderserved communities in more than50 different countries.

These residences consist of a multi-day "Next Level Academy," where the team's artists - which includes rappers, dancers, graffiti artists and more -instruct classes on their art form. The artist educators also collaborate for classes on entrepreneurship and conflict transformation.

"It creates a kind of family feeling," Katz said. "People talk about the Next Level family which encompasses all these countries, and I do feel like I could now travel to any of these countries and be welcomed very warmly."

Rapper JSWISSsaid he will always feel like a part of thefamily.

JSWISS, whose real name is Julian Caldwell, also started his hip-hop career as a student at UNC - he was a part of No9to5 Musicwith Rowsey.

After getting to know Katz and other artists through his musical involvement at UNC, Caldwell was prodded to apply for Next Level. He was a part of the 2023team in Lagos, Nigeria.

"I expected to definitely learn something myself, because I'm coming into a community that I don't know anything about," Caldwell said. "And it's got its own history in music and hip-hop, separate from what I know. I did expect the students to be enthusiastic. What I didn't see was just how collaborative all of our classes would be, and it was a really beautiful thing."

This chemistry between the classes, Caldwell said, helped the final performance at the end of the trip. On the stage under the lights, students rapped over beats made by classmates, while others danced along. Caldwell, fitted in a gifted custom-made Nigerian suit,freestyled while being lifted up into the air by his students.

Caldwell said it was a blessing to help educate a new generation of artists and be a part of building the legacy of hip-hop.

"So I really left like 'Wow, I have this group of people from a part of the world thousands of miles away who are gonna be able to say that they were impacted by me,'"Caldwell said.

That impact, according to Katz,is still felt in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from a residency almost 10 years ago. People from the city - some of whom Katz is still in contact with - continue to reminisce on the Next Level visit from a decade ago, and say that it catalyzed a movement.

This is all that Next Level is about, Katz said- building a global community through hip-hop.

"For those of us who work specifically in Next Level, from the hip-hop side, it just makes the world feel like a smaller place," Katz said. "And that's a beautiful thing."


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[First-years power UNC softball to strong showing in Carolina Classic]]> One word to describe the UNCsoftball team this season is "new."

With a new coaching staff, five transfers and eight first-years, there is a lot of "new" on the field this year.

The first-years made their presence known this weekend in the Carolina Classic at Anderson Softball Stadium, helping UNC drop only one game in the six contests. Left fielder Sanaa Thompson and infielder Kate Bubela both hit their first collegiate home runs this weekend, and pitcher Nikki Harris ended the weekend with 18 strikeouts across two games.

UNChead coach Megan Smith Lyon said one of Thompson's most defining characteristics is her selflessness. Thompson - who hit two home runs this weekend and produced the run to lead to Sunday night's 8-0 win over Mount St. Mary's - is hitting 0.576 on the season.

"I feel like we're seeing the ball lately, and I just hope that trend continues as we go into ACC play and see really good pitchers,"Thompson said. "And that just makes you feel good."

After her moonshot homer against Lipscomb, Thompson experienced the team's home run celebration for the first time. The whole team huddled up and launched the batter into the air after Thompson hit home plate.

"You just kind of have to launch and trust your teammates and hope that they catch you," Thompson said with a smile. "And usually they do."

Thompson hit another home run the next day to cement Saturday's 7-1 victory over Mount St. Mary's.

The left fieldercredits some of her success at the plate to the support of her teammates in the dugout. Whenever she's at the plate, the team erupts into a rendition of the popular sports tune "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" and replaces the original lyrics with her first name.

"Every time I hear it just makes me feel like I'm gonna get a hit," Thompson said.

Like Thompson, Bubela said she's been working this season to produce "QABs" - an affectionate term used among the team meaning quality at-bats. Bubela took this to heart, as she plated the final hit in Saturday's win against George Washington.

Smith Lyon describes Bubela as a sponge. When she makes mistakes, she wants to know what she can do better. She wants to make those adjustments.

"You see her really progressing," Smith Lyon said.

On the defensive side of the ball, Harris thrived through the weekend onthe pitcher's mound. In her second start of the season Saturday, Harris served Mount St. Mary's 13 strikeouts - the most for a UNC pitcher since 2019.

In Smith Lyon's words, Harris is a confident pitcher. She attacks her batters. She lets things roll off her back and keeps up a good demeanor.

"[If] something doesn't go her way, she just goes right back at it and refocuses," Smith Lyon said. "It's good to see a freshman be able to do that."

While Harris dished out strikes this weekend, it wasn't enough to push UNC forward in Sunday afternoon's game against Lipscomb. North Carolina ended up losing 1-0 thanks to its sour hitting and quiet offense. Putting this challenge aside, North Carolina capped the weekend off with an 8-0 win against MountSt. Mary's.

Looking to see the blemish as an opportunity for growth, the Tar Heels will use what they learned this weekend to propel them into the rest of the season. With young and powerful hitters such as Thompson and Bubela coupled with the strong arm of Harris, Smith Lyon is looking forward to the rest of the season.

"The future's so bright," Smith Lyon said.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['Listening to the world': UNC Beat Lab allows students to explore beatmaking]]> Located in Hill Hall Room 109, UNC's Beat Lab is home to a variety of electronic musical equipment available forall students to use, from modern mixing boards and DJ stations to old-school analog-style machines.

The Beat Lab serves as a creative space for UNC students to explore beatmaking in a relaxed environment. The space was founded in 2013 by Mark Katz, UNC John P. Barker distinguished professor of music,who transformeda tuba storage space into a place for musical discovery and collaboration.

Before he made the space, Katz saidhe often heard inquiries from students who wanted to learn more about DJing and rap. He said, he responded to the demand by using the turntables previously held in his office to start creating what he called a lab.

"People who I've seen come through have found their place and found their people at the Beat Lab," he said.

The space is run by theUNC Departmentof Musicand is funded by a combination of federal grant money, fundraising, gifts from private donors and even a Red Bull corporate sponsorship, Katz said. He also said the Beat Lab hosts events and workshops where students can learn from experienced artists. The most recent workshop hosted JOENICEDJ, a renowned artist with expertise in dubstep and bass music.

In the lab, students can also layer their voices or the sounds of other instruments to create beats. The spaceoffers computers for students who might not have music software on their own devices.

Students flock to the Beat Lab for both educational and extracurricular reasons. For some students, the Beat Lab is a chance to escape a rigorous course load and create something meaningful.Katzsaid that he's heard students say that having the space to create music freely saved them.

"I think being a beatmaker is listening to the world and being able to redirect the story," UNCsophomore Ellie Sellers said.

