<![CDATA[The Daily Tar Heel]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2023 01:59:37 -0400 Wed, 22 Mar 2023 01:59:37 -0400 SNworks CEO 2023 The Daily Tar Heel <![CDATA['A sisterhood': LEAD helps foster a new generation of Black doulas]]> About three times as many Black women die while giving birth than white women, regardless of education level or socioeconomic status, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Non-racial factors cannot explain away this discrepancy, said Venus Standard, an assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine's department of family medicine and a certified nurse midwife.

"A doctoral degree Black woman has more of a chance of dying (while giving birth) than an eighth-grade educated white woman," she said.

That's why Standard teamed up with Vanderbilt University's Stephanie DeVane-Johnson and Duke University's Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler to create the Lived Experience Accessible Doula program. The three women work as co-principal investigators.

The eight-week program trains Black doulas, or non-medical birth experts, on how to support Black mothers emotionally, physically and informationally during the birthing process, Standard said.

DeVane-Johnson, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt, cited allostatic load (the burden that results from accumulation of stress) and weathering (repeated exposure to adversity and discrimination) as reasons why Black women's bodies age faster. Because of this aging, Black women are more prone to high blood pressure and health complications, she said.

"It's amazing what you get like-minded people who potentially have the same lived experiences together to serve the greater good and how impactful that is," she said.

The LEAD program also focuses on how to support mothers outside the birthing process, through things like grief training, Black culture and mindfulness. McMillian-Bohler, the director of the Institute for Educational Excellence at Duke University School of Nursing, said she instructs the mindfulness aspect of the program.

"Our goal is to help improve not just the birth process, but the relationship building," McMillian-Bohler said. "It's a gateway into the Black maternal community to provide information associated with empowerment and self-care and wellness."

Doulas are also taught sustainable business practices and marketing so they can start making money and helping families independently, DeVane-Johnson said.

Shaunda Fennell graduated from the first cohort of the program. She said that she has begun to practice on her own and that the program really opened her eyes to the importance of birth work.

"Honestly, it was better than my college experience," she said. "It was just each week loving to go to class and learning so much. Some weeks it was hard to leave because you just wanted to learn, learn, learn."

Amber Bell, who graduated from the program's fourth cohort, echoed Fennell's sense of gratitude.

"We got a real chance to dig into systematic oppression and just the foundation of how things have affected (Black women) from the beginnings of times," she said. "So I appreciated the historical references and the fact that it was for us, by us."

So far, the program has graduated about 50 doulas over four cohorts, Standard said. However, it took some time to get LEAD up and running, as the program initially struggled to find funding.

In early 2021, however, Standard, DeVane-Johnson and McMillian-Bohler received the C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities for a one-year pilot program through UNC. In 2022, they received another grant through the Duke Endowment to continue the program for another three years and expand to nearby counties.

The first cohort began training in May 2021 and started working in the UNC Hospital Labor and Delivery Unit in July.

"There are a lot of Black birth workers who want to do this work, but because of financial barriers of the training, they are not able to," DeVane-Johnson said. "And there are lots of Black families who think that having a doula is something that rich people have, but everybody should have a doula."

Standard, DeVane-Johnson and McMillian-Bohler said they eventually hope to expand to other area hospitals and create doula trainings catered to other underepresented populations.

McMillian-Bohler mentioned wanting to expand the LEAD program to the Latinx, LGBTQ+ and Asian communities, but the program cannot expand to these communities without more funding.

"Doula training and certain trainings cannot be one size fits all," DeVane-Johnson said. "It needs to be culturally sensitive and tailored to fit that population. That's what our program does."

The doulas who have graduated from the LEAD program maintain close bonds and frequently congratulate each other on successful births, DeVane-Johnson said.

"These doulas have a sisterhood. These cohorts are like sisters and family," she said.

The three doctors seek to continue educating and graduating cohorts, and they believe the doulas will make a difference in maternal mortality, based on literature and evidence from their program.

"As a midwife of more than 20 years, I've been on births, been on labor and delivery units, done all of that," McMillian-Bohler said. "And I really have a strong feeling about how powerful those moments are, and anything we can do to lessen potential trauma or poor outcomes or empower moms and babies then we need to do that."



Dr. Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler (left), Dr. Stephanie DeVane-Johnson (center) and UNC Professor Venus Standard created the Lived Experience Accessible Doula (LEAD) program. The three women are the co-principal investigators that aim to train Black doulas on how to support black mothers emotionally, physically and informationally during the birthing process.

Photo Courtesy of Professor Venus Standard.

<![CDATA[Column: UNC housekeepers deserve better]]> On Feb. 22, on the steps of South Building, UNC students and UE 150, the local workers union, gathered to demand what housekeepers deserve: a livable wage.

A crowd of housekeepers and students chanted, "These low wages have got to go." One student stood carrying a sign that said, "work for pay not pay for work." The union was demanding a wage increase to $20 per hour and free parking on campus.

A stark contrast of hypocrisy colored the protest. This institution advertises safety, equity and opportunity, but its inaction means exploitation and disrespect for UNC's hourly employees.

UNC's housekeepers are an integral part of the University. Their job description includes "daily routine and detailed cleaning of assigned campus building interior and exterior areas including but not limited to offices, lounges, restrooms, student housing, classrooms, laboratories, entrances, exits and stairways."

That's a tall task.

For an institution as reputable as UNC to have full-time employees unable to pay rent or support their families is nothing but disgraceful.

Endless cycle of finger pointing

What the housekeepers are asking for is not excessive. It will not put a strain on the school's finances or force them to cut positions. However, the Office of State Human Resources sets pay bands for housekeepers and, according to UNC Media Relations, the University has maximized the available increases in pay under these current bands.

"University Housekeepers at UNC-Chapel Hill are compensated at the top of the current allowable ranges," a University spokesperson told The Daily Tar Heel.

The wage increase is less than the bare minimum the Office of State Human Resources should be doing for housekeepers. In fact, $20 per hour is below a livable wage for a large majority of people living in the Durham-Chapel Hill area.

After months of housekeepers asking for a pay increase, the University announced in December a raise of 90 cents - to $16.81 per hour. UE 150 and UNC students have been fighting since September.

"They thought we'd shut up," then-Campus Y Co-president Laura Saavedra Forero said in a speech at the Feb. 22 rally. "But here we are months later."

Saavedra Forero helped to organize the protest. "I stand on the shoulders of giants," she said. "Campus Y is responsible for generations of work and solidarity."

The UNC administration claims the 90-cent raise is a victory, and that it and the Board of Trustees advocated on behalf of workers to make this change.

The Board of Governors is granted certain power over salaries. According to the UNC Policy Manual, "The Board of Governors shall issue a resolution each year that interprets legislative action regarding University employee salaries or delegates such authority by resolution as it deems appropriate to the president."

This separation of power leads to an endless cycle of finger-pointing and ultimately inaction - especially on issues adverse to the institution's agenda.

At the end of the day, a 90-cent raise is a slap in the face to our housekeepers.

UNC is the System's flagship institution. The BOG and the N.C. General Assembly appoint members to the BOT. They and the chancellor's office have a lot of power. Choosing to accept a 90-cent raise, which translates to just an additional $36 each week, and marketing it as something that workers should be grateful for is dishonorable.

If UNC's administration cared, it would advocate on behalf of the workers it represents. It would be working with OSHR to increase the allowable salaries for service workers on campus. It would be working with its staff, not trying to placate them with distracting raises and a bonus program designed to shut down dissent.

A statement from the University says it is committed to supporting all faculty, staff and students:

"University leadership recently collaborated with the UNC System office to increase the pay range for more than 400 employees, which went into effect in December. Additionally, over the past year the University has increased the graduate student stipend two times, resulting in the largest single year increase in Carolina history. We continue to work with the System to address these issues. Maintaining our supportive and responsive environment for all faculty, staff and students is a priority for the entire Carolina community."

A bonus with fine print

In the 2022-23 Operating Budget Book, UNC published priorities of "Supporting Carolina's Excellence," with its first goal being to "Retain and recruit top talent through salary and market rate adjustments". Though, the BOG evades a $3.19 wage increase to support the very people who make our campus safe. The Budget Book prioritizes supporting a "diverse faculty" while it continues to oppress and ignore Facilities Services, one of the most diverse departments on campus.

In February, the University offered employees a bonus of up to $3,974 in two installments. It's a retention bonus, with terms stipulating that any employee who transfers, quits their job or is written up will not receive the money or would have to pay it back.

The message is clear: if you want to keep the bonus, you'll shut up and sit down.

At the protest, UNC housekeeper and organizer Robin Lee held up that contract and tore it in two. The crowd went crazy.

Another housekeeper, Tracy Harter said the contract was "set up with all these strings and loopholes and trapdoors in it, so they can manipulate you more and put their foot in your neck even harder."

This injustice goes beyond the contract. Manipulation exists in the small print.

UNC housekeeper Saw Moo and his family moved to the U.S. from Myanmar to escape civil war in the country. They all work as housekeepers at UNC, and many other employees have similar stories as first-generation immigrants who speak English as a second language. Offering thousands of dollars to people who need a bonus, but may not fully grasp the convoluted clauses of the complex contract, is an act of exploitation. Because, at the end of the day, UNC only advertised the bonus, not the small print payback.

The power in union- and collective bargaining

Even worse, the law that prevents state employees from using a union to collectively bargain for higher pay and better working conditions is a Jim Crow-era law that was designed to limit the negotiating power of Black workers. The law specifically bans the state from recognizing contracts negotiated between government agencies or employees and unions.

This is problematic - collective bargaining is an essential tool for workers.

Imagine you have a stick. Breaking that stick in half doesn't require much energy. But if you were to break a bundle of sticks in half, it would take a lot more effort, if it's even possible at all.

This is the general theory behind unions and collective bargaining. A single worker does not have much leverage over their employer. They can threaten to strike or quit, but that one worker can be easily replaced. But if a company's entire workforce or even a significant majority strikes or threatens to walk out, that can grind a company's work to a halt.

State law, while allowing government employees to join a union, strips them of the legal ability to strike or collectively bargain and, in the process, allows the University to ignore and exploit them.

UNC graduate student and union leader Trey Anthony said the law, "profoundly affects our organizing. It kinda shoots us in the leg a little bit, even when it comes to recruitment."

This collective bargaining ban isn't universal across the country. The University of Michigan, for example, has a fully unionized graduate student population that negotiates its contract with the university every year. This last year has seen workers at public universities across the country go on strike, from the UC system in California, where they won a contract, to Temple University in Philadelphia.

If UNC housekeepers were to go on strike the way Lenoir Hall dining workers did in 1969, they'd be putting their jobs, livelihoods and families at risk, potentially for very little gain - as any resulting contract couldn't be legally enforced.

UNC, a government institution, might not have the same profit motivations as a private company, but that does not mean that University workers don't deserve the same protections as those who work for private entities.

The administration is limited by OSHR pay bands but is not limited in how it can respond to such bands. UNC housekeepers deserve recognition that they are not being paid what they are worth and what they deserve. They deserve for the University to advocate on their behalf.

Instead, the University has responded with makeshift resolutions, subsequently silencing students, fighting its faculty and pointing fingers.

However, on Feb. 22, UE150 and UNC students ensured that this problem would not be swept under the rug.

Twenty dollars per hour and free parking for housekeepers are less than what they deserve.



<![CDATA[Cooper releases $1 billion behavioral health plan, requires legislature approval]]> Gov. Roy Cooper's new behavioral health plan released on March 8 aims to invest $1 billion to address North Carolina's mental health and substance use crisis, according to a press release.

The plan focuses on increasing the availability of behavioral health services, implementing systems to support people in crisis and using technology to enable better health access and outcomes.

"It is an attempt to deal with issues broadly, deeply and comprehensively," Mark Botts, a professor at the UNC School of Government, said. "And that's what's different than what I've seen in the past."

Cooper has identified several issues that he wants the N.C. General Assembly and the state more generally to confront, Botts said. He said the governor and the General Assembly need to work together to implement this initiative, as it requires legislative action.

"I believe that people in the General Assembly, as well as in the governor's office, ultimately care about the citizens of North Carolina," he said.

Kelly Crosbie leads the Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services Division of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. She said her division was involved in the development of this plan.

"For the past two years, as a whole department, we were working on very specific behavioral health and resilience initiatives," Crosbie said. "So the governor's roadmap came out of that."

The $1 billion necessary for the implementation of Cooper's plan would come from a one-time $1.8 billion bonus the federal government is offering to any states who agree to Medicaid expansion.

"The passion and the design for this has been around for some time," Crosbie said. "This, 'Oh my goodness, we're about to get expansion and we'll have this reinvestment $1.8 billion,' that's probably been the last six months where it's felt very real."

The plan would require continued reinvestment to maintain the proposed services, Crosbie said.

She also said children would benefit from Cooper's plan through foster and kinship care, as well as behavioral health support.

Botts said children living in emergency departments and the offices of the NCDHHS Division of Social Services is a big problem in North Carolina. He said he likes that Cooper has highlighted it as a significant issue where the state needs to direct attention and resources.

"I don't think that's a problem that will be overcome or resolved from well-meaning previous initiatives that have attempted to deal with that," Botts said. "I think you need a more systemic and more broad and deep attack on that issue for us to really make some headway on it."

Caitlin Fenhagen, the director of the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department, said one of the most impressive aspects of the plan is that it specifically addresses the intersection between behavioral health and the justice system.

Fenhagen said her department's mission is to support people impacted by the justice system.