Thoughshe is an English and comparative literature major, Sellerssaid she started using the space to supplement what she was learning in her beatmaking class. Shesaidshe quickly came to enjoy spending time in the Beat Lab environment and it has been a cornerstone of her experience with the UNC Department of Music.

Junior computer science major Keon Marcus said working in the Beat Lab is like watching magic. Marcus uses the space to make his own music and collaborate with others.

"We're learning from each other, bouncing ideas, making things that we didn't even consider before going into the Beat Lab," he said.

The space also supports student organizations like theUNC Hip Hop Ensemble, led by professor Suzi Analogue, who oversees Beat Lab operations. UNC juniors K'mani Leonerio and Quincy Griffin use the space as a part of the group of producers and musicians. The ensemble used the Beat Lab to work on three or four different songs together last semester, Leonerio said.

Despite being a newcomer, Leonerio said he was quickly comfortable in the warmspace. The walls of the lab featureart and signatures, including one from founding member of A Tribe Called Quest,Phife Dawg, which Leonerio saidwas interesting to him because he grew up listening to the group.

The space has open lab hoursfor anyone from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with some limitations due to staffing. The lab team hopes to continue expanding the program in the future, Katz said.

"I would definitely recommend [the Beat Lab] because I think the best way to get into music is to just try it out," Griffin said.

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

Torin Simpson mashing songs for his set on a Pioneer DJ at the Beat Lab inside Hill Hall, UNC Chapel Hill, on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

<![CDATA['Extremely bad': UNC Board of Elections working to address low voter turnout]]> In last year's student body elections,14.43 percent of students cast a vote. This spring, that number was nearly halved.

Out of the 31,778 eligible voters in this spring's UNC student body general elections, 2,293 students voted, for an overall turnout of 7.22 percent. The number of individuals who voted in the race for student body president was slightly lower, with 2,224 votes cast.

The election for Graduate and Professional Student Government president had a turnout of 3.64 percent - Katie Heath won with 240 votes out of 11,277 eligible voters.

"Turnout was extremely bad," Sophie van Duin, acting chair of the UNC Board of Elections, said. "It was pretty disheartening to see it dropped by such a significant margin. We've been trying to figure out what might have caused this, because on the publicity side we really put in more work than ever."

Van Duin said the UNC BOE hung flyers, stationed members at tables in the Pit for early voting, and posted on their social media page frequently in order to advertise the Feb. 14 election.

Undergraduate SenatorSamuel Hendrix said the UNC BOE Instagram account, which has 75followers as of Feb. 22, produces videos and infographics about student elections that he wishes more people could have seen.

Part of the reason voter turnout was significantly lower, van Duin said, might have been because the election fell on Valentine's Day.

"One of my friends suggested that it was possible that everyone's feeds were so drowned out with couples, and the election stuff kind of got lost in the mix," van Duin said.

Hendrix said he thinks a lack of awareness from students might be to blame for the low voter turnout.If no one is informing students about elections, it is unlikely they will seek it out for themselves, he said.

"I think most people don't care, and I think the ones that do care don't know about it," Hendrix said.

Van Duin said nothaving a full team on the UNC BOE and having a member join mid-election season may have limited their ability to focus on social mediaand that in the future she would like to have one person on the board tasked with managing social media accounts.

To increase voter turnout in the future, the UNC BOE is working on creating a comprehensive document that will help "preserve institutional knowledge" and better inform new members of their team. Van Duin said they are also asking the graduate and undergraduate senates and the Joint Governance Council to ensure all of the BOE seats are filled.

"We are a six-person team, which is already pretty small, but most of the time those seats aren't even filled," she said. "So we're asking them to be more proactive about that."

Darcy Tyndall, a UNC sophomore who did not vote in the election, said it was because she was unaware of the election that she did not vote. Shesaidif professors mention upcoming student body elections in class,it could increase turnout.

"Had I known, I would have definitely done it and found a way to do it, but I didn't even know that it was going on," she said.

Hendrix saidone thing he thinks student government can do to increase turnout is for students to understand the importance of voting. He said currently students may not realize the extent of what the student government does. Beyond campus engagement and policies, elected officials can go on to serve on committees that help to choose appointed officials.

He pointed to current SBP Christopher Everett who is a member of the UNCBoard of Trustees and the Chancellor Search Committee - whichwill have a say in who the next chancellor will be.

"What is so important about people knowing who they're electing, is understanding that those people have a direct impact on our student body and on our faculty," Hendrix said.


<![CDATA[UNC students participate in national day of action against Starbucks]]> On Thursday afternoon, UNC students participated in astudent-organized national day of action against theStarbucks Corporation, during which demonstrators gave the company a failing grade on their "report card" for workers' rights.

Students from UNC Young Democratic Socialists of America, a group thatshared details about the events on social media, gathered on the steps of South Building and chanted, "When worker rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!"

According to an Instagram post by Starbucks Workers United, the worker-led Starbucks union, students at 24 other college campuses participated in the campaign, demanding that their universities end contracts with Starbucks.

UNC student Toby Posel, an organizer with Students Against Starbucks, saidthe action taken across the country was in response to Starbucks' union-busting tactics. Posel said inconsistencies in pay raises are a "horrific example" of Starbucks' retaliation against unionized workers.

Starbucks increased pay and benefits for most of its hourly workers in 2023, but unionized workers weren't eligible for some of those perks, according to The Associated Press.

Sheena Meng, a UNC student involved in the organization of the day of action, said she hopes the event will help the university recognize that students want to replace Starbucks locations, such as at the Stone & Leaf Cafe on campus, with unionized businesses that allow worker negotiation.

Samuel Scarborough, a student organizer who attended the event, said implementing this change at UNC would allow the University to focus on the surrounding community.

"This is a way for us to move away from larger multinational corporations and really think about local business growth," Scarborough said.

The event brought speakers from two unionized Starbucks locations in Wilmington and Durham and a representative from the Union of Southern Service Workers.

Russell Calzaretta, an employee at a newly-unionized Durham Starbucks, said during his speech that employees at his store have dealt with unsafe working conditions and years of inhumane treatment, leading them to call for a vote to unionize by a vote of 16-2.

Calzaretta also said he felt there were significant inequities in pay raises for employees compared to Starbucks' profits.

Haya Odeh, a UNC student and former Starbucks workersaidshe believes she is blacklisted from transferring her employment to a non-unionized Starbucks location after participating in unionizing efforts at her former location in Wilmington.

"When I submitted my transfer request almost four to six months before transferring from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Chapel Hill to continue my bachelor's degree, I was told, 'Yeah, we can find you a store,'" Odeh said during her speech. "When I moved here, they didn't. They said no one was hiring, though they actively were."

Dalton Parrish, a representative from the USSW, said at the event that the union was present to support Students Against Starbucks and provide a better future for the next generation.

"Y'all, we have this next generation coming up after us, we have to make sure they're taken care of," Parrish said during his speech. "If you have children, guess what - you have to feed them, right?"

To end the event, student organizers displayed a poster, designed as a report card for Starbucks assigning an "F-" grade for the company workers' rights, at the doors of South Building.

"We're on college campuses, we're in the middle of midterm season right now, people are getting grades back. We wanted to give Starbucks a grade," Posel said. "They [have] consistently failed their workers time and time again, and so we're failing Starbucks."



<![CDATA[No. 9 UNC men's basketball beats Miami behind career-high 42-point performance from RJ Davis ]]> Behind a career-high 42-point game from senior guard RJ Davis, the No. 9 North Carolina basketball team (22-7, 15-3 ACC) beat the Miami Hurricanes (15-15, 6-13 ACC), 75-71, Monday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Davis led the Tar Heels offensively,going 7-11 from beyond the arc and becoming the first Tar Heel in UNC history to compile 1,800 points, 200 three-pointers, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. With his performance, RJ Davis surpassed Tyler Hansbrough's record of 40 for most points scored in a game at the Smith Center.

"We needed every bit of his 42 tonight," UNC head coach Hubert Davis said. "He was fantastic. I told him after the game that I've seen a number of performances here at Carolina and also in the NBA. Very few have I seen the type of performance that he had tonight. I was really proud of him."

The Hurricanes took to shooting from the perimeter, going almost 50 percent from three, but struggled in the post, scoring just 18 points in the paint. UNC played a slightly more complimentary game with 26 points off layups and 44.3 percent shooting from the field.

Both the Hurricanes and the Tar Heels had the green light from beyond the arc, with the first 15 points of the contest coming from back-and-forth threes between the two teams. However, the Tar Heels struggled early in the post, not scoring their first layup until seconds before the first media timeout and only grabbing their first lead seven minutes into the game.

Before long, due to two threes from Hurricane Kyshawn George, Miami equalized.

UNC took the lead back on a hot-potato possession -three turnovers in 30 seconds -culminating with RJ Davis taking the ball to the hole on the fast break.

The Hurricanes were able to make a splash in the first half,going 8-13 beyond the arc, which kept the two teams close.

Crucial turnovers in the post for UNC and accurate3-point shooting from Miami led to the Tar Heels entering the locker room at half with a five point lead. RJ Davis ended the half on a high note for UNC with a contested three off the assist from first-year guard Elliot Cadeau.

Throughout the side-by-side nature of the contest, the Tar Heels kept trying to pull away late in the second half with both junior wing Harrison Ingram and sophomore guard Seth Trimble creating three point plays by drawing the and-1.

RJ Davis reached the 30-point mark, a drastic difference from his 12 in the game prior, with a deep three to extend the Tar Heels' lead with seven minutes left in the game. The New York native splashed another three 39 seconds later, this time off the pick-and-roll. Davis continued his 3-point bombardment with two more from behind the arc,effectively tying and surpassing his career high.

Even with the outstanding performance from RJ Davis, the Hurricanes went on an 11-0 run in just over two minutes as UNC let itslead drop from 13 to two with thirty seconds remaining in the contest.But even though the Tar Heels were unable to make five of their last seven free throws, they hung on to win the contest, 75-71.

"We had a 10-point lead and then we kind of let them back into the game," RJ Davis said. "Stuff like that, especially in March, we might lose that game. We gotta go back to the drawing board. Like yes, I had a great game. I had 42. But at the same time, we had a lot of points that we just gave up."

The Tar Heels continue their homestandagainst N.C. State on Saturday at 4 p.m.

"We're hungry for it. We haven't won it [the ACC regular season title] since 2019," sophomore guard Seth Trimble said. "We want to hang a regular season and we know what it takes. Maybe we didn't show that today, but we still have that hunger."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Preview: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater comes to Chapel Hill, celebrates 65 years]]> On Tuesday and Wednesday, Carolina Performing Arts will host the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Memorial Hall. These performances are partof the dance company's milestone anniversary season celebrating 65 years of bringing African American heritage and culture to stages across the world, from Chapel Hill to Paris.

Today, the dance company carries out the legacy and vision of its late founder, American dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, through their performances that capture the richness of African-American experiences,according to the company's website.

"Alvin Ailey was an American dancer - one of the best known Black American dancers of all time - and he had a style that has been codified and called kind of like the 'Ailey' style," Associate Director of Engagement at CPA Amanda Graham said. "So it's a particular kind of modern dance that lives in the United States and was born in the United States."

Christopher Wilson, a dancer in the company, saidwatching an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance as a child was the first time he felt represented by the stories, music and dancers on the stage.

Graham saidthe performances in Chapel Hill will showcase what the dance company has done historically and what they are doing now. Tuesday night's performance will feature new works from contemporary choreographers, while Wednesday night will be an evening of Ailey classics.

"I think audiences will be able to see how versatile a choreographer Mr. Ailey was and just, you know, these two works can look so different, but they came from the same man,"Wilson said.

Wilson described working with the company as a dream come true.

Seeing Ailey's work on stage is both a representation of Black history, the Black contemporary movement and Black futures,Graham said.

Jacquelin Harris, a dancer with the theater, saidstepping into the incredible legacy enabled her to become a cultural ambassador for sharing stories deeply rooted in African American culture and heritage.

One such work is "Revelations," a dance that delves into a diverse range of emotions, from grief to joy to hope, through African American spirituals, song sermons, gospel songs and blues.

Harris, who will be performing in "Revelations" along with Wilson, said that the dance allows audience members to not only see Ailey's African American spiritual roots but also to open their hearts.

"I hope when they watch 'Revelations,' they see the triumph," Harris said. "At the end, they see the joy, they see the journey and they see me, hopefully."

Harris, a Charlottenative, saidshe is excited to be back in North Carolina and see her family witness what she does for a living.

"I felt like that when I was there - I didn't really have people who looked like me who were doing what I'm doing, especially at this scale," shesaid.

As a Black dancer, Harris said that she wishes to encourage young artists in their work and show them the possibilities of what art can do.

After attending the performance, Harris said that she hopes people leave feeling more empowered and empathetic. She said that through these works, audience members will feel the power of unity and humanity to understand and recognize what makes people similar.

In her personal experience, Graham said she enjoys the incredible energy an Ailey performance brings to the room - with audience members engaging with the power on stage.

"We're all working together to create a better world for ourselves and for the people around us," Harris said.

Students and community members interested in attending the performance can purchase tickets on CPA's website. Student discounts are also available with a valid UNC One Card.

Beyond the show, intermediate dancers are invited to learn from current Ailey dancers in a Master Class hosted on Tuesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration and tickets are available for purchase on CPA's website.