Both crisis diversion facilities and mobile crisis units are projects mentioned in the report that the CJRD has already been working on, according to Fenhagen.

Though Orange County has already invested some in behavioral health, Fenhagen said the plan would transform and sustain the work that the county does.

"We need to make this investment because we want to keep our state and our local communities healthier," she said.

Cooper's plan is worth investing in, Crosbie said, because people need behavioral health services.

"If we get people into behavioral health services when they need it, it helps people have better lives, it helps their families, it helps them move into recovery, it helps overburdened communities," she said. "So investing in behavioral health is just really good for the state as whole."

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Orange County Schools Board of Education discusses cost saving for budget projected deficit]]> The Orange County Schools Board of Education met on Monday, March 20 to discuss cost savings strategies for the remainder of the fiscal year 2023 and to highlight World Down Syndrome Day.

What's New?

  • The Board of Education heard a presentation about Orange County School fees for 2023 through 2024.
    • It was proposed to lower elementary school fees for musical instruments from $5 to $0, high school chorus and music library fees from $15 to $0 and district K-12 laptop fees from $20 to $0.
  • The Board of Education heard several public comments on cost-saving strategies for the fiscal year 2023 and fund balance appropriations.
    • Current estimates put the district at $984,600 in unbudgeted expenditures by the end of the fiscal year 2023. Over half of this - $485,000 - was requested to come from the fund balance appropriation to "sustain the projected financial obligation." It also requested that additional reporting on the status of the financial changes come at a future meeting.
    • Rhonda Rath, chief finance officer at OCS, presented the information on cost-saving strategies.
    • She explained that the Board of Education approved certain things to be funded by money from lapsed salaries coming from the vacant positions in the district. However, there is not enough money coming from the lapsed salaries to fulfill expenses.
    • "The actual expense is outpacing the lapsed salaries, and, therefore, if it continues, we will be in an overspending situation," Rath said.
    • Board member Carrie Doyle said that the additional funding provided to bus services has proven beneficial when compared with other school systems' transportation issues.
    • "This season has been hard, and I know your team has worked hard to reconcile all these moving parts," she said.
    • Doyle added that county commissioners have encouraged the Board to use their fund balance as other nearby districts do when there are fund discrepancies.
    • Two other cost-saving strategies for OCS include freezing hiring for central office positions for 90 days and adding conservative measures to emphasize limiting the use of goods and services.
    • Board Chair Will Atherton noted concern about the cost-saving strategies and said the Board needs work to understand the situation further.
  • The Board of Education recognized World Down Syndrome Day, which was Tuesday, March 21, and encouraged everyone in Orange County schools to choose a pair of socks to celebrate the day.
    • "You are supposed to wear mismatched socks or crazy socks because the karyotype of the Down syndrome chromosome looks like mismatched socks, so it's a super fun way to celebrate our unique differences in bright and fun ways," Lillie Herman, an exceptional children teacher at New Hope Elementary School, said.

What decisions were made?

  • The "Contract Approval for Purchase of Weapon Detection Systems for Secondary Schools" was tabled indefinitely.
  • The school fee changes were approved unanimously.
  • A $760,000 fund balance transfer to pay for the budget deficit was approved unanimously, along with all cost-saving strategies presented.

What's Next?

  • The Board of Education will meet again on April 10 at 7 p.m.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

The Orange County Board of Education building, as pictured on Monday, March 28, 2022, is located on East King Street in Hillsborough.

<![CDATA[Explainer: What is the function of student governance at UNC?]]> Student Government has been a part of UNC's history for over a century.

In 1904, University President Francis Venable sparked a discussion regarding the implementation of an honor system, and since then, student government at the University has expanded to resemble the structure of the U.S. Government.

"We have a fully self-governed student judiciary in the honor court and honor system," Matthew Tweden, chairperson of the Joint Governance Council, said. "We have a full legislative branch, a full executive branch - as well as massively wide oversight of student fee appropriations and an extremely broad ability to engage with specialized components of the administration."

Up until the 2017-18 school year, student government was considered one entity that tackled issues related to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Now, student government at UNC is split into two organizations - the Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate and Professional Student Government - with each having their own executive, legislative and judicial branches. Tweden said the split can be attributed to brewing tensions over the fact that graduate students consistently felt like a minority in student congress.

The groups collaborate through the Joint Governance Council, which works to bridge the two populations and foster communication between governments, Tweden said.

"We have a very prescriptive legislative responsibility in which we hear bills that come out," he said. "We consider how they affect the joint code and the constitution, but more broadly, it is a conversational piece."

The Joint Governance Council is composed of 13 people in total but only has six voting members. The voting members consist of three senators from both the USG and GPSG.

"I think we can combine the experiences of cases of graduate student government with the passion of undergraduate student government into effectively improving things for all students," Joshua Bakita, president pro tempore of the GPSG Senate, said.

The different branches of government perform similar tasks and hold many of the same responsibilities, regardless of the constituency they serve.

The senates' primary role is to draw attention to issues that affect students at UNC and get these matters on the desks of University administrators, which then provides leverage for the executive branch to further drive these conversations, Tweden said.

One aspect of the executive branch that is unique to UNC is the student body president's position as an ex officio voting member on the Board of Trustees. The student body president must also serve concurrently as either the USG or GPSG president under dual service.

The judicial branch of UNC's student government consists of both an honor system and a Supreme Court. The honor system is the more active of the two and handles instances of student misconduct that violate the University's Honor Code. The Supreme Court handles disputes regarding student law, but has not been very active in recent history, Tweden said.

"(The Supreme Court) is probably the biggest gray area in Student Government today, simply because it hasn't been engaged with," he said. "We just have not had a meaningfully utilized court in a very long time, and as a result, it's a little ambiguous what exactly the full bandwidth of capabilities of that court is."

Student Government is currently focusing on advocating for issues including, but not limited to, campus accessibility and safety as well as updating UNC's digital infrastructure.

Aside from advocacy and oversight, Student Government plays a crucial role in the distribution of funding to student-led organizations and individual students. This funding comes from the student activities fee, resulting in the USG having a substantially larger budget than the GPSG.

Bakita said the GPSG's total income from last year was $161,000 while the USG's was roughly $500,000. He said this difference causes the GPSG to focus more on advocacy and oversight while the USG has a larger responsibility to distribute funds.

Christian Phillips, speaker of the Undergraduate Senate, said one of the main responsibilities of the Senate is allocating the student activities fee.

"We've allocated roughly $850,000, so far this year, to different student organizations around campus, allowing them to fulfill their missions," he said.

Alongside funding student organizations and allocating money to senators for use within their districts, Bakita said the GPSG also utilizes its funding to provide more individual-focused funding, such as travel awards and emergency grants.

Student governance at UNC does not end with three traditional branches. There are currently 18 independent agencies that operate adjacent to Student Government but remain subject to oversight from the Joint Governance Council. Examples of these agencies include the Carolina Athletic Association and the Residence Hall Association.

In all, UNC's Student Government hopes to serve as a voice for the student body and advocate for change.

"I think we've made a lot of progress, and I'm extremely happy to have been a part of it," Phillips said.



<![CDATA['Dehumanizing' experiences lead disabled student to demand improved bus accessibility ]]> After a series of what she describes as "horrible" experiences with Chapel Hill Transit, Sarah Ferguson refuses to get on another bus.

Ferguson, a UNC junior who uses a wheelchair, has had several encounters with bus operators who didn't know how to accommodate her mobility devices.

On one occasion, she said she had to get off a bus because the operator did not know how to secure her electric wheelchair since it didn't have specific "tie-down" hooks. But these difficulties weren't isolated to just one of her mobility aids.

Usually, Ferguson uses a manual wheelchair with a Firefly electric power assist attachment on the front. She has to take this attachment off for her wheelchair to fit on buses.

Earlier this semester, one bus operator did not know how to secure Ferguson's Firefly attachment, so the operator left it on the sidewalk and called her supervisor. As other passengers got off the bus because of the delay, Ferguson was forced to sit there.

"She goes over the door and she just points out at my Firefly and she's like, 'Well, what about that? Do I just leave that?'" Ferguson said.

The supervisor resolved the issue by securing Ferguson's Firefly attachment.

Emily Powell, the community outreach manager for CHT, said the bus operator hadn't been trained on the device.

Another time, a bus operator didn't allow Ferguson to detach her Firefly to get on the bus.

"She was like, 'Well, you either leave it on and get on the bus or you figure something else out,'" Ferguson recalled.

Four transit passengers ended up lifting Ferguson on and off of the bus. She said the experience made her feel like a "piece of furniture."

Bus operators can't touch a part of someone's mobility aid if it is not attached to their main device. Powell explained that this is because CHT does not want operators to accidentally break things that they aren't familiar with or hurt themselves.

The CHT operator couldn't touch the Firefly device once it was detached from Ferguson's wheelchair, though they could have assisted if it was.

"It was so bad that as soon as I got off that bus, I called my mom and I was like, 'I want you to come and take me the hell out of here,'" Ferguson said.

Ferguson also said that buses have often passed her at designated stops even when the buses aren't full.

She studies studio art at UNC and is taking a class in the Art Lab at 108 Airport Dr. this semester. She now uses UNC's P2P on-demand accessible transportation services to get there, but she noted the service's unreliability. She said she has sometimes had to wait 30 minutes for her ride request to be approved.

These are not Ferguson's first experiences of accessibility issues - she's also faced them on UNC's campus. This semester, she was stuck on the third floor of Hanes Art Center because of a broken elevator for over seven hours.

Her decision to not use Chapel Hill Transit buses has limited where she can go.

"It's not worth it for me to take a bus and risk ending up in a situation where I'm humiliated and dehumanized," she said.

Accessibility collaboration

A few weeks ago, Ferguson reached out to CHT about her negative experiences with bus operators. CHT invited Ferguson to the bus garage so they can learn how to better accommodate her Firefly attachment.

While she is glad CHT is attempting to improve bus accessibility, Ferguson thinks addressing operator training is more important.

Though buses can be lowered to curb height, have ramps and include straps to secure mobility aids, Ferguson said they aren't accessible if the people operating them haven't been properly trained.

"We are trying to rectify that situation and solve it by having a conversation with her and having her out to our facility, and doing some extra continuing education with our operators about the next generation of mobility devices," Powell said.

Chris Hodgson, a supervising attorney for the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina, said transportation-related Americans with Disabilities Act grievances are not uncommon.

"It's a problem where things have never really caught up to where things have been implemented to be truly accessible," Hodgson said.

According to a statement from Chapel Hill Transit Director Brian Litchfield, new bus operators are trained for eight to 12 weeks depending on prior experience.

This program includes ADA sensitivity training. Trainees learn how to assist people with mobility devices and aids, which includes maneuvering on and off the bus in a mobility device and practicing securing various mobility devices.

"These training modules include in-person classroom training, video instruction and trainees working directly with instructors on the different styles of buses to secure mobility devices/aids," Litchfield said in the statement.

Ferguson said she agreed to CHT's offer to visit the bus garage in the future and she hopes further bus operator training will allow the transit system in Chapel Hill to become accessible for all of its riders.

@emmymrtin | @DTHCityState

city@dailytarheel.com | elevate@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Chapman prepares to speak before BOT, faculty discusses relationship with board]]> Chairperson of the Faculty Mimi Chapman has been invited to speak before the UNC Board of Trustees this coming Wednesday, March 22.

In Monday's Faculty Executive Committee meeting, Chapman asked faculty leaders about what she should include in her address to best represent the faculty. Here's the breakdown:

What's new?

  • In response to criticism from some national media outlets that professors at UNC share largely liberal political views in the classroom, Chapman said she plans to highlight faculty achievements before the BOT. The discussion came after community backlash surrounding a January resolution by the board to accelerate the development of the proposed School of Civic Life and Leadership. Faculty members have said they were not included in the decision.
  • The committee members present agreed with Chapman's planned approach, and conversations continued regarding the content that should be included within her talk with the board.
    • FEC member Eric Muller addressed community members and media outlets that have called the faculty left-leaning. He said the research, authorship and teaching by UNC faculty are proof of the professional and unbiased approach most professors take in the classroom.
      • "I do think it's important for (the board) to hear that faculty are feeling very much disrespected in this whole process and that that's affecting our ability to do what it is that we're passionate about doing, and that's teaching and research," FEC member Rumay Alexander said.
      • A recent report conducted by professors at UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Greensboro revealed that conservative students are more likely to self-censor in the classroom due to fear of being judged by others.
  • Committee member Jean Cook said she would be curious about what members of the board would like to know specifically about classroom settings at the University.
    • "It's really just to showcase the kind of excellence, is my thought, rather than get into their argument in any way, but just to say this is demoralizing to people that are doing important excellent things that are being recognized and bring honor to this University," Chapman said.
  • Chapman said that one of the greatest constraints with the BOT's invitation is the time limit posed for her speech - about ten minutes.
    • Chapman said she has not seen the agenda for Wednesday's meeting.
    • However, Cook questioned whether or not recent requests from the legislature and the Board of Governors concerning diversity, equity and inclusion training will be included in the agenda.
    • According to Alexander, who is also the former chief diversity officer at UNC, some people are concerned that too much money is being put toward DEI efforts.
      • "I'd be surprised if it didn't come up," Alexander said. "It is about the accumulation of money. It's not about the fact that we have our own experts, it is about why we are spending money on this."
  • Despite the time limit and some fear of not receiving the desired outcome, the consensus amongst FEC members was that Chapman should bring up the diversity requests in some capacity.
    • Alexander said not talking about diversity makes it seem like the University is avoiding the topic. This is not the case, she said.
    • "It's this piling up of issues that is creating this trust and demoralizing piece and it has this chilling effect on people," Alexander said.
  • Overall, the faculty want to engage and collaborate with the BOT, Beth Mayer-Davis, professor of nutrition and medicine, said.
    • This address is an opportunity for Chapman to highlight topics that will excite members of the Board, FEC member Barbara Entwisle said.

What's next?

The next FEC meeting will be held April 3 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.



Mimi Chapman, Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, listens at a faculty council meeting in Karr Hall on Sept. 9, 2022.

<![CDATA[No. 15 Diamond Heels defeat North Carolina A&T, 6-4, in midweek matchup]]> Behind a team pitching effort, the No. 15 North Carolina baseball team (16-5) beat the North Carolina A&T Aggies (10-10), 6-4, on Tuesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.

What happened?

Faced with a two out bases loaded situation starting pitcher Jake Knapp gave up a single to left center field allowing two runs to score giving the Aggies a lead that would escape them once Alberto Osuna stepped up to bat. Knapp was the first of seven Tar Heel pitchers to see the mound during the course of the game.

It did not take long for the bats of the Tar Heels to heat up as leadoff hitter, junior Vance Honeycutt, smashed a solo homer over the right field fence. DH Alberto Osuna would follow Honeycutt's lead by hitting a two run rocket over the right center fence driving in catcher Tomas Frick who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.

The scoring mojo from the previous inning did not transfer over as the Tar Heels recorded a scoreless second frame. Junior Hunter Stokely walked, Honeycutt reached first on a fielder's choice, Mac Horvath singled to center, and Jackson Van De Brake walked to bring up bases loaded. The Heels were unable to capitalize however as Frick hit into a fielder's choice leaving three men stranded.

Stokely hit his fourth homer of the season-and fourth of the game-in the third driving in Cook, who had walked, increasing the Tar Heel lead over the Aggies.

A&T roared their head in the top of the fourth when second baseman Tre Williams homered off pitcher Will Sandy to right field.

UNC attempted to get the offensive train back on the rails in the sixth as Stokely and Wilkerson recorded singles but Horvath flew out to right field, ending the inning.

Both teams remained silent from the fifth until the eighth inning when Aggie Tre Williams doubled, off UNC pitcher Ben Peterson, to right field, scoring one and bringing A&T within one run of the Heels.

Victory was spelled for the Heels in the eighth as Stokely hit an RBI fielder's choice that brought in Cook who had singled previously, giving the Aggies a two run deficit they were unable to make up in the final frame.

Matt Poston would earn the save for the Heels, recording the final three outs and taking away whatever hope of a comeback the Aggies had going into the ninth.

Who stood out?

Honeycutt continued to show his stout ability at the plate as the preseason All American went 2-for-5 with one RBI and a homer.

First baseman Hunter Stokely also showed his offensive capabilities as the junior went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a homer over the course of his first start since the Virgina series.

When was it decided?

The Diamond Heels took the lead in the first behind homers from Vance Honeycutt and Alberto Osuna. From there they held onto it - albeit sometimes by a single run - for the entirety of the game.

Why does it matter?

The Heels hope to play their second full ACC series this weekend facing off against the rival Duke Blue Devils, after their final two games against the Pitt Panthers were canceled due to inclement snowy weather.

Coming into today's game, UNC was tied with the Miami Hurricanes for the most homers in the ACC, a number they increased to 48 as the Tar Heels keep swinging for the fences. In the Diamond Heels' previous three games they racked up 16 runs plus each game in their dominant offensive trend and hope to take that firepower and today's three rockets into the Duke series.

When do they play next?

The Diamond Heels will resume ACC play against Duke on Thursday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

UNC sophomore Vance Honeycutt (7) arrives at first base during the baseball game against North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Boshamer Stadium. UNC beat North Carolina A&T 6-4.

<![CDATA['We have to act now': UNC to host largest collegiate cleantech gathering in the U.S.]]> On March 27 and 28, the UNC Institute for the Environment will bring students, academics, government officials and industry professionals together for the ninth annual UNC Cleantech Summit.

Cleantech is an umbrella term for clean technology and explores sustainability projects and products. Next week's summit is the largest collegiate cleantech gathering in the U.S.

It will feature keynote speakers, panelists and workshops from well-known individuals in the clean technology industry.

The UNC Institute for the Environment is co-hosting the event with the Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability within the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Michael Piehler, UNC chief sustainability officer and director of the Institute for the Environment, said this partnership is valuable and one of the most exciting aspects of the summit.

"We host other events. They're all great. But this one really threads the needle - what our University as a great public university should do," Piehler said. "And that is to convene experts, to create areas for progress in critical parts of our economy and our environments - hopefully simultaneously - and to do it in a way that advances students' experience."

UNC's collaborative environment makes it a great place to hold the summit, Piehler said. He added that its capacity for problem solving and broad research across physical and social sciences are strengths that distinguish it from other universities.

"I think that culture is one that the students feel, and I think it is part of the reason that there's such an energy for something really practical, like the Cleantech Summit, because climate change is among the, if not the challenge of our generation," Piehler said. "And we need all the ideas we can get to find ways to sustain everything we need for people to continue to live well."

The speakers will cover environmental topics such as energy policies, green banks and global energy transitions. At the summit, interested students will have the opportunity to learn what a future in clean technology may realistically look like.

UNC first-year Maanya Rajesh, a Cleantech intern at UNC, helped plan and promote the event and will be interviewing keynote speakers and panelists. She said young people bring a unique perspective to discussions on climate change, and attending the Cleantech Summit will broaden students' perspectives on the issue.

"I truly believe that climate change is the determinant of our generation's future," Rajesh said. "And I think that business and technology has such a huge role in this energy transition, so I think I just wanted to learn more about it and also just get more involved with this amazing initiative here on campus."

The summit will also host a career fair for students to network with people in the industry and will organize a "mentor match" program. This opportunity will allow students to connect with industry professionals and have conversations regarding aspects of environmental technologies that interest them.

"For other people, it's something that's a part of their job or part of their career," Rajesh said. "But for us, it feels oftentimes like it's our only option. That we have to act now. And if the government isn't doing its job, if other businesses aren't doing its job, I think as youth we have this ability to step in and make that impact ourselves."

For industry professionals like Jennifer Weiss, Cleantech Summit panelist and co-director of the North Carolina Clean Energy Fund, the summit is a great way to learn about advances in clean energy and what opportunities are ahead.

Weiss said that because the NCCEF finances new clean technologies, attending the Cleantech Summit allows her organization to explore potential partners and investments.

She noted that as the clean technology realm continues to grow, there is always new information to learn.

"Sometimes there are things that I've never even heard of that people are doing and talking about. It's just a great way to, in two days, get a good glimpse of what's coming," Weiss said.

The summit will take place at UNC's Friday Conference Center, and interested individuals can register here.



The Friday Center is pictured in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.

<![CDATA[Editorial: Recognition for service workers comes in the form of fair pay]]> The blatant disregard for the financial needs of housekeepers on UNC's campus is part of a far larger problem of how service workers are treated.

Service work is some of the most dynamic, skilled and resilient work in the modern economy, but not all employee paychecks show it. Despite their vital role in sustaining an affluent community, many service workers are not compensated in a manner that reflects the importance of their work.

Bus drivers, housekeepers and food servers don't just drive buses, vacuum carpets and serve lunch. They are tasked with de-escalating rowdy people on the bus. They deal with chronic health consequences that often come with physical labor. They have to maintain an unrealistically positive persona while they do it.

It is not uncommon for service workers to work multiple jobs at once because of the incredibly low pay they often receive. An expectation that service workers should be "nice" or, more accurately, accommodating of superfluous customer desires - on top of everything else - only exacerbates the devaluation of their occupations.

Saying "thank you" as you get off the bus or cross the street isn't enough of an acknowledgement. It doesn't put food on the table when workers clock out of their shifts.

Recognition and thanks is a good start, but it is the bare minimum. You should greet your bus driver and your servers when you see them. You should recognize how hard they work. You should also recognize that, for how little they're compensated, they shouldn't have to adopt an overly considerate demeanor. And you should call on systems of power to better compensate and treat service workers.

We need a systemic and meaningful approach to addressing the needs of service workers to properly share appreciate for their important and fundamental contributions to our society.

Many institutions, such as UNC-Chapel Hill, highlight and thank service workers, yet put no action in paying them higher. This past year UNC held an event in the pit for Employee Appreciation Day.

UNC's Employee Appreciation Day was the definition of the bare minimum. It entailed a flu and COVID-19 shot clinic, artist workshops, games and inflatables. None of this, however, can make up for an unlivable wage.

Just seven days later, on Oct. 28, 2022, UNC housekeepers went on strike to demand fair compensation.

The University needs to reevaluate employee compensation without compromising the quantity of service workers and laying off employees. They need to reallocate resources and funds to focus on properly compensating these essential workers.

After all, why should anyone be given below a living wage for such essential labor?



Students stand in line at Alpine Bagel Cafe in the Student Union on Feb. 24, 2023.

<![CDATA[Campus Safety ramps up emergency preparedness resources with classroom QR codes]]> Professor Kelly Hogan remembers seeing several police cars from her office window before leaving to teach her Biology 101 class in 2015. When she received an alert about a possible armed person on campus, Hogan ushered students inside a Genome Sciences Building lecture hall and decided to lock the doors.

She encountered one problem: the doors wouldn't lock.

While the situation was a false alarm, it encouraged Hogan to think about the resources that faculty, staff and students need to feel safe in a learning environment during an emergency.

Hogan used her role as the associate dean of the Office of Instructional Innovation to gather input from faculty on classroom safety and improve access to emergency preparedness resources. A group of faculty-including Hogan and representatives from Campus Safety, University police, the Center for Faculty Excellence and others-have worked together to implement new projects.

Most recently, the group designed an emergency checklist for faculty to ensure familiarity with classroom facilities and safety procedures. This checklist is embedded in a QR code placed on the podiums of large lecture halls, a measure that was implemented at the beginning of the semester.

When the code is scanned, it opens a "resource hub" compiled by Campus Safety, which includes the emergency checklist and information about the types of locking mechanisms in different classrooms.

"I think people are starting to become more aware, and putting the QR codes on the consoles in the classroom and announcing it is something we're gonna have to do every semester to remind people until it becomes habit," Hogan said.

The QR code is also displayed on the login page of classroom computers, so it is the first thing professors see when they sign in. Furthermore, instructors who teach in these classrooms receive an email at the start of each semester that contains the link to the QR code and other safety information.

"So regardless of if it's before something happens, during a disruption or after that, they can familiarize themselves and know that they can access that to provide some guidance to them," said Darrell Jeter, emergency management and planning director of Campus Safety.

Campus Safety is also improving systems that are already in place, such as the Carolina Ready app, which serves as a directory for a variety of campus resources. The department collaborated with student groups in the fall to organize the Zombie Preparedness Festival and is working to create resources for targeted audiences, including residential students, families and office-based staff.

"While we have UNC Police; Environment, Health and Safety; and other campus safety resources and departments whose primary roles are to focus on the safety of our campus community, we realized that for it to be effective on the implementation side, our partnership with the students, with the faculty and with the staff really becomes vital," Jeter said.

A large part of this challenge is informing all students and faculty about the emergency information available to them. First-year student Marco Passalacqua said he noticed a decreased emphasis on emergency preparedness after transitioning from high school to college.

"In high school and middle school, they've always made that clear for every class, but in college, I can't recall a time that that was covered by our professors," he said.

Having a QR code available to professors would give him peace of mind about the possibility of an emergency situation, Passalacqua added.

Hogan also wants to increase awareness of emergency preparedness among students, and her motivation doesn't only stem from her experience in 2015.

"I'm a mother," she said. "My son is a first-year at Carolina. So it's not just campus safety for myself and students. These students include my son. So, it's something that I'd like to see our students think more about."

At the beginning of this semester, Hogan led her teaching assistants in an assessment of classroom resources. She emphasized the importance of students speaking up to faculty in the case of an Alert Carolina, as students are often the first to see the notification if a professor is busy lecturing. Additionally, Hogan encouraged faculty to follow the faculty checklist and discuss safety procedures with their students the first week of class.

"Students are going to look to the leaders in the classroom, and if the leaders in the classroom haven't thought about it, it's going to be that much harder," she said.

Campus Safety hopes to continue expanding access to emergency preparedness information, as well as collaborating with faculty and students to implement more resources.

"The sense that you have options, and you can take action during any emergency, as opposed to feeling overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about what has occurred, is what I hope will come out of this," Jeter said.



<![CDATA[Duke Energy developing its second carbon plan to implement energy transition]]> Duke Energy is developing a second carbon plan only two months after the release of the first, according to Duke Energy spokesperson Bill Norton.

The company's original plan - the Carolinas Carbon Plan - detailed Duke Energy's planned methods for implementing North Carolina's energy transition, which is mandated by House Bill 951.

The bill, which was passed in October 2021, set goals for electric public utilities to significantly limit carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

H.B. 951 requires that all changes must "maintain or improve upon the adequacy and reliability of the existing grid," through the option that costs the least. The North Carolina Utilities Commission is tasked with enforcing the bill by developing plans with electric public utilities.

The commission's plans explain how and when changes will be implemented to guarantee both reliability and affordability for customers, which Norton said are priorities of Duke Energy.

Both the initial and upcoming Duke Energy carbon plans employ a strategy that Norton describes as "all of the above." Both of them facilitate the company's transition to a combination of nuclear power, hydrogen-capable natural gas plants, solar power, wind power and battery storage.