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Column: You can appreciate art without supporting the artist]]> It seems like every day another artist faces a lawsuit or posts some thought that should have stayed in their drafts. There is no shortage of scandal among celebrities, from R. Kelly's 20-year prison sentence to Kanye West's antisemitic comments.

But when a fallen celebrity makes art - music, books and movies - should we abandon both the artist and their art? I say no. In fact, it is harmful to do so. To reduce a piece of art to its maker and their mistakes is detrimental to the idea of art itself.Nowhere is this phenomenon more noticeable than in the music world.

It is inevitable for a song to be thought of without also thinking of the creator, essentially, the artist will always be connected to the art they make.

But, when a song enters the public arena, it becomes as much the listener's art as it is the artist's art.

There are few things a creator can do to change how their music will be interpreted and enjoyed. It happens with any piece of art, music or not; the artist loses control of their creation. It may inspire some and anger others, but copyright laws cannot contain the natural course of art.

Well-known artists are often caught up in problematic, inappropriate or even criminal behavior - for example,Lizzo's recent sexual harassment allegations filed against her last year. But these allegations do not eliminate the impact her music in specific has had and continues to have on pop culture.

Lizzo experienced a fall from grace last August. "About Damn Time," a feel-good song released in 2022, hit number one on the Billboard Top 100 chart and won Record of The Year at the Grammy Awards in 2023. Regardless of the allegations posed against Lizzo, "About Damn Time" has an enjoyable life of its own.

But, there is still merit in the art created, despite mistakes the artist may have made. When we reduce music to the creator who composed it, we lose sight of what makes art so meaningful: how it impacts the listener.

The art versus the artist debate is most contentious when it comes to money. The majority of music enjoyers listen to music onlinethrough streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

Because of the state of the music industry, it is impossible to avoid financially supporting a problematic artist while still listening to their music. However, streaming platforms are rarely a musician's primary income, andmost of their revenue comes from touring and selling merchandise.

For the average listener who relies on streaming services rather than physical media like CDs and records, separating the art from the artist means not attending concerts or purchasing the artist's products.

Though this may be difficult for people who consider themselves super fans, if you want to separate the art from the artist, it is important to not support them monetarily by buying into their brand.

As with many things, it is important to be informed, but that should not taint your enjoyment of the music you listen to. So, be aware of your favorite artist's views and actions, the singers whose faces appear on your sweatshirt or whose concerts you attend. But do not feel bad listening to that new album; we can still enjoy the songs while acknowledging the wrongdoings of the creator who made it.

Music is an art that anyone can appreciate and can mean an endless number of things beyond the context of the problematic artist who wrote it.


<![CDATA[CHCCS faces decline in student enrollment, experts point to housing and private education]]> Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schoolsexperienced a7.43 percent decline of the average number of students enrolled in its schoolsfrom the beginning of the 2019-20 school year to the end of 2022-23- a decrease likely driven by demographic changes in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities and growing involvement in private schools.

CHCCShas maintained its position as the 30th-largest school district out of the state's 115 districts for the past several years, but had over 900 fewer students at the end of last school year than it did in 2019.

While Orange County's population grew by nearly 17,000 from 2010 to 2022, much of the growth occurred in those aged 65 and older. The share of Orange County's population older than 65 increased from just under 10 percent in 2011 to more than 14 percent in 2021.

Chapel's Hill demographic change is a phenomenon counties all across North Carolina are seeing - the state population of people over 65 increased by 44 percent, while the under-18 population grew by less than 1 percent.

Theodore Nollert, aChapel Hill Town Council member, saidthe decline could be related to the cost of housing and availability of jobs in the area.

"People who are coming tend to be older and to not have school-aged kids," Nollert said.

Nollert saidthese older populations tend to be wealthier than the average young family, and that the lack of affordable housing can cause displacement among young families. Both the displacement and the decline in student enrollment is subsequently seen mostly among marginalized communities, he said.

Barbara Fedders, a member of the CHCCS Board of Education, saidthe populations of these marginalized communities have been declining over the past several years, which impacts student enrollment.

"In general, over the years, the Black population in Chapel Hill and Carrboro has gotten proportionally smaller because of gentrification,"Fedders said.

Emma Marshall, a research analyst at Carolina Demography, saidthe average number of students enrolledat public schools are decreasing, while average enrollment at private and charter schools are increasing.

In January, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners also decided to puta $300 million bond on the November ballot, pending approval from the state, to support the county's two public school systems. But, in 2023, the N.C. General Assembly expanded the Opportunity Scholarship Program,removing the income cap and increasing amounts of scholarships. Opportunity scholarships now range from about$3,000 to $7,000.

"Our budget for state funding depends on how many students we have," Fedders said. "I thinkall of those [private] school vouchers, even if they're not directly affecting us right now, their existence really does threaten the long-term viability of public schools."

Andy Jenks, the chief communications officer for CHCCS, said the districtplans to promote the virtues of public education and advocate for more investment in public education.

"There's a wonderfully diverse community of staff, students and families who are part of an educational journey for 12,000 students from kindergarten all the way through their senior year of high school. It's an environment that can't always be replicated in other environments," Jenks said.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article included incorrect quoted information regarding vouchers. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this confusion.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['Inspiring for everyone': Rock legend remembered by Carrboro music scene]]> A Facebook post on Feb. 16 announcing the death of Dexter Romweber,founder of the music duoFlat Duo Jets, currently has over a thousandcomments by fans, local Chapel Hill music figures and beyond, as they come to pay their respects.

Romweber, widely considered a legend of the Chapel Hill music scene, died from cardiac arrest at 57.

"You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who's been here for more than 10 years, playing in the scene, who didn't think of Dex as just this icon," Django Haskins, member of the band The Old Ceremonyand friend of Romweber, said.

Romweber's first foray into music was during his childhood,in a band with his sister and a friend. He moved to Chapel Hill around the same time, andat 17he formed Flat Duo Jets with Chris "Crow" Smith in 1983.

The Jets blended and warped genres, playing in a unique gray area of sound between blues, rockabilly, hillbilly and garage.As lead vocalist and guitarist, Romweber was center stage with an unrestrained performance style, and Chapel Hill was quick to fall into his orbit.

Traditional genre bounds never seemed to fit him.

"He basically got his own category," Haskins said. "He wasn't in the rockabilly scene, you know, he was Dex, and there was a rockabilly scene."

The Flat Duo Jets split in the late '90s, and Romweber moved on to solo projects like the album "Blues That Defy My Soul." Later, he and his sister, Sara, played in a band calledDex Romweber Duo.

Romweber used to busk around Chapel Hill frequently, taking his frenzied performances to the street, David Menconi, a music critic and journalist,said.Menconi has written about and known Romweber for decades.

"He always just lived very hand to mouth with not much coming in, and just had to keep playing music because it's all he could do," Menconi said. "So that integrity about the pursuit of his art, I think, was an inspiring example for everyone."

Romweber's sound was infectious, influencing the likes of indie rock artists Neko Case, The Black Keys and Jack White of The White Stripes.

Although his influence was widespread, many of those who took inspiration surpassed him in popularity.

John Howie, Jr., musician and friend of Romweber,said that Romweber was difficult to market, but artists like him are vital to the music industry. Many of today's most successful artists would not exist without people like Romweber, who never really made it big, Howie said.

Romweber always played passionately, Howie said, even if he had smaller audiences that frustrated him.

"I would hope that his influence would continue to exist, and in a way that just inspires people to just kind of do their own thing," he said.

An artist in many more ways than one, Romweber played classical piano, and even released an album of his work, titled simply, "Piano." He was also a painter, and several people collected his work, according to Menconi, who has a painting of his own.

Along with his wide interest in music, Romweber was interested in literature and film, once requesting to borrow "Moby-Dick" to read while on tour, Menconi said.

In 2023, he released his final album, "Good Thing Goin'," dedicated to the memory of his sister Sara, who died in 2019 of cancer.In the same year, he lost two of his brothers, Joe and Luke, and last year, Romweber lost his mother.

"His life was not easy," Menconi said. "It was very difficult, and what he lived through the last five years was just unbearable and I don't think he could take it. His sister said he died of a broken heart, and I kind of think that's true."

In the wake of Romweber's death, hundreds of supporters, admirers and devotees expressed condolences and shared their memories of the late artist.

Jack White wrote a eulogy to Romweber on Instagram and Derek Powers, manager of Cat's Cradle, shared a lengthy tribute to him on Facebook. A memorial concert is set to be held in the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw on April 7.

"I think people will continue telling Dexter Romweber stories around here - elsewhere too, but around here especially - for the rest of my life, certainly," Menconi said.


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Music students and faculty reflect on role of mental health in music]]> UNC junior Sharayu Gugnani first picked up the violin at age 7. When she was in eighth grade, she began to work with Nicholas DiEugenio, associate professor of violin at UNC.

To her,she said it felt like a natural continuation for her to pursue a music major at UNC.

But her musical journey has had its ups and downs. She said her sister, who she learned to play the violin with, died a year and a half ago.

"To have that kind of partner taken away was very rough," Gugnanisaid. "I wasn't sure if I even wanted to continue without her. For a lot of times, [music] is a reminder of my pain, but it's also a reminder of the love and life that I still have in me."

Gugnani said that creating a strong community was important, not only within individual musical specialties, but also across other areas of the UNCDepartment of Music. She was able to find support in DiEugenio and a community in her violin studio, she said.

Ryan Phillips, a seniorat UNC double majoring in music and English and comparative literature, said he believes the music department is a supportive place with a community full of people who want each other to succeed.

"There are pockets of competition, and competition doesn't go away," he said. "But at least on my side, and among the majority of my peers in the department, the pressure is more on yourself, and feeling that you want to improve as much as you can, rather than the pressure being induced by others who want to be better than you."

Although the department does not have its own support specialist like other departments and schools on campus, Cat Zachary, the communications coordinator for the musicdepartment, saidall music faculty and staff are encouraged to completeMental Health First Aid training and Safe at UNC'sHAVENtraining.She said the department aims to support its student community by offering free food and coffee at the music buildings and staff offices.

DiEugenio said in an email statement that while the atmosphere within the UNCDepartment of Music is "overwhelmingly supportive and nurturing," with caring staff and faculty, the department lacks institutional support and resources for the community.

He said that for students who experience personal challenges during their adolescent years, being immersed in a demanding artistic discipline can make navigating those experiences even more difficult.

"When these triggers are stacked, the result is often performance anxiety or tendinitis or both, with additional challenges relating to depression and notions of self-worth," DiEugenio said.

Phillips, a Kenan Music Scholar who plays the clarinet, said music and mental health have a two-way relationship.

"Playing music, performing music and practicing can be a source of relief of stress, oftentimes because it's something that I love to do," he said. "But at the same time I also think that there's a paradigm of perfection, and imitating to a very precise degree the intent of any composer is something that makes music more of an intense and tense activity - which can have detriments on mental health."

DiEugenio said he believes that faculty and music students, who devote thousands of hours to their highly specialized art, deserve access to a dedicated staff of academic, mental and physical health support professionals, not unlike college athletes.

"Ideally, the UNC Department of Music would house a musician's well-being center, a dedicated space with mental and physical health resources for music students, staff and faculty," he said. "The mere existence of such a center would go a long way in addressing various stigmas related to musicians' health."


<![CDATA[Eshelman School of Pharmacy initiative receives $200,000 grant]]> Carolina Across 100awarded a grant to the Rural Pharmacy Health Initiative, launched by the Eshelman School of Pharmacy,this monthto expand the initiative's efforts to Ahoskie, North Carolina this summer.

According to the Carolina Across 100 website, the School of Pharmacy received$200,000 to support its efforts to improve access to medically underserved communities across North Carolina. The school will use the funding toopen its third rural pharmacy hub.

Stephanie Kiser, executive director ofthe Rural Pharmacy Health Initiative, said the initiative's goal is to recruit postgraduate pharmacy students to pharmacies in rural communities. Kiser said the initiative hopes to combat the state's recent increase in pharmacy deserts, where small rural communities experience a shortage of local pharmacies.

"It's creating a huge gap in the community because pharmacists are often one of the most accessible health care providers," Kiser said.

She said when the initiative began, the team focused on eastern North Carolina with the goal of expanding rural pharmacy health hubs across the state.

The initiative currently has two rural pharmacy hubs in Scotland Neck and New Bern, which are in partnership with McDowell's Pharmacyand Realo Drugsrespectively.Kiser said community health needs and resources are the biggest determining factors when considering locations for students.

The Duke Endowment funded the first two rural pharmacy hubs, and the Carolina Across 100 grant will fund the third hub in Ahoskie. The hubs will offer residency positions and summer internships for pharmacy students and provide on-site training for future employment.

Kiser said the initiative sparked the interest of many students because pharmacies that partnered with the initiative are involved with innovative projects.

Abigail Holdsclaw,research associate for a Carolina Across 100 entrepreneurial initiativencIMPACT,said the goal of Carolina Across 100 is to respond to the statewide challenges that were created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic across each of North Carolina's 100 counties.

"We're working with communities on challenges that they've identified themselves, and helping them build capacity," Holdsclaw said.