The second carbon plan will likely introduce a modified timeline or composition of the same energy generation methods, according to Norton.

It will also take into consideration the Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress in August 2022, which offers tax incentives for households that transition to renewable energy.

"Customers deserve a clean energy plan that supports communities, that keeps rates as low as possible while ensuring the continued economic competitiveness that North Carolina depends upon," Norton said.

The first carbon plan was developed with input from shareholders and the public.

The first shareholder meeting to discuss the second plan was held in February and hosted about 250 participants from North and South Carolina. The second meeting is scheduled for March 15 and public input hearings are tentatively scheduled for late 2023 or early 2024, according to Norton.

The Utilities Commission has also required that Duke Energy file its second plan, complete with shareholder input, by September 2023, Norton said.

These meetings are used to allow discussions and proposals among not only shareholders, local businesses and environmental groups. However, some environmental leaders believe the meetings are not as collaborative as they could be.

Nicholas Jimenez, a staff attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, said the shareholder meetings were announced but none of the information presented was made available beforehand.

"It's very hard to just take a bunch of figures off a slide and then offer useful input to Duke," Jimenez said.

Luis Martinez, Southeast Energy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the most recent shareholder meeting was remote. Duke Energy disabled the chat, not allowing for questions or comments.

Martinez said the plan doesn't call for enough investment in solar and battery storage that NRDC believes will be necessary to meet the 2030 goal. H.B. 951 seeks to limit carbon emissions to 70 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.

"A big frustration with the Utilities Commission's plan is that it doesn't change the trajectory that the state was already on, after years, maybe five years of effort, stakeholder meetings and analysis," Luis Martinez said.

Martinez added that the plans from the commission are too reliant on commercially unavailable technology, such as small modular reactors and hydrogen plants, rather than well-established technologies - including solar and wind energy.

"We've got plenty of technology already that can cut carbon: solar, storage and wind," Nicholas Jimenez said. "We should be planning on that because we know it could work - we know how much it costs. Let's plan on that."


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Solar panels sit at the solar farm on White Cross Road in Chapel Hill on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.

<![CDATA[New class could help increase representation of students of color in higher level courses]]> With the promise of greater academic success in college and higher graduation rates, many high school students opt to take higher-level courses, such as advanced placement classes.

However, a lack of minority students within these programs in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has raised concerns for some members of the district.

Peyton Battle, a Chapel Hill High School junior, said she is often the only student of color in her AP classes.

CHHS senior Nicole Branch also said there is less representation of people of color in her AP classes compared to white students.

"There's definitely kind of a sense of not exactly belonging or feeling like you have to do as good as possible to like, prove that you deserve to be there and that you're like as smart as like white students," Branch said.

Branch said some AP history classes, like European History, often do not involve the histories of people of color.

As of the 2022 to 2023 school year, AP African American Studies has started piloting in 60 schools across the country and will expand to approximately 200 schools, including Chapel Hill High School, in the coming school year.

"The interdisciplinary course reaches into a variety of fields - literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography and science - to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans," the College Board website states.

Branch said she thinks it is great College Board has created the class, as it will help students of color become more involved and feel represented in higher-level classes.

Battle said this lack of representation starts early on in students' educational careers.

"I also think there needs to be more encouragement and less bias and discrimination from elementary and middle school teachers, because I think that's where a lot of the problem starts with students of color being discouraged from taking AP and honors classes," Battle said.

Kate Kennedy, director of advanced learning and student leadership for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, said the school system is working hard to disrupt barriers that have historically made it more difficult for students of color.

Kennedy said one way the district is doing this is through the gifted edication program. She said children in the gifted program are often set up to be more practiced in certain areas and, therefore, more inclined to sign up for honors and advanced placement classes when the time comes.

"We've been working to make sure that our district gifted identification outcomes mirror our district demographics and for the first time in, I think ever, our district demographics are closely in alignment with our historically underserved population data," Kennedy said.

Kennedy added that the school system is also looking to increase the diversity of its teaching staff to ensure that students see themselves in their teachers.

Kathy Bolanos Villanueva, a senior at CHHS, has been a part of the Advanced Via Individual Determination program since middle school.

AVID is a college preparatory acceleration program that works to support students who show individual determination to succeed, have at or above grade level achievement, have high aptitude and see themselves as college and career bound.

Bolanos Villanueva said she has always dreamed of going to college, as they would be a first-generation student. Going into high school, they knew taking AP classes would help them gain experience and become accustomed to more rigorous classes.

She said while it was difficult to adjust at first, they have made themself known in the classroom and shown her classmates that she is just as smart and deserving of a desk in the classroom as they are.

"A lot of people might try to keep minority students from taking these classes or certain microaggressions might be faced towards them, but I don't think that's going to stop them from ever taking those classes," Bolanos Villanueva said. "I think the students need a little bit more of a push to realize that they are just as capable of taking like AP classes as anybody else."


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Peyton Battle, a junior at Chapel Hill High School, practices calculus at her desk on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

<![CDATA[Public School Foundation raises money for CHCCS grants, scholarships through 5k race]]> The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation hosted a 5k race on Saturday, March 18 to raise money for grants and scholarships to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

The race weaved through UNC's campus, with the route beginning at the Morehead Planetarium and ending at the Old Well. UNC students were on spring break on the day of the race, leaving campus less crowded than usual.

Over 2,000 people registered for the race. About 1,900 people attended the race, and over 1,800 crossed the finish line, Madeline Blobe, executive director of the PSF, said. The foundation raised about $15,000 after expenses, which will go to CHCCS.

The overall fastest runner was Paige Hofstad of Morrisville, finishing with a time of 16 minutes and 53 seconds.

Jake Green of Chapel Hill came in second place with a final time of 16 minutes and eight seconds. Joe Wilson, also from Chapel Hill, achieved third place for finishing in 17-minutes and 34 seconds.

Fleet Feet, a store that sells running gear, sponsored the race in partnership with the PSF. The store provided all race prizes, said Christine Cotton, a board member for the PSF and committee chair of PSF 5k for Education.

Cotton said Fleet Feet also helped market the event to the local community and offered a 10 percent discount on gear.

Blobe said this year, the PSF might be able to give the money directly to schools instead of having teachers and students apply for grants and scholarships, which it has usually done in the past.

"Three times a year we offer grants to teachers for their classrooms so that they can implement programs that they wouldn't have state funding for," Blobe said. "The foundation looks for teachers who are providing innovative and equitable opportunities for their students to receive grants."

Another major goal of the foundation is to give around 75 awards to exemplary teachers each year, Blobe said.

She explained that PSF funds about 17 scholarships annually for students' secondary education, such as college and trade schools.

"Every year we award about $60,000 in scholarship money to seniors," Blobe said.

This was the 15th anniversary of the race, and this year was the largest 5k that the PSF has ever organized, Cotton said.

"It was such a wonderful feeling to know that we had a part in giving these kids an opportunity to get out there and run with their families or with their teachers," said Cotton.

Cotton said it was an honor for her to help plan the 5k event for CHCCS and to be a part of a community-building event.

Scarlett Steinert, director of Healthful Living, Athletics and Driver's Education for CHCCS, said teachers in the school district - especially physical education teachers - help plan physical activities for students to keep them active and healthy.

She added that events like the 5k provide a healthy way for students and families to interact with their community.

"It's a great opportunity for families to come out and do something together. At the same time, it's also a chance for teachers in the schools to build community," she said.

Michelle Wood, a physical education teacher at Rashkis Elementary School, said she encourages her students to stay active both inside and outside of school grounds.

"We try to encourage the community fundraising as well as the healthy aspect," Wood said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

The 5K for Education took place on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Madeline Blobe and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation.

<![CDATA[CHCCS teachers and staff highlight creativity in Youth Art Month and beyond]]> Although Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is celebrating Youth Art Month this March, teachers across the district emphasize the importance of the arts year-round.

Youth Art Month was first honored in 1969 by The Art and Creative Materials Institute and is a nationally-recognized celebration of the importance of children's access to arts education.

At Culbreth Middle School, advanced acting students recently traveled with theater teacher Terra Hodge to perform at the North Carolina Theatre Conference's Middle School Play Festival from March 10-11. Student-led groups had 45 minutes to set up, perform a story and then "strip" the stage before receiving feedback from local theatre professionals.

"It's really getting the kids to see how theater is done outside of our school," Hodge said.

Culbreth Middle won several awards at the festival, including an award for Hodge for excellence in directing.

Johnathan Hamiel, the K-12 arts coordinator for CHCCS, said the many positive examples of the arts for students outside of their own schools are a source of pride for him. In an upcoming event, he said, all visual arts students from all age groups will get to publicly present their artwork at the Visions Art Show, held at the Lincoln Center in Chapel Hill from April 24-26.

He also discussed the importance of music as a part of students' arts education by introducing them to professional performances.

"All 4th-grade students in the elementary school will travel to Raleigh to watch the North Carolina Symphony perform," Hamiel said.

Hamiel said this trip is thanks to a grant for bus transportation and he said he hopes it gets students excited about participating in music in secondary school.

According to Hamiel, a grant from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation allowed for professional development for all elementary arts teachers last semester. These teachers are also able to apply for the PSF grant specifically for materials or performances.

Deb Cox, an art teacher at Carrboro Elementary School, used the PSF grant to fund an all-school arts project on the ocean and pollution.

"All the students, kindergarten through 5th grade, are creating a different aspect of the ocean," Cox said.

She said the project is an educational piece bridging science and arts.

Hodge said she wants to give her students a non-judgmental place with their peers to be adventurous and explorative. She also said representation is important in the arts and that students can feel more comfortable if they see someone else who "looks like them."

"Students step out of their comfort zone and dare to do something that seems a little bit scary, but understanding that, 'I never know what I can do until I try,'" she said.

Hodge said one student athlete saw several shows the theater program did and decided to audition for their next show, "High School Musical."

"I was like, 'This is very similar to your life,'" she said. "You know, an athlete that has this hidden talent that no one has seen just yet. And he did awesome in the show, and built his confidence about being on stage doing something that was different from what people knew him to do."

Similarly, Cox said she appreciates providing art materials for students who may not have the financial resources at home to do so. As a teacher, she said she gets to see students grow from first experiencing creative activity to having art connect them to future lifelong passions.

Cox said she saw a young student in particular "come out of his shell," and discover a passion for design and engineering through drawing.

"It was like then he connected to all the other things, then he connected to science and math because he started to see how all of that can be very connected into what his passion was," she said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Art decorates the hallways of Mel and Zora Rashkis Elementary School on Monday, March 20, 2023. This month, students in CHCCS are participating in Youth Art Month.

<![CDATA[Parking prices emphasize priority differences between Chapel Hill and Carrboro ]]> While Chapel Hill and Carrboro border one another, the towns handle parking finances and enforcement very differently.

For the 2022-23 fiscal year, Chapel Hill Parking Services expects to make roughly $6 million in revenue - a combination of meter fees from on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots, parking ticket fines and a $3.8 million transfer from debt services to fund the construction of a new parking deck on Rosemary Street.

"We charge for parking, including parking tickets, because we're trying to balance between being at the very front door of a university with 30,000 students, faculty and staff and the economic vitality of downtown," Dwight Bassett, director of economic development and parking services for Chapel Hill, said.

The price to park in Chapel Hill varies by location - it costs $1.75 to park for an hour on Franklin Street and $1.50 an hour to park in off-street lots. Tickets for parking violations begin at $15.

Less than a mile down the road in Carrboro, parking is completely free.

In Carrboro, the only restriction when parking in a public lot is that cars must be moved after two hours - a policy that is rarely enforced, according to Jon Hartman-Brown, the economic development director for the Town of Carrboro.

"I know people who work at the medical school, who live in Chatham County who drive up, park their car (in Carrboro), pull the bike off the back and then ride on the Libba Cotten path all the way to UNC," Ryan Byars, a resident of Carrboro who wrote a blog post for Triangle Blog Blog about parking, said.

Carrboro does not have a department that mirrors Chapel Hill's Parking Services. The public parking lots are administered by the town's planning and economic development departments.

"We need parking because we want people to come downtown, visit our businesses and shop and participate in the local economy," Hartman-Brown said.

The Carrboro Town Council is currently discussing the future of parking and whether further parking enforcement or the establishment of parking fines would benefit the Town.

Byars - who chooses to bike downtown instead of driving - said charging for parking in Carrboro could help enhance walkability and allow Carrboro residents to optimize the use of the parking lots funded by their tax dollars.

"If we were pricing it appropriately, it might incentivize private parking owners to do something more productive with that space, like building multi-use housing," he said.

Lance Gloss, the editor-in-chief of the Carolina Planning Journal, said having to pay for parking might also discourage the use of cars if people no longer think they can park for free downtown.

Due to its Complete Community initiative, the Town of Chapel Hill is continuing conversations about planning options for a less car-centric future. The initiative was created by the Town of Chapel Hill to identify how to develop the town in an inclusive and economically-competitive way.

"It's easier to bike and to walk and to use transit in this community than it is in many comparably sized communities nationwide, and that creates some degree of opportunity here to reduce parking requirements," Gloss said.

In Chapel Hill, charging for parking is less optional than in Carrboro since the Town shares spaces with the University and private entities, according to Bassett.

Chapel Hill is at a disadvantage when it comes to available parking, Bassett said, as the Town owns only 35 percent of parking resources - while in other well-managed downtowns, at least 50 percent of parking is publicly owned.

"No matter how good our policies are, no matter how good our fees are, we are only controlling 35 percent of the available parking," he said.

Chapel Hill Parking Services' economic model is an enterprise fund - a business that covers its expenditures and costs with its revenue since the Town does not fund parking through general fund requests. Carrboro's parking fund is sustained by the Town's general fund, according to Hartman-Brown.

Gloss said conversations around parking often fall at the intersection of economics, equality and disparate access to services.

"This is an emotionally charged conversation, it's much bigger than cars, and it also fits into budgets for these public entities that are full of competing demands," he said.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Women's Public Health and Safety Act could further restrict abortion access]]> The Women's Public Health and Safety Act was introduced to the U.S. Senate in mid-February - less than a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bill could give states the ability to exclude abortion providers from receiving state Medicaid funds unless an abortion is deemed necessary due to rape, incest or a life-threatening situation.

It will negate current federal law, which requires states to allow any legitimate medical provider to participate in a state's Medicaid program.

On Feb. 28, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced in a press release that he is co-sponsoring the bill. U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) is the primary sponsor ofthe bill.

"Abortionisnothealth care," Lankford said in a press release from co-sponsor U.S. Sen. James Risch (R-ID). "It should not be controversial to say that taxpayers shouldn't beforcedto support abortion providers. States should have the right to decide that Medicaid funds will not support an abortion provider's bottomline."

Tillis' press release said Planned Parenthood received nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over a three-year period. This accounts for 81 percent of the reproductive health care provider's joint federal-state funding stream, according to the release. The release said the data came from a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.

"Organizations like Planned Parenthood should not be receiving taxpayer dollars to perform abortions," Tillis said in the statement. "This legislation will give authority back to the states to choose where Medicaid dollars should go, and I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation to protect life."

Jillian Riley, the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said the bill is an attack on sexual and reproductive health care.

Riley explained that the act would stop people from receiving services such as contraceptives, breast cancer screenings, STI testing and treatments and more.

"(Planned Parenthood) make(s) reproductive services including family planning services and (STI) testing available for low-income women and for others with the capacity for pregnancy in rural areas and in areas where the services are often not available," Maxine Eichner, a law professor at UNC, said.

Medicaid is the largest funder of reproductive health care in the United States.

People of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, people who live in rural areas, people with disabilities and women are more likely to be insured by Medicaid due to systemic discrimination and barriers to economic advancement, according to Riley.

"Our patients cannot afford to lose access to these critical services and should never be used as a political pawn by elected officials," she said in an email.

Tara Romano, the executive director of Pro-Choice North Carolina, said the bill is a way of stigmatizing and politicizing health care.

Romano said that legislation to block abortion access has been in place for a long time, specifically on the financial side.

"Anti-abortion lawmakers have known that by blocking people's access to pay for abortion care, that's a way of blocking access to abortion," Romano said.

Eichner said she teaches family law and has a research interest in reproductive rights and women's equality.

While Eichner said she believes this federal bill will have no chance of passing right now, she said there are more significant threats to women's reproductive rights that are currently occurring in the state legislature.

N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham) told the Associated Press that the state has an absolute interest in regulating abortion after the first trimester.

State law currently has a ban in place after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of medical emergency, rape or incest.

North Carolina is one of 11 states that have not yet adopted the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, a provision that increases insurance coverage for low-income adults. A report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said the expansion would directly improve the health and well-being of 600,000 North Carolina residents.

The N.C. General Assembly reached an agreement to expand Medicaid earlier this month and the bill will be in full effect once the state budget is approved.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Planned Parenthood in Chapel Hill provides reproductive health services to the Triangle. The Women's Public Health and Safety Act, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) - could impact the organization's funding.

<![CDATA[Lithium mining company pushes for permit approval in NC despite local opposition]]> As the demand for lithium - used to develop batteries for electric vehicles - increases, a corporation plans to meet demand in North Carolina despite local opposition.

Piedmont Lithium plans to develop a 1500-acre mine containing four 500-foot deep pits for lithium extraction with a processing plant on-site in Gaston County, according to Erin Sanders, senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations at Piedmont Lithium.

Sanders said Gaston County is part of the largest lithium belt in the U.S.

"​​Gaston County is poised to be an important contributor to the lithium production in the world again, but this time it's really important for U.S. energy security," Sanders said. "Currently, China uses about 80 percent of the world's battery-grade lithium, so it's really important that we have sources in the U.S. from North America."

Sanders said Piedmont Lithium is in the process of acquiring state mining permits, then it will move to gain local zoning approval. She said she expects permits to be approved by 2024 to start construction and production by 2026.

But getting to that stage could be difficult with local opposition from community members and officials in Gaston County.

Community members founded a group called Stop Piedmont Lithium and have amassed over 2,600 petition signatures to push state and local officials to deny Piedmont Lithium's permit requests.

Chad Brown, the chairperson of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, said he is skeptical of the safety of a mining project at this scale.

"The Board of Commissioners has lots of questions about environmental impact," Brown said. "We have lots of questions on water quality. What happens to the wells that go on there? There's over 1,600 wells in that area. Where do they go?"

Lisa Stroup, a farm owner and member of Stop Piedmont Lithium, said if the project is approved, her farm would be three miles away from one of the four open pits in the proposed mine.

Stroup said the project poses a risk of groundwater depletion and arsenic contamination, which can cause various health problems, like cancer. Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element in their soil, but Stroup said mining 500 feet deep would draw water down, pulling arsenic into the groundwater.

Sanders said Piedmont Lithium will engage in "pressure leaching," which removes acid from water. She said the process avoids using traditional mining practices that rely on sulfuric acid, which leads to other water contamination issues.

While pressure leaching may offset water contamination concerns, the International Mine Water Association Congress found in 1991 that open pit mining disturbs chemicals in soil due to "breaking and degradation of land," causing physical imbalances.

"We depend on water from the creeks around here to water our livestock and well water, groundwater," Stroup said. "So when they are drawing down the water from the pits to be able to mine them, as deep as they're saying these pits are going to be, it is going to have a great impact on the groundwater and the surface water."

Warren Snowdon, another member of Stop Piedmont Lithium, said concerns like noise and dust pollution are important to him. Snowdon said his home would be approximately 800 feet from the east pit.

Trees will serve as a barrier to the sound from mining operations, Sanders said and investments for a conveyer belt will reduce the need for more trucks on-site, which generally lift dust particles into the air.

Despite parameters that aim to offset Piedmont Lithium's impact, Snowdon said he distrusts the development because of the corporation's lack of transparency. He said the company promised public meetings and open dialogues with citizens, a promise that is yet to be fulfilled.

Sanders said they have been open with whatever insight residents could offer and that Piedmont Lithium has opened an office near the community to foster open dialogue.

Snowdon said community relations with Piedmont Lithium are strained, as many have felt forced to sell their homes to make room for mining development.

This perception developed two years ago and is not how Piedmont Lithium operates, Sanders said.

"I think what you might imagine in discussions, there have been people who have chosen not to sell, and that's totally their prerogative," Sanders said. "But if a realtor says, 'Okay, well, this is going to be next to you, I just want you to know that because your neighbors all sold,' would you perceive that as a threat? Maybe. It's not how it should have been intended, but people are emotional. You can understand how people might perceive things differently."


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

DTH Photo Illustration. Lithium batteries are in increasingly high demand and have led to the development of lithium mines and processing plants like the one being proposed in Gaston County. The region is part of the largest lithium belt in the U.S.

<![CDATA['Beginning of an era': Mike Schall has big shoes to fill as new volleyball head coach]]> By sitting on the bench, Mike Schall realized he wanted to be a coach.

As a former volleyball player at Penn State, he fell in love with the behind-the-scenes processes of coaching and preparing a team. After graduating in 1994, Schall began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater and was a part of the Nittany Lions team that won the 1999 NCAA title. After Schall left Penn State, the players he helped recruit went on to win four straight NCAA titles.

After serving as an assistant coach at UNC for the past five seasons, Schall replaced recently-retired Joe Sagula, who had been North Carolina's head coach for 33 years and racked up seven ACC Championships in the process. As the winningest volleyball coach in ACC history, Sagula left his assistant some pretty big shoes to fill.

Sagula always advised his players and assistants to be true to themselves, which is something Schall said he is keeping in mind as he takes over the program. One of the responsibilities he's looking forward to is being a guiding figure for his players as they progress throughout college.

"This period in their lives, it's a time where there are so many opportunities to grow," Schall said. "And I enjoy conversations that facilitate that growth."

Junior middle hitter Kaya Merkler is no stranger to Schall's coaching style. Schall is the former director at Triangle Volleyball Club in Apex, N.C., the same club Merkler played for growing up.

Merkler, who started all 29 games and led the team in blocks last season, said Schall "is still pretty much the same."

"When I heard that he was going to be the new assistant, I was overjoyed," Merkler said. "I was so thrilled that I get to play for him again."

Now, with Schall as the head coach, Merkler said "it's the beginning of a (new) era" for UNC volleyball.

Schall said his nearly seven years of experience at Triangle Volleyball Club helped prepare him for the administrative responsibilities that come with his new gig.

"Being in the (club) volleyball world… you kind of have to do everything," Schall said. "And so I think as a head coach now, I've experienced over the last couple of weeks, you have a lot of different responsibilities."

Maddy May, a first-year out of Winterville, North Carolina, said she is excited to see the team build a new foundation under Schall's leadership and is looking forward to "building new relationships, redefining relationships and redefining this program."

"I really think we're gonna do something special in these next few years with Mike (Schall) and before Kaya (Merkler) graduates, so I'm just very excited for what's to come," May said.

The North Carolina volleyball program has high goals for the future, both on and off the courts.

Since being hired, Schall has put an emphasis on a higher level of competition for the team. Because North Carolina has historically been a powerhouse in sports, the volleyball program is working on fitting itself into that legacy. Schall said he wants his squad to be "one of those teams that wins championships."

On top of that, he wants to expose more UNC fans to the excitement of volleyball.

"Our goal here at Carolina is for us to be a team that people just can't wait until the next match and they'd love to come and watch and support," Schall said.

Come August, Tar Heel students and fans alike will have their first chance to see Schall come off of the bench and commence his head coaching legacy.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

Mike Schall coaches from the sidelines of the UNC volleyball game against South Carolina in Carmichael Arena on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Schall was named the new head coach of the program on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.
Photo Courtesy of Carolina Athletics.

<![CDATA[Pawan Dhingra speaks on anti-Asian violence in final lecture, March 29]]> As a first-year political science major, Christina Huang said she wasn't aware of the resources available at UNC for Asian American students until she discovered the Asian American Center - a place she now visits frequently.

She recently saw an advertisement for the final lecture of the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship featuring speaker Pawan Dhingra.

Huang said Dhingra, associate provost and associate dean of the faculty at Amherst College, is a well-known figure in the Asian American community. She said she has been excited to attend his series of three events held in the Triangle - the final of which will be March 29.

The Distinguished Visiting Professorship lectures are held by both UNC and Duke University as a way to bring a guest speaker to deliver lectures at both campuses.

"It was very interesting to listen to because I've never really talked too much about Asian American identity and what it means to be Asian American and what is the model minority myth," Huang said.

Huang said she believes these lectures start a conversation that is desperately needed in the community. It was not just about the lecture itself but also the discussion after, she said. As a college student, she said she thought this was the best time to explore diverse identities and understand the struggles others may face.

"We all came here different ways, we have different stories, and to club us into one big group, to generalize, it hurts our entire community and the needs and struggles of different groups of people," she said.

Dhingra's previous two lectures in the series addressed issues surrounding race from public and academic perspectives, bringing up the deficiencies in the standard approaches of discussing racism.

His final lecture, "Moving Beyond Fighting Anti-Asian Racism," aims to inform his audience on how to combat anti-Asian racism while acknowledging complexities. Dhingra plans to take the opportunity to share how he thinks the community can make meaningful change in a way that many people are able to benefit from.

"Addressing racism is not just about helping minoritized groups," Dhingra said."That's part of it. But that's not really the ultimate kind of end that we're trying to strive for."

Laura Howes, director of Bass Connections in the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke, said the goal of these lectures is to facilitate connections between Duke and UNC on an academic issue that is important to both institutions.

"Just even showing an investment in these issues is an important step in the process," Howes said. "And then the lectures serve as a platform for spotlighting those discussions."

The provosts' offices at both institutions worked with their Asian American centers to collaborate in creating the series and selecting Dhingra as this year's speaker.

Dhingra said he appreciates the opportunity to share his ideas around this issue with a large audience and believes that both campuses have done a great job publicizing the talks.

For his last lecture, Dhingra said he is looking forward to making new connections and reconnecting with people he has met through the previous two lectures.

"There's a lot of meaningful things to do with your time," he said. "So why would you take time out of your day to go to this thing? And my answer to that is that these are issues that we're discussing in this conversation, that we normally don't have much of an opportunity to discuss publicly."

The third and final lecture will be held at Duke on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.



<![CDATA[Junior trio of Ustby, Todd-Williams and Kelly close third chapter of UNC women's basketball journey]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - Three juniors, 1.8 seconds and one hail mary.

Deja Kelly popped out on the wing, looking to draw multiple defenders. Alyssa Ustby cut inside, anticipating the ensuing lob.

As Kennedy Todd-Williams watched her inbound pass clank off the rim, the UNC guard put her hands on her knees, then on her head in disbelief. Kelly pointed to the clock as time expired, pleading her case to an official, while Ustby trudged back to the bench.

Just like that, No. 6 seed North Carolina was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, falling 71-69 to No. 3 seed Ohio State in the second round.