Holdsclaw said the rural pharmacy health initiative does this by sustaining collaboration and cross-sector development across many disciplines. The partnership is Carolina Across 100's fourth project since 2021 and brought their total county reach to 69 counties.

A huge primary goal for the partnership is to create connections across campus and engage students,Holdsclaw said. The rural pharmacy initiative is in the process of recruiting the first cohort of students.

Hallie Springer, a public administration graduate student and research assistant for ncIMPACT, said the initiative allowed her to put her coursework into action. Springerworked on youth outreach and workforce engagement during her time with Carolina Across 100.

"It's very fun to see a lot of people on the ncIMPACT side and people out in North Carolina excited to do the work," Springer said.

Each rural pharmacy hub will be recruiting UNC pharmacy students for upcoming summer positions. Kiser said providing professional opportunities in rural communities to students increases the interest in establishing more rural practices.

"They're really expanding the space at which pharmacies are making an impact in the community," she said. "I think of some of these rural pharmacies as really being the heart of health care in their rural communities."

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['You feel a sense of unity': The history of UNC's alma mater 'Hark the Sound']]>

Every UNC sports game ends with the same familiar tune:"Hark the Sound of Tar Heel voices, ringing clear and true."

As the words echo across the field, stadium or court, Tar Heels past and present wrap their arms around each other, swaying and stomping their feet.

UNC senior Blaise Shiver, who is among Carolina Fever's top 200 fans, said the University's alma mater, "Hark the Sound,"is one way for students, alumni and fans to express gratitude.

"The alma mater in general just gives a sense of pride and appreciation for our school," he said. "It's just a way to say thank you to what the school has done for us."

"Hark the Sound" dates back to 1897, when UNC student and Glee Club member William Starr Myers wrote UNC-specific lyrics to the 1857 tune "Annie Lisle" by H.S. Thompson.UNC's Glee Club first performed the song at the University's 1897 graduation ceremony.

The "Annie Lisle" tune is not unique to UNC. Director of University Bands Jeffrey Fuchs said it is used by other universities, including the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. He said even his high school used the "Annie Lisle" tune as its alma mater.

University archivist Nicholas Graham said the song was next performed at University Day in 1903. In the following years, it became a graduation tradition and an integral part of official University events.

However, the song evolved over the years. Lyrically, there have been two changes.

Graham said the first line of the song was originally performed as "Hark the sound of loyal voices," in 1897. But when the song was reintroduced in the early 1900s, the first line had changed to "Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices."

In 2006, UNC alumnus F. Marion Redd advocated for a lyrical change to include women. The first line of the second verse used to be, "'Neath the oaks thy sons true hearted," omitting an acknowledgement of women's presence at the university.

Graham said the original lyrics reflect that the song was written at a time when women were only just beginningto be admitted to UNC.Women began to enroll at UNC in 1877, but only for summer sessions. Sallie Walker Stockard was the first woman to receive a degree from UNCin 1898.

After Redd created a petition to change the lyrics in 2006, the UNC General Alumni Association changed the line to "'Neath the oaks thy sons and daughters."

Additionally, the fight song "Tar HeelsBorn and Tar Heels Bred," though not included in Starr Myers' original song, became a part of the alma mater over the years. It was first sung at a baseball game in 1903.

"I think it's a nice combination, the kind of slow, lyrical alma mater followed by the rowdier school cheer," Graham said.

"Tar Heels Born and Tar Heels Bred," does not have roots in Chapel Hill either. Fuchs said he first knew of the fight song as a tradition at Brown University, but UNC adopted the chant and changed the lyrics.

The practice of adopting other universities' songs was common before modern technology, he said. People would hear a tune at a different institution, bring it back with them and change the lyrics to make it their own.

"There was a lot of borrowed, shared music in those days that was made possible by the lack of technology and travel," Fuchs said.

Even with a common school tune, Shiver said Tar Heels still stand proud for "Hark the Sound."

He said his favorite memory with the song happened after the most recent UNC men's basketball win over rival Duke. Shiver said he paused in the Dean E. Smith Center to hear the alma mater and honor the University before running to Franklin Street.

"Putting your arms around other students that maybe you don't even know, you feel a sense of unity, because you're all Tar Heels and you're all proud of that, win or lose," he said.


Lyrics from 'Hark the Sound' in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.

<![CDATA[Column: I used to suck ]]> A week ago I went to my first basketball game at UNC (we lost to Clemson). My appearance at the game followed a two-year-long period in which I claimed to not care at all about UNC sports, or any UNC-affiliated events in general.

See, my first year I fell into this idea that school spirit was "cringey." I couldn't imagine caring so much about who won or lost a game that had no real impact on my life. The entire idea of school spirit just seemed absurd to me; I would relentlessly mock the adult alumni who traveled back to UNC for major events - "Who could possibly care this much?" I would wonder.

For that reason, I neglected to attend a single sports event: football, basketball, field hockey, etc. I actually prided myself on this. I was willingly choosing to miss an entire piece of the college experience for the sole reason that I had arbitrarily deemed it cringey when I was 18.

Up until this past month, that mentality defined my college experience. I have, in many ways, chosen to be miserable for no other purpose than to be miserable. In classes I would sit silently and stoically, refusing to interact with my classmates in any way that was more than simple small talk before class. I didn't need to make friends - I had enough already.

I wouldn't go to office hours, I was doing well enough. Why would I need to speak with the professor?

When my friends and I would go out we would awkwardly stand off to the side of whatever event we were at, refusing to interact with anyone who wasn't being as boring or as miserable as us.

All around, I was choosing to be miserable, completely rejecting any sort of interaction with the campus around me. I'm not even sure why exactly I was so intent on doing this, but it became so ingrained in my identity at this school that it just felt right; I hated this school, though I wasn't sure why.

I woke up one day recently and realized I was coming up on my final year of college. I've almost completed three years at this University, why then, does it feel like I haven't even become a student here yet?

When you spend your entire college experience rejecting any meaningful interaction with said college, you (surprise) don't actually feel like you're at college. You're just wasting away, attending classes, waiting to graduate.

I decided it was time to make a change. I didn't want to look back in a decade and realize I had foregone so many opportunities for no other reason than that my angsty freshmen self thought it was lame. I took it upon myself to fully embrace UNC.

I attended that basketball game with absolutely no expectations, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I can stubbornly admit that it was genuinely one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had as of late. I'm thankful I don't care about sports because it didn't even make a difference to me that we lost the game, I just had fun being there. Sitting there with my overpriced popcorn and coke I felt a massive sense of regret over all of the things I had missed out on, all of the games I hadn't been to.

However, I wasn't going to sit and mellow in this regret, I was going to learn from my lesson. In the past two weeks, I have been more involved in this campus than I ever have been. I've spent late nights in Davis with study groups, I signed up to play for an intramural soccer team, I've made coffee plans with peers I've had classes with for four consecutive semesters yet have never spoken to. I officially feel like a college student.