"It's the beauty of March, and it's the brutality of March," head coach Courtney Banghart said.

In her final postgame press conference of the season, Banghart was joined by Ustby and Todd-Williams to her left. To her right sat Kelly, who stared at her shoes and didn't look up until she was asked questions. The three All-ACC players combined for 54 points on Monday, including 21 of the team's 23 in the fourth quarter.

What's left to say about this group that has not already been said?

"I would be nowhere without these three for all the obvious reasons and also all the not-so-obvious reasons," Banghart said. "How they stuck by each other, they stick by me, they believe in our program and what they have meant to us."

Three years ago, Banghart's then-rookie recruits arrived in Chapel Hill as disjointed pieces of a developing puzzle - Ustby, the versatile Minnesotan forward, Todd-Williams, the homegrown talent and Kelly, the flashy five-star guard from San Antonio.

That year, the young trio played in the shadow of veteran center Janelle Bailey and future WNBA player Stephanie Watts and lost in the first round of the Big Dance. The following season, that group brought UNC to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2015.

And now, their third chapter has come to an end.

"These guys have been with me since I got here," Banghart said. "They were the first phone calls I made. They're proving me right, not just because of their talent, but because of their fortitude. They're competitive as hell."

Facing a 12-point deficit with seven minutes to play, Kelly crashed into a Buckeye screen and had to be carried off the court - almost a surefire dagger to any comeback hopes. But Ustby and Todd-Williams responded just as quickly, scoring all of UNC's points in its 13-4 run during Kelly's absence.

"The one thing we say before every game is that we got each other's backs," Ustby said. "So when Deja went out, we huddled together like, 'Guys we got this, we're doing it for Deja and we're doing it for all of us to give us the best chance to win.'"

Although they ultimately fell short, the Tar Heels know their story isn't over. But while thinking of the future is motivating to Banghart, appreciating how far her team has come is equally inspiring.

Three years ago, in her second season at the helm, the former Princeton coach looked to restore prominence to a waning program. Since then, she has built an inseparable group around her first recruiting class at UNC - a band of young women who endure it all together, be it laughing or crying, winning or losing.

From the exciting uncertainty of the season's first practice in October to the brutal beauty of competing in March, that connectedness remains unwavering. It continues to grow. And as the Tar Heels grieve the conclusion of their season, they find solace in the fact that they don't have to do it alone.

"Coming up short, obviously it hurts all of us the most," Kelly said. "The conversations we've had, the hard work that we've put in together, I think that's why it means so much is because we've been through all of it literally together. And personally, I wouldn't want to go through it with anyone else."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

Members of the UNC women's basketball team huddle during the game against Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, March 20, 2023.

<![CDATA[Tar Heels can't crack Buckeyes as women's basketball season comes to an end in Columbus]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio -If sophomore forward Destiny Adams were to identify a mantra for this season, it would be "hard to beat."

"I think we faced adversity," she said. "Our motto was to be 'hard to beat,' and I think we brought that the majority of the season."

In UNC's season-ending 71-69 loss to No. 3 seed Ohio State, the Tar Heels pushed the Buckeyes to the brink while battling through adverse circumstances. Without starters Deja Kelly or Eva Hodgson, who missed the latter part of the game due to injuries, North Carolina began to claw back from a double-figure deficit in the fourth quarter. The final period represented a tenacity that served as a common thread throughout the season.

The first test came after Hodgson, attempting to draw a charge on senior forward Eboni Walker, hit the floor with eight minutes to play. When Hodgson stood up and continued to grab at her head, she was benched. Following the loss, she was diagnosed with a concussion.

With seven minutes remaining, Kelly awkwardly curled around a screen and quickly collapsed. She was soon carried off of the court and hobbled to the locker room with a banged-up knee.

North Carolina was down by 12 points. Two starters were gone, and the season was on the line.

After Kelly left the floor, the Tar Heels huddled together. The message was clear -another soldier had to step up.

"I would definitely say we just fought with the younger guys in there," junior wing Kennedy Todd-Williams said. "They definitely locked in. I thought that was a big moment for us."

Three bench players -Kayla McPherson, Paulina Paris and Destiny Adams -were forced to play in critical minutes down the stretch.

The Tar Heels then went on a 13-4 run that helped the team regain its momentum. A layup by Paris with two minutes to play gave UNC its first lead of the game.

Despite absorbing blow after blow, including having Adams foul out in the game's final five minutes, McPherson said that the Tar Heels found comfort in the fact that they'd been in similar late-game situations before.

After all, the team wasn't too far removed from a five-game stretch in February when Ustby and Hodgson sat out due to injuries and other players were forced to step up. McPherson started three of those games and Adams and Paris both started two contests of their own, including a full 40-minute endeavor at Louisville for Paris.

"We've been in a similar situation before with losing people," redshirt first-year forward Teonni Key said. "Coach has always told uswe are enough, regardless of what happens."

With two and a half minutes remaining, Kelly - just minutes removed from being carried off the court - checked back into the game.

"That's Deja Kelly for you," junior forward Anya Poole said. "She's not gonna just sit out because she wants to. If she can walk and put pressure on it, she's going to go back in the game, regardless of if she can run, if she has to limp, if she has to try and fly some type of way. She was gonna come back in, and I knew that from the jump."

Kelly almost immediately added two free throws to the score, and with nine seconds remaining, hit a midrange jumper to tie the game at 69-69. It appeared, for a second, as if UNC would pull off the unthinkable.

It wasn't enough.

A game-winning shot from Ohio State's Jacy Sheldon in the game's final two seconds spoiled North Carolina's comeback bid and ignited the Buckeyes' celebration.

Despite a bitter ending, Banghart led off her final postgame press conference by stating how proud she was of her team.

They did all the things she thought would get them to a Sweet 16, but in the end, she said the Tar Heels "just weren't quite good enough."

"I asked them to be what they have been all year, which is a group of fighters," Banghart said. "I asked them to be locked down defensively. I asked them to make shots, make plays, be stars. We asked them to be hard to beat."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

UNC junior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams (3) shoots the ball during the game against Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, March 20, 2023.

<![CDATA[UNC women's basketball drops NCAA Tournament second-round contest to Ohio State ]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 6 seed North Carolina women's basketball team (22-11, 11-7 ACC) fell to No. 3 seed Ohio State (27-7, 12-6 Big Ten), 71-69, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Schottenstein Center on Monday evening.

What happened?

The Buckeyes exploded out of the gate with hot 3-point shooting from guards Taylor Mikesell and Jacy Sheldon, while North Carolina committed five turnovers against Ohio State's full court press. Junior forward Alyssa Ustby finally put UNC on the board with a fadeaway over forward Cotie McMahon, but Ohio State held a commanding 11-2 lead at the first media timeout after forcing a shot clock violation.

First-year guard Kayla McPherson subbed in for redshirt senior guard Eva Hodgson and instantly made an impact, holding Mikesell to a wild outside miss and a turnover. Meanwhile, junior guard Deja Kelly went unconscious, scoring eight points and propelling the Tar Heels to outscore Ohio State 12-5 after the media timeout. The Buckeyes led 16-14 heading into the second frame.

Ohio State extended its lead with McMahon using her imposing frame to continue barreling through defenders, which got other Buckeyes going. Forward Eboni Walker, Sheldon, forward Taylor Thierry and Mikesell all scored. McPherson subbed out midway through the second quarter, and with Hodgson guarding Mikesell once again, the leading scorer immediately connected from outside.

Kelly hit a three to slow the momentum, but Ohio State held an eight point lead at the media timeout. Junior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams got going with two baskets but picked up her third foul just before halftime, and UNC trailed 28-33.

Hodgson bounced back after the break with two threes, but McMahon and Taylor answered with six points and Ohio State extended its lead to eight points with free throws. McPherson hit a three and a fastbreak layup to help UNC trim the deficit to one point, but the Buckeyes closed out the third quarter with a 5-0 run from Sheldon and Mikesell.

Ohio State continued its scoring barrage with two immediate baskets out of the break and UNC called timeout. The Tar Heels had a short 4-0 scoring run of their own, but Mikesell hit a three to extend Ohio State's lead to 12 points. Kelly got hurt on the play and had to be carried off the court.

Still, North Carolina gradually willed its way back into the game. Ustby finally got going with two late baskets - including an and-one. She missed the free throw, but sophomore forward Destiny Adams secured the rebound, leading to Todd-Williams' corner three getting the lucky bounce.

The Tar Heels took their first lead of the game with under two minutes to play. A series of chaotic back-and-forth buckets and turnovers culminated with Ohio State possession at under 10 seconds to go. Sheldon hit the game winner with 1.8 seconds left and the Tar Heels couldn't convert the inbounds play to tie the game.

Who stood out?

Kelly led UNC scorers with 22 points on 7-18 shooting. Ustby and Todd-Williams activated in the fourth quarter, combining for 15 points in that frame.

Sheldon hit the game winner and finished with 16 points. Walker, Mikesell and McMahon scored 15, 17 and 14 points, respectively.

When was it decided?

The game went down to the final 9.8 seconds, when Sheldon hit the game winner.

Why does it matter?

It's been a roller coaster of a season for the Tar Heels, who battled injuries through conference play and didn't see a fully healthy roster until the ACC Tournament. Banghart's core junior quartet will likely return to Chapel Hill for next season, but it was Hodgson's final collegiate game.

When do they play next?

The loss concludes the end of the 2022-2023 regular season.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Sitterson houses collaborative computer science lab space ]]> In Sitterson Hall, home of the UNC computer science department, a storage room full of computer servers has turned into an accessible experience lab for students and faculty.

Professor Kris Jordan is the director of the Computer Science Experience Labs program. Pitched to the College of Arts and Sciences last October, it has seen over 2,200 visitors in the past six weeks.

"The undergraduate experience labs are aiming to be a technical experience accelerator with real world technologies, as well as a community hub and a co-working space," he said.

Junior Christine Mendoza, an ambassador for the CSXL, said she thinks of the community as a type of computer science-focused makerspace.

Jordan stressed the importance of an environment that is built specifically for assisting undergraduates with professional projects - a space that now exists in Sitterson 156.

"Undergraduates have become not only our largest student population, our largest population of people, but they are also the largest employment group in terms of our undergraduate learning assistants," he said.

The lab takes inspiration from a space in the basement of Sitterson called the 'App Lab,' but is able to hold more equipment and participants.

The department plans to continue renovations to ensure large collaborative undergraduate group projects, including reserving other rooms for 'learning labs' intended for office hours. The lab also expects to see new furniture in the space by the end of the semester.

The CSXL's technology and renovations are funded through student fees and donations from the College of Arts and Sciences. Current resources available to students include virtual reality headsets and high-resolution monitors.

"It's much better to work in collaboration on a second monitor and in a space where you're surrounded by other people who are working on similar problems than hunched over a monitor," Jordan said.

Sadie Amato is a teaching assistant for Jordan's introduction to programming class and uses the workroom within the lab to hold her office hours. Amato said she always sees a few familiar faces at CSXL.

"It's nice to have the company of people I know around me while I'm getting some work done," she said.

In addition to a workspace, the lab also holds one or two-day workshops led by software engineers in the workforce. The most recent workshop was led by one of the creators of the iOS Pinterest app.

"These are opportunities for students to gain earlier exposure to practical technologies that they can use to build personal projects, maybe take on personal research projects, and build a portfolio that will ultimately help them in the workforce development," Jordan said.

Amato said the lab has allowed computer science majors to move past the theory of software engineering and into more advanced real-world applications.

"They're kind of organizing workshops based on size, based on skills that aren't always taught in the curriculum, or maybe students can't do yet because they don't have the prereq," she said.

CSXL is also a 'historic investment' in the resources of UNC's computer science department that will continue to grow in outreach, Jordan said.

Mendoza said she hopes to see more computer resources available for community use and a wider variety of students taking advantage of the new space. She added that it would be beneficial for both undergraduate and graduate students to work together on projects through the lab as a collaboration between the two student populations.

The new space and advanced technology will allow the overall computer department to continue expanding, Amato said.

"I hope it becomes an even better space for people who want to collaborate with each other on outside projects, because I know that is an important thing that is often not emphasized enough," she said.



Community members of the UNC Computer Science Experience Labs (CSXL) pose for a portrait on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 in Sitterson Hall.

<![CDATA[Chapel Hill Farmers' Market enters 15th year of celebrating local farmers, artisans]]> Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon for the past 15 years, the Chapel Hill Farmers' Market has featured locally made products including pottery, kombucha, fresh pasta, seafood and mushroom jewelry.

Local residents who frequent the market shop for a myriad of products at tents in the parking lot outside Stoney River and Silverspot Cinema at University Place Mall.

The market has been operating since April 2008 and is open year-round. The market's summer hours will begin in April. It will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays under this new schedule.

It was founded by theFarmers of Orange, a state nonprofit organization.According to their website, every dollar spent goes back to the farmers and vendors represented.

Manager Kate Underhill said the farmers market has and will continue to stay open despite the construction in University Place and they plan to stay there for the time being.

She said the market was initially set up to help local farmers and has grown into a great community event for the town's small businesses to display their products.

"You can really get a variety there, which makes it a great spot for our customers to come," she said. "It's always festive there; people come just to meet with their friends and get a cup of coffee."

Raymond Siemion, a local resident, attends the market weekly and said he enjoys the mix of vendors and small businesses.

"It's a great mix. It's fun and they're all local, so it's social and edible," he said.

Underhill said the market also offers composting services, where people can bring their home composting to have it collected by the Orange County Waste Department.

Customers can also use money from food assistance programs like SNAP or WIC to purchase goods at the market, according to its website.

Underhill said the market participates in Double Bucks: if a person wants to spend $15 using WIC or SNAP, the market will double it and the person will receive $30 to spend.

Carrboro Coffee Roasters has been selling its goods at the farmers' market for over ten years. Its president, Scott Conary, said his mission is to connect consumers to coffee bean farmers.

He thinks the customers at the Chapel Hill Farmers' Market are the best audience for his goal because the people who attend are also seeking a connection with the producers of their food.

"They want to get more closely aligned to where their stuff comes from," Conary said. "They want to hear more about the stories of it. Those are things that resonate with us."

Anna Alexandre is a co-founder of Humble Umbel Farm and has been selling at the market since the launch of her farm in 2018. Alexandre and the farm's other co-founder, Brian Conner, grow over 50 different vegetables year-round as well as flowers and herbs.

She said she attends the market every Saturday and enjoys getting to connect with customers.

"We have a lot of regulars at the Chapel Hill market so it's nice to get to know them a little bit, get to know their families," she said.

Alexandre also emphasized the importance of knowing the people behind the food. In addition to seeing friends or neighbors, customers can ask questions and interact with farmers.

Chapel Hill resident Linda Cato said she comes to the market often and enjoys planning her meals with the produce available that week. She said both the products and people keep her coming back.

"The beautiful produce and the care that people have taken into cultivating and making that product available to us, I think it's really amazing," she said.

Cato said shopping at the farmers market brings "good energy" into preparing her food and allows her to interact with her community while supporting sustainable practices.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Anna Alexandre, a co-founder of Humble Umbel Farm, interacts with customers on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the Chapel Hill Farmers Market.

<![CDATA[Russian Flagship Program pushes UNC students to immerse in language ]]> Senior Sebastian Farris said he wanted to study abroad after taking Russian in high school, but lacked the resources to go overseas until he joined UNC's Russian Flagship Program.

Now, as a program ambassador, he is helping students learn about the many benefits of the program.

Launched in 2020, the Russian Flagship program is funded by the U.S. government and allows students from all majors to participate in four years of Russian language coursework and abroad travels.

"The United States Department of Defense funds universities across America to have these programs to be able to train students in speaking, reading, listening and everything else that comes with learning a language," Farris said.

He added that UNC is one of only eight Russian flagship programs located in the United States.

For international opportunities, the program allows participants to study in a Russian-speaking country over the summer and to spend a year in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, some students have voiced safety concerns about travel to Russia, but Farris said the program hasn't sent students to Russia in multiple years.

"We have this lively, thriving program about the Russian language and we are showing no signs of stopping because we've been able to set ourselves up to be able to continue in a way that is not contingent on the ability to go to Russia itself," he said.

Students' study abroad experiences have been relocated to Russian-speaking countries including the Republic of Georgia and Kazakhstan.

Farris said the two months he spent in Kazakhstan helped further his education and strengthen his language learning by being able to immerse himself in the language outside of the classroom.

Alexandra Love, a sophomore studying political science and music, also studied abroad through the program and spent last summer in the Republic of Georgia.

"It was the first time I was using Russian outside of a classroom, and it really forced me to be comfortable speaking on the spot in unexpected environments," she said.

Students also receive an array of opportunities when participating in the program, including tutoring, advising from faculty, scholarships and internships.

Love said the professors in the program feel like family, as they are supportive of students' academic and personal goals.

On a week-to-week basis, the program holds events such as movie nights, craft nights and guest lectures.

Farris said it's important for students to learn the culture of other countries that speak Russian since the program's capstone year is now located in Kazakhstan.

"It's necessary more now than ever to get people acquainted with the culture of Central Asia and Eastern Europe almost equally, if not more than, the culture of Russia itself," he said.

Some students believe the program helps people understand that the Russian language is separate from the country of Russia and decreases negative stereotypes surrounding the language.

Love said she is grateful the program helps spread awareness of underrepresented Russian-speaking countries through its cultural events.

Despite the United States' growing tension with Russia over the war with Ukraine, many students and faculty believe this program is important for the University, considering the important role Russia has on a global scale.

Kat Goodpaster, a graduate program associate, said the program prepares students with skills for the job market.

"The U.S. government thinks it's incredibly important for U.S. national security and economic prosperity," she said. "Learning a critical language like this helps boost the students' abilities to not only function in those areas, but also in general."

In addition to learning at a collegiate level, Love said this program prepares students for a life beyond the area of Chapel Hill.



UNC graduate program associate Kat Goodpaster smiles in front of Wilson Library on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

<![CDATA[Chapel Hill hosts 'changing of the guard' event for David Price and Valerie Foushee]]> On Sunday, March 12, the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties hosted a "changing of the guard" event between retired U.S. Rep. David Price and newly-elected U.S. Rep. Valerie Foushee (D-NC 4th) at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

The event included speeches from both Price and Foushee, as well as well-wishes from community members and an acknowledgment of the district's changing landscape.

Price, who served the district for 34 years, said he was glad to be at the event. He said the League of Women Voters - a nonpartisan organization that works to protect and expand voting rights - has had thoughtful positions on issues such as democracy and voting rights.

During his speech, Price spoke about his time in Congress and the changes he's seen in the district during his tenure. He said the most notable change has been the geographic shift in the district's boundaries, with Wake County no longer being a part of the district. Instead, it is now centered on Durham and Orange counties.

Price said there are many challenges that Foushee and future representatives will face, including reaching out to the entire district and overcoming political differences. However, he said Congress can still be a productive environment.

"The House of Representatives, though, is, compared to most parliamentary bodies worldwide, still a place where there's a good deal of leeway for an entrepreneurial member to find a road," Price said.

After Price finished his speech, Foushee spoke about her career leading up to serving in the House of Representatives and some of her accomplishments since being sworn in.

"It has indeed been my honor to serve in this community every step," Foushee said.

Foushee said the first days of her term did not go the way she envisioned due to the U.S. House's inability to select a speaker. However, she said she has already been able to make an impact by serving on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

"Both of these committee assignments, as I said, were at the top of my list because of their importance to the Fourth District, and I'm excited about this opportunity to bring back resources to the folks at home because that's what's important to you all," Foushee said.

The event was also attended by local officials, community leaders and constituents who came out to show their support for both Price and Foushee.

"I wanted not to miss an opportunity to honor David and thank him for all he's done for our community and for our country, and to listen to Valerie and wish her well," Chapel Hill Town Council member Michael Parker said.

He said he hopes Foushee will continue to address issues important to Chapel Hill residents, such as affordable housing and transit availability. He said Price has previously supported these projects by obtaining federal funds for electric buses, for example.

Orange County resident Mary Phillips, who attended the event, said Black Americans were subject to poll taxes and literacy tests when she was young. She said she hopes Foushee will continue making progress on social issues such as voting rights, ensuring high-quality education and women's rights.

"There's so many issues, and so I hope that she will leave her mark on at least some of those," Phillips said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[West Cameron Avenue water construction and road work to be completed this month]]> Users of West Cameron Avenue will soon see some relief from years of construction.

Water line-related road work on the busy thoroughfare should be completed this month, according to Orange Water and Sewer Authority.

Simon Lobdell, utilities engineer for OWASA, said the goal is to repair two old, failing water lines on the road, which feed into the downtown area.

The decade-old project had two phases; the first was completed in 2020 and the second one began in April 2022.

Lobdell said the steel, concrete and iron used in the original water lines have caused corrosion and structural failures. The replacement is being made with ductile iron, which he said is a more modern material.

"When those failures happened, it was very difficult to fix them on short notice," he said. "So, the plan was to rehabilitate and replace them with new lines."

Some residents have raised concerns about how the road work impacts mobility in the area, especially when construction takes place on routes with heavy pedestrian traffic.

Haley Harris, who lives on Yates Motor Company Alley, said she walks up Cameron Court every day to get to her classes.

Recently, though, she said she has noticed a lot of construction on the road, especially this semester.

Harris said she never knows when road work is being done, so detours - which can add five to 10 minutes to her walk - are not something she is always prepared for.

"It also gets really dusty and musty because they're cutting up pavement and concrete," she said. "So, you're walking through that on your way to class and trying to not inhale the concrete."

Harris said what upsets her most about the project is that she has never received any indication about when the construction is going on.

With OWASA's project moving into its second phase, Lobdell said that the last two months have resulted in the most visible impacts - including closures, road tear-ups and temporary water outages.

To inform about the project, he said OWASA releases a monthly email update that is accessible to the public. Lobdell also said there is a reverse 911 service that notifies registered residents about outages.

The email signup is voluntary, and the reverse 911 service uses the number on file for the building - which is often a landlord instead of a temporary resident.

For larger structures in the area, he said OWASA coordinates directly with management to make sure they are aware of accessibility issues.

"It's definitely imperfect, but it's been our best method so far to push information out to the community," he said.

Lobdell said currently, OWASA is ensuring the water lines work and repaving areas of the road that have been damaged.

With OWASA's project almost complete, Ran Northam, the communications manager for the Town of Chapel Hill, said more plans for this road may be implemented soon.

Northam said Town staff are discussing increasing bike infrastructure along Cameron Avenue and whether this project has the funding to be a part of this year's street resurfacing plan.

Though the Town does not have a timeline for when this reconstruction will start, Northam said it will take a while to determine a plan. He said the Estes Connectivity Plan is a good example of what the Town intends this project to look like.

With the Town potentially making another decision impacting residents in the area, Northam said they will make sure a notification about a new project is sent out.

"We do a lot of work on the front end to make sure that the homeowners are notified of the work that's coming up," he said. "And that'll be something during the resurfacing project that we'll make sure to do."


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Construction workers operate heavy machinery at a working construction site on West Cameron Avenue on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

<![CDATA[Q&A: CAPS director Avery Cook talks student mental health at UNC]]> Avery Cook recently became the director of UNC Counseling and Psychological Services.

Staff writer Holly Adams sat down to talk with them about their career and hopes for the future of CAPS. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

The Daily Tar Heel: What positive changes have you seen at CAPS in recent years?

Avery Cook: One of the positive changes we've had are two programs that we started that have been really impactful. The first is our multicultural health program. It is a group of our staff who are focused on work with BIPOC students on campus. They do a ton of outreach, they make really great connections with students and they offer really innovative programming.

We've also started an embedded counselor program with some therapists that are housed in different schools and programs on campus, like the pharmacy school and law school. They get to know their students really closely, get to know those programs, get to know the stressors that are involved.

Another initiative that we launched last year was a telehealth option within our service, so that folks can access therapy, nights and weekends during non-traditional hours. Lots of students are busy between 8-5 when we're open, but they would still really like to engage in therapy, so we want to make sure they have access to that.

DTH: You mentioned that the needs of students have changed since the time you've been here. How have they changed?

AC: All kinds of ways. We never used to do telehealth before or Zoom sessions. I think students now want to make sure that they have access pretty immediately. So not just having access in terms of being able to walk in and talk to somebody but being able to call CAPS at 2 in the morning and talk to a therapist.

DTH: What more can the school do, in addition to CAPS' services, to support students' mental health?

AC: I think one of the great conversations that we have been having over the past couple of years is the idea that the goal is for everyone on campus to be invested in positive mental health. That it's not just the role of CAPS to solve mental health on this campus - we all play a role in that. And that means that yes, CAPS is going to be the place where folks go for treatment, but we can all be doing things to help support one another, in terms of their mental wellness. Professors can be open to conversation and can connect with their students. And that goes for staff as well. But it also goes for fellow students. I think you all also want to know that you're there to support each other. This really lives up to the idea of this being a campus community.

DTH: Why do you think that access to mental health services for individuals from marginalized backgrounds is so important?

AC: I think we have a lot of populations that experience trauma based on their identity, and that can be racialized trauma, or trauma within the queer community, particularly the trans community right now. And, there are lots of folks that, because of their identity, they experience levels of discrimination that impacts their mental health. And we want to make sure that anyone that is experiencing that gets the support that they need.

DTH: What hope do you have for this generation with mental health care?

AC: The awareness and the advocacy around mental health is super inspiring. And it's not something that was talked about nearly as much 10 years ago, certainly not 20 years ago, definitely not 30 years ago. The fact that students are coming in now with sort of awareness of mental health challenges, but also an awareness of the importance of mental wellness and self-care. The fact that students now are not only advocating for themselves to get support when they need it, but also encouraging friends and classmates to get support when they need it.

DTH: What challenges do you face in this job, working with college students?

AC: There are definitely challenges, and the challenges are also kind of beautiful, right? When you're sitting down and talking with somebody who's having a hard time, it can get to you. Emotionally, it can be something that you carry. At the same time, you're recognizing that someone has been brave enough to share their struggles with you. And so it's heavy, but it's really beautiful that somebody has honored you in that way. Every job has things that are hard about it. I think the great thing about being a therapist, and particularly being a therapist here, is even in the hard days, we recognize that for the most part, we all really love what we do. And we really want to be here, and we want to support students.

DTH: But what is your favorite part of being at UNC?

AC: I will say my favorite thing about being here is, because I have a therapy dog, we go for a walk every day - up to Franklin Street and back around. I get to walk through the quad and see folks hanging out and walking around and just having a great time. Particularly in the spring when everyone's out there, playing and everything, people just want to come up and sort of love on Maya a little bit. That's what I love, is there's all this energy. And even in the midst of hard things, there's a lot of joy. Being able to walk every day and see these little pockets of joy everywhere is amazing.



Avery Cook, the new CAPS director, smiles for a portrait in their office on Friday, March 10, 2023.