It often feels like everyone here is having the time of their life, but this hasn't been the case for me. The first two years of my college life were overburdened with a range of awful circumstances that ultimately kept me from just enjoying the campus around me. I spent a long time sinking into this state of misery and missing out on really amazing opportunities.

I know first hand that it's a lot easier said than done, but sometimes you have to pull yourself out of this state. Maybe socializing isn't your thing, but find small things you can do on this campus that help you appreciate the fact that while this may not be the best four years of your life, it doesn't have to be the worst.

<![CDATA[Local favorites to rock legends: What Carrboro Town Council members are listening to]]> While the Carrboro Town Council shares a duty to serve their community, they do not necessarily share the same taste in music. A collaborative playlist from the group of elected officials could include anything from slow R&B to black metal, with hints of local musicians like Elizabeth Cotten or drummer Laura King.

Staff writer Grace Whittemore reached out to Carrboro Town Council members to ask about their music tastes and the impact of the music scene on Carrboro as a community.

Mayor Barbara Foushee

Foushee saidshe likes to listen to a hodge-podge of different music, but most often listens to smooth R&B from artists like The O'Jays or Frankie Beverly & Maze.

"I run a pretty hectic schedule, being the Mayor and also having my full-time day job," Foushee said. "I have a lot of obligations, so when I can put in my earbuds and listen to some smooth R&B I'm pretty happy."

Foushee alsosaidUsher has been heavy in her playlist rotation since he was featured in Super Bowl LVIII's halftime show and released a new album.

Council member Danny Nowell

Nowell said one of his most played songs recently is "Everybody Dies" by the band Superchunk, which features Carrboro's own Laura King on the drums.

"I'm a huge Superchunk fan," he said. "They have made like five incredible records in the past seven years or so. They just keep getting better, and that's just remarkable to me."

Nowell said it would be difficult to pick one music genre he enjoys the most, though he most often listens to indie rock.

Council member Randee Haven-O'Donnell

Haven-O'Donnell said,even as her music taste has evolved, she has always been a fan of the Grateful Dead.

"I'm a lifelong deadhead, and have been so since 1967 or '68," Haven-O'Donnell said. "Their music is pulled from folk, from blues, and from jazz. Their fusion of those three genres is the soundtrack of my life, literally."

Haven-O'Donnell saidshe is a fan of Carrboro nativeElizabeth Cotten. She said she was a fan of Cotten's music even before she moved to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area from New York.

"It was total 'cosmicity' that we came to the Chapel Hill area, and then as I started to get familiar with the area before we even moved, I found out Elizabeth Cotten was from Carrboro," she said.

Council member Jason Merrill

Merrill said that a song he's been playing onrecently is "Right Back to It" by the band Waxahatchee featuring Asheville-based artist MJ Lenderman.

Even though Merrill described his most-played song as being in the pop-country genre, he said his music taste is generally varied.

"I'm a musical omnivore," Merrill said. "'I've been listening to a lot of black metal recently, which is a super obscure, ultra-fast version, kind of offshoot of heavy metal."

'It's Carrboro'

Even though each council member has a unique and personal taste, theyemphasized how important music is to the community in Carrboro.

"It's hard to overstate how important I think music is here," Nowell said. "I think it is something that really binds people across multiple places in the community."

The popularity of Cat's Cradle, the multitude of summer music festivals and popular support for initiatives like the 203 Project show that the Carrboro community deeply cares about the music scene, Foushee said.

Merrill even saidthe robust music scene and community he experienced at Cat's Cradle is part of what brought him to Carrboro after he graduated from college.

Carrboro had its own theme song and accompanying music video called "It's Carrboro"posted to YouTube in 2006. Despite being nearly two decades old, the song references Carrboro locations and businesses still operating today, like Weaver Street Market, Open Eye Cafe, The Spotted Dogand Cat's Cradle.

Haven-O'Donnell said, even though the song is a bit outdated, the theme song encapsulates the edginess and humor that can still be seen in the Carrboro community today.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Mural in UNC government school commemorates historical sit-in]]> The visitor log that sits next to Colin Quashie's"SERVICE"mural located in theKnapp-Sanders Building, the home ofUNC's School of Government, is filled with hundreds of names and comments about his work starting from 2012.

"SERVICE," which was commissioned in 2008 and unveiled in 2010, depicts 40 African American civic leaders- including educators, activists and politicians - gathered at a diner counter. Outside the diner windows, more individuals and scenes pertaining to Black history in North Carolina can be seen.

The most recent comment in the log was from Martin D. Woodard, who visited the government school on Tuesday to give a presentation. He wrote that the mural was awe-inspiring.

"I was glad that I had the opportunity to witness history in the collective," Woodard, who is the program director at the Veterans Life Center in Butner, North Carolina, said.

Quashie based the continuous eight-panel mural around the Greensboro Four's 1960 sit-in, when four students from N.C. A&T sat at F. W.Woolworth's "whitesonly" lunch counter. The sit-in garnered media attention and inspired more students to join them the following day, igniting a wave of sit-ins and subsequent integration in dining facilities across the South.

"They were the individuals who went in there and were seeking service, and in seeking service, rendered service," Quashie, who is an artist and nurse in Charleston, South Carolina, said.

Having had no previous experience painting murals, Quashie said he did not think he would be chosen as the artist for this project. Juan Logan, retired UNC studioartprofessorand one of the 11 members of the artist selection committee, encouraged Quashie to apply because of histhoughtful work as an artist.

Quashie said Logan saw something he did not see in himself at the time.

Chandra Cox, a member of the artist selection committee and professor of design at N.C. State University, said the committee voted on three finalists who were invited to present their ideas.

"It was a very democratic call to artists and process," Cox said.

After Quashie was selected, he said he was given free rein on the size and location of the mural in the government school. He ultimately settled on a 5-foot by 50-foot oil painting on acontinuous canvas mounted on the wall across from the building's downstairs dining hall.

"Watching the way students lined up all the way down that hallway in order to enter into the cafeteria, I thought it would just be an absolute perfect runway," Quashie said.

A 5-person history committeecomposed of historians from around the state also worked on the project. Alongsidegraduate students, they decided which individuals should be featured in the mural. The one constraint the committee set was that the work could not feature anyone who was still alive, to let their legacy settle.

Quashie was given the list of names the committee produced and tasked with designing and creating the mural. He said he spent about 18 hours a day, six days a week for seven months working in a South Carolinastudio to meet the dedication deadline ofJuly 26, 2010, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Woolworth's lunch counter.

Quashie said that the individuals in the mural gave him the strength to complete it.

"You just felt so small in the process," Quashie said. "I realized at that point in time that this thing was so much bigger than me."

"SERVICE" is the only completed piece of the four muralscommissioned for the government school's "Missing History" project commemorating the contributions of African Americans and Native Americans in North Carolina.

According to the printed guide for "SERVICE," the project was createdbecause the 14 murals commissioned for the government school in the 1950s that covered historic events in North Carolina lacked the necessary diversityto tell the complete story of North Carolina history.

UNC Media Relations said in an email statement that the 2008 artist selection committee considered other projects for the future, but those have been put on hold pending private support. "SERVICE" was sponsored by the Local Government Federal Credit Union.

"My only wish is that some other business or some other sponsor would come out and sponsor the other murals," Quashie said. "I think it's time."

<![CDATA[Column: Hey, are you listening? ]]> Every year, during the last week of November, the world waits.

The last autumn-dappled leaves threaten to drop off trees, schools fill with anticipatory holiday cheer and millions of people begin the countdown to the most important event of the season -Spotify Wrapped Day.

In a series ofinfographics, Wrapped gives you an overview of your music-listening activity on Spotify, from your top five most-listened-to artists to the genres and songs you've listened to throughout the year. The subsequent influx of posts is inevitable, inescapable, all-consuming. Equally prolific are laments from people claiming that their results are too embarrassing to post.

Whatever your feelings about your Wrapped are (I promise, it's not the end of the world if your top songs are from Broadway musicals), one thing is clear: what you listen to matters.

Other add-on music services that broadcast what you're listening to in real time - such as Receiptify, Airbudsand the Friend Activity feature on Spotify - direct even more eyes to your listening habits, trapping you in a spiraling prison of self-consciousness. Streaming services like Spotify are no longer mere tools to listen to music, but social media platforms on which every action is recorded and publicized.

I'm an avid Spotify user and it deserves credit for helping me discover some of my favorite musicians. However, the unique way it and similar services have commercialized music has propagated a culture in which people are more invested in the act of listening to music rather than actually listening to the music.

Now, you aren't just a fan of Lana Del Rey's music, you're the kind of person who listens to her, which of course, comes with a set of behaviors, aesthetics and ideas tied together with a bright pink coquette ribbon. Fans of The Smiths don't just appreciate a good guitar solo or lead singer Morrissey's dubious vocals, they're all male manipulators or esoteric women with Joan of Arc-esque bobs.

Playing an album on Spotify while you're listening to it on vinyl so it counts in your Wrapped, letting Spotify play while you sleep to farm listening minutes, filling every moment of your life with a constant cacophony just so you don't have to hear silence - or worse, your thoughts - all cheapen the invaluable human experience of actually listening to music.

Advocates of streaming will profess the obsolescence of older forms of media - CDs, records, cassettes, even the radio - in the modern age, but there's been a recent increase in the popularity of these alternative forms of music among Gen Z, which I think presents a solution to this thoughtless consumption.

In an age where we can freely flutter between thousands of algorithmically generated playlists, the most radical thing you can do is commit your undivided attention to a single song, album, or EP without broadcasting your actions to the rest of the world. Forcing yourself to slow down and take the time to choose one piece of music to devote your time to enjoying allows you to fully engage with and understand the art.

I'm not asking you to delete your preferred streaming service and go buy a gramophone. Just consider that a more thoughtful and intentional approach to media consumption is the best way to make the most of the unprecedented abundance of wonderful music available to us.

It's time to reject the all-seeing panopticon that encourages mindless consumption for the sake of aesthetics and instead fully commit to experiencing art we actually enjoy, for no one but ourselves.


<![CDATA[Column: Artists promote overconsumption. Don't buy into it]]> It seems in the music world, if you want to be a fan, you better pay up. Sure, you can support your favorite artists by streaming their songs, but if you really want to be a fan, be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars on merchandise and concert tickets.

At least, that's what artists are hoping their fans will do. It's written all over the products they sell and the prices they sell them for.

The best way to describe it is pure excess. Individual artists are selling an alarming quantity of products for an equally alarming price.

One of the best examples of this is Taylor Swift. Take one look at her website and you'll see essentially the same item being sold multiple times in hopes that fans will buy each one.

For her "Midnights" album, released in 2022, Swift promoted four different editions of the album on vinyl, each one in a different color. If you bought all four, she advertised, the albums put together would create the image of a clock.

She's using this same strategy for her upcoming album, too. On her website, she's selling two different versions of vinyls and CDs that fans can preorder. Each one has its unique bonus track. Combine that with a "for a limited time only" marketing tactic, and the cash grab will be a success. These subtle differences are enough to get dedicated fans to buy each and every version of a product.

Artists have a monopoly over their name; they copyright most everything they can so that they can be the sole sellers of merchandise. While this ownership is important for artists to have autonomy over their brand, it can also perpetuate consumerism. They can make the price anything they want and fans will still pay. In fact, buying can get competitive, with some items selling out in mere minutes. The competition is what makes this work so well - the limited amount of items makes them that much more valuable and coveted.

While her fame allows her to operate at a much larger scale, Swift isn't the only one influencing overconsumption. There are some artists that have an even larger influence on fans. One of the most notorious groups for merchandise and memorabilia, BTS, has a great business strategy of selling collectibles that some fans feel like they can't live without. This includes the standard plethora of physical albums, yes, but also small items like photo cards, light sticks, keychains, nightlights and more.

There is nothing problematic about fans wanting to support their favorite artists or show their taste in music through purchasing merchandise - music can be a huge part of identity. The problem arises when artists capitalize on this appreciation by dropping item after item at prices that are much higher than the item should allow, knowing people will buy them anyway.

This isn't the fans' fault - while their consumption enables this pattern, it's clearly the artists and their merch teams profiting off this unwavering support and conditioning their fans to want more.

I used to fall for it, buying multiple shirts or sweatshirts from my favorite artists, and then ultimately realizing how excessive and wasteful those purchases were.

When musicians reach a high level of fame, they're going to have merch teams that make these decisions. They become increasingly removed from the process and more engaged in growing their business.

While they are hopefully grateful to some extent, artists are used to seeing fans as numbers: the number of people in a stadium, the number of streams for their latest single, the number of purchases on their merch websites.

This issue may seem trivial, but it can havereal implications regarding sustainability as well. When you think about artists like Taylor Swift and groups like BTS, they have millions of fans buying products that will probably end up in a landfill.

Just like many other purchasing decisions, it's all about balance and making smart choices as a consumer. Often, there are no ill intentions involved when buying merchandise, but fans and consumers need to think about which products are actually worth it to them - and not be influenced by "superfans."

You're not obligated to buy anything to feel like a true fan. Your appreciation of the music can stand alone.