<![CDATA['We can pull all the fans together': Marching Tar Heels reflect on band, community ]]> Horns singing and drums pounding, the Marching Tar Heels led fans at the Dean E. Smith Center in a rousing chorus of "Hark the Sound" at the end of Saturday's Duke loss.

Dressed in black and Carolina Blue uniforms, the band performs arrangements from tedious formations on the football field to rallying cheers next to the basketball court.

"Especially when it's a sold-out stadium, it's so electric," Sophie Hazuka, a first-year band member, said. "Sometimes, if I go to a game and I'm not in a band, it feels weird being on the other side."

Hazuka said she decided to join the band out of a combined love for music and making new friends. Though she was nervous for her first game at UNC, Hazuka said being a part of such a big group helped to calm her nerves.

"You're part of something bigger than yourself in that moment," she said.

Hazuka plays piccolo and flute in the band alongside sophomore Alyssa Wilson. For Wilson, the Marching Tar Heels became a place of "automatic community" from her very first practice.

"I thought that I would be really nervous, but I felt comfortable as soon as I got there, and I just remembered I wanted to talk to everybody," Wilson said.

The Marching Tar Heels are made up of approximately 275 students and are open to all students, regardless of major.

Jeffrey Fuchs, the director of University Bands, said the Marching Tar Heels is a group of students dedicated to supporting the University community throughbeing in the band.

"It's a pretty close-knit group of students and staff that work together to achieve the goals of the organization," he said.

The large group of students is divided into smaller bands depending on the type of event they are playing. Fuchs said the group's goal is to always make sure they are providing a quality band.

"There's not any auditions or anything, and every student at Carolina could be in the band as long as they play an instrument," he said.

Among other perks, such as receiving guaranteed seats at games and class credit, students involved in the band also have the opportunity to travel with University sports teams for games.

Traveling with the UNC football team to San Diego in December 2022 for the Holiday Bowl Game was a favorite memory for Fuchs, Hazuka and Wilson.

"That was a bucket list item I didn't know I needed until then," Hazuka said.

Fuchs said that the Marching Tar Heels are important because it allows students to show school pride. Their "soundtrack" is a game day tradition, he said.

"Those are the things that have most affected me," Fuchs said. "Where we can engage the audience, no matter how large. Whether it's 150 people in volleyball or 52,000 at football, we can pull all the fans together in one way."

Wilson and Hazuka said the hardest part of being in the band is time management between rehearsal and other activities. The practice schedule of the Marching Tar Heels varies depending on the sporting season and events band members are preparing for.

"Sometimes balancing college schedules can be hard, but at the end of the day, it's something that's so fun to me, and it's so important," Wilson said."So I just tell myself that we have to power through."

Though it's not an easy commitment, Hazuka said the friendships and experiences she has had in the band have made it "100 percent worth it." She said that she has only had positive interactions with fans while in the band.

"People will randomly come up and take pictures with us," Hazuka said."We're like little mini mascots."

Wilson said she feels the band is appreciated by fans and said that performing at games is invigorating. Her biggest advice to students thinking about joining is to give it a try.

"If it doesn't work out and you don't want to come back or you can't come back, at least you can say that you had the experience," she said. "I don't think it's something anybody would regret because it's my favorite place to be."



<![CDATA['It's been a wonderful run': Crazy Alan's Emporium to close in August]]> Alan Cohen moved to Chapel Hill in 1996 to escape the Connecticut winters he'd lived through for 45 years. When he arrived, he opened a store - Office Supplies & More, on Franklin Street.

The card, gift and office supply store is now named Crazy Alan's Emporium, and Cohen has embraced the nickname, saying it's "a great name for the store."

"People come in and they just want to meet Crazy Alan - just to see if there is a Crazy Alan," Cohen said.

But now, after more than 20 years in Chapel Hill, Crazy Alan's Emporium is closing on August 23 as Cohen is retiring.

He said the outpour of telling the Chapel Hill community he is retiring has been incredible.

"I am stoked with my decision of closing August 23," Cohen said. "It's been a wonderful run."

Alina Gabitov, an employee at Crazy Alan's Emporium, has been working for Cohen for almost two years. She said Cohen is a very caring person - from buying her lunch once a week to being almost like a "cool uncle."

"He's got so many interesting stories and he knows so many cool people," Gabitov said. "And it's just he gets so passionate about pens too. It's very, very sweet, I just love to hear him talking to customers and tell them all about his stuff."

In 2014, Cohen began attending pen shows in large cities across the U.S. showcasing a variety of different pens he carries in the store.

Now, Crazy Alan's Emporium is one of the largest pen stores in the United States, according to Cohen.

Hollis Oberlies, a graphic designer and owner of a line of cards called PurpleZante, has worked with Cohen for seven years.

"Alan was the first person who carried my cards and he didn't know me and I walked in and introduced myself and showed him some prototypes right before the cards were printed and he said 'Sure you get those cards made and bring them on in'," Oberlies said. "I love that Alan was just like willing to take on the small beans little card company it was super cool."

Cohen said there is a possibility of someone buying the store, although they would move the store to a smaller location.

Since its opening, Cohen has changed the location of the store three times before settling down in 2005 at 1129 Weaver Dairy Rd in Timberlyne Village.

Cohen said that the original store on Franklin Street did not do enough business with just students, and parking on Franklin dismayed Chapel Hill residents from coming to the store.

So, after personal and financial struggles with the store there, Cohen decided to switch locations to allow for more business with the Chapel Hill community and changed store names.

"The name didn't draw the people in Office Supplies & More," Cohen said. "They didn't look at the 'more' but Crazy Alan, you got to come in and see what it's all about and that's what people do, they come in and they go, 'Oh, I like this store,' but it was the same store, we just got more people."

He said that although he will be closing the store, he plans to continue traveling for pen shows, taking a plane across the country or driving in his Toyota Sienna with all his merchandise on the road.

In retirement, he plans to spend more time with his two grandchildren, resting and perhaps traveling to Italy.

Having been a gifted athlete when he was younger, Cohen also plans to continue fueling his passion for sports and competitive nature, especially in baseball and basketball.

His next pen show is in two weeks in Atlanta, with others following in the upcoming months. Alan will be traveling in and out of the store, until its closing in August.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Alan Cohen, owner of Crazy Alan's Emporium, leans on the checkout counter of his store in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Crazy Alan's Emporium is an office supplies store that has been in business for over 20 years.

<![CDATA[Child deaths, especially from firearms, on the rise in NC according to new report]]> Content warning: This article contains mentions of gun violence and death.




Child deaths, especially those caused by firearms, are on the rise, according to the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force's annual report.

The report highlighted common causes of death in children aged 0 to 17 in the state.

The task force is composed of three committees - Perinatal Health, Unintentional Death Prevention and Intentional Death Prevention - that compile data and create policy proposals for the N.C. General Assembly.

According to the task force, the overall child death rate in 2021 - 59.1 per 100,000 - was the highest recorded rate since 2016.

Firearm deaths

The report said there were notable increases in homicides, suicides and motor vehicle injuries among children.

Firearm death rates have increased by 231.3 percent from 2012 to 2021, and firearms were used in over 70 percent of suicides and homicides in 2021.

According to a 2021 survey, 30 percent of high school students in North Carolina reported that it would take them less than an hour to obtain and prepare to fire a loaded gun without permission from an adult.

Kella Hatcher, the executive director of the Child Fatality Task Force, said preventing gun deaths is a priority for the task force. The program has been trying to launch a statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative, she said.

More than two-fifths of adults in North Carolina have a firearm in or around their home, according to a 2021 survey. Over half of the firearms stored loaded are also left unlocked.

The report said those deciding to attempt suicide often do so during short-term crises and that access to firearms significantly increases the chance of fatality.

Hatcher said another recommendation for suicide prevention is to increase the amount of nurses, counselors and social workers in schools. The national recommended ratio for social workers to students is one to 250. The ratio in North Carolina is one to 1,025.

"We have heard a lot in our task force meetings about the importance of these professionals and the way in which they're able to identify kids who may be at risk," Hatcher said. "They may be able to help them get connected to services in their communities or help them avert a crisis."

Infant deaths

The infant mortality rate for 2021, which was 6.8 per 1,000 live births, remains the lowest rate that North Carolina has recorded, but the state still ranks among one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation.

Sarah Verbiest, co-chairperson of the Perinatal Health Committee and a professor in the UNC School of Social Work, said safe sleep is one of the leading ways to prevent infant deaths. She said education regarding safe sleep is complicated and nuanced.

Verbiest said there are significant disparities in maternal health, as well as infant health, and death. According to the report, Black infants are more than twice as likely to die than white infants.

She said disparities, including access to care and the quality of treatments, exist across the perinatal system.

"We really think about all of the strategies that we put forward with that equity lens to make sure that it's going to focus on closing those gaps," Verbiest said.

Child fatality data reporting

Hatcher said North Carolina lacks a centralized system of reporting and data collection for child death review teams at a state level. She said joining 48 other states in using a national data system would significantly improve child death prevention measures.

A data system would allow the state to look at information in a more applied way, and providing resources for workers would allow them to better do their work, Verbiest said.

Martha Sue Hall, co-chairperson of the Unintentional Death Prevention Committee and mayor pro tem of Albemarle, said child fatality teams in all 100 counties have continued to do their job but worry about the impact of their work.

"What we're hoping to do is to revamp the system, so that what's done locally in the furthest county in the east or the furthest county in the west has an impact on what's going on statewide," Hall said.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Preview: UNC women's basketball awaits Ohio State's full-court press in second-round matchup]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - At this point in the season, Courtney Banghart isn't worried about how her team can be better. She's just focused on the next matchup.

"When you get to March, you focus on literally the team," the UNC women's basketball head coach said. "So, it's very little about me teaching them how to grow our offense and defense. It's literally completely obsessed with what Ohio State does."

On Monday at 4 p.m., the No. 6 seed Tar Heels will take on the No. 3 seed Buckeyes on their home court in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State exploded out of the gates this season for a 19-0 start, but the team has gone 7-7 since then.

Here are three things to watch for in Columbus as North Carolina looks to advance to the Sweet 16.

Taylor Mikesell's 3-point shooting

The First Team All-Big Ten selection is tied for fourth in the country in 3-point field goals made as of Saturday, shooting at an impressive 40.6 percent clip. Mikesell has the green light to let it fly from outside, accounting for 36.5 percent of Ohio State's 3-point attempts this year.

Expect junior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams, UNC's best perimeter defender, to try to contain Mikesell, who has hit five or more 3-point shots six times this season.

"If I'm guarding them, I want to be able to hold them down to their numbers and not let them see daylight," Todd-Williams said. "That definitely is my role on this team, to lock down their best offensive player and just to get them out of rhythm."

Ohio State's full-court press

The Buckeyes average 11.4 steals per game, the 11th most in the country. They also rank sixth in turnover margin thanks to an aggressive full-court press that they frequently implement.

"We are aware of their full-court pressure that has disrupted a lot of teams," UNC junior forward Alyssa Ustby said. "So with that in mind, we want to be very cognizant about how we move together."

North Carolina's robust guard room has taken care of the ball for the most part, but there have been times this season when its younger players have struggled against full-court pressure. Banghart compared Ohio State's style of play to Duke's.

Having played the Blue Devils three times this season, she knows her team is familiar with the aggressive style of defense. On the flip side, the Buckeyes are aware of UNC's guard strength, so it will be important to note how each team adjusts over 94 feet.

"Obviously we just want to make it tough for the guards to score," Ohio State forward Taylor Thierry said. "We want to pack the paint, so it's not easy for them to get a post feed in there."

Cotie McMahon's physicality

When asked about what stood out in McMahon's game, Banghart had high praise for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

"She's like LeBron James in a lot of ways," Banghart said. "She's really physical. If you put her in football pads, she'd be a tight end. So her physicality is part of what you're guarding in that way."

McMahon averages a team second-best 14.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Her likely matchup will be Ustby, North Carolina's most versatile frontcourt player, and that battle could be a key factor in deciding the game.

It's clear that McMahon isn't afraid of the big moments. While most might think placing so much trust in a first-year can be a liability, Banghart acknowledged it as a strength.

"She's playing fearlessly, partly because I'm not sure she entirely knows what she's doing. And that's a beautiful thing for a (first-year)," Banghart said.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Column: Your guide to a solo road trip]]> For spring break, I decided to go on a solo road trip to Bar Harbor, Maine.

No, I didn't have any major self-revelations. But, since this obviously qualifies me to be an expert in solo road-tripping, I do have some small pieces of advice for those of you out there who want to do the same.

Curate a huge playlist before you leave

My playlist was simply not big enough to cover the sheer scope of my driving: 2,200 miles, which added up to more than 40 hours.

Much of the reason my playlist wasn't big enough was because my scope was too narrow. You're not going to be able to make a no-skip playlist out of only crunchy, folksy, acoustic sad music, as unfortunate as that is.

I gave it my best shot, and I'm a self-proclaimed crunchy, folksy, acoustic sad music connoisseur.

You have to let yourself listen to the show tunes or the bad 2010s pop or whatever else you have on your music app of choice. It makes the crunchy, folksy, acoustic sad songs hit harder.

Choose a destination you love

I chose to go to Bar Harbor for my trip because it's one of my favorite areas on earth. The amazing sunrises and snowy mountain drives through Acadia National Park never get old. I might have also been influenced slightly by my favorite artist, Noah Kahan.

I didn't go to Bar Harbor to meet or talk to new people - one, that defeats the purpose of a solo road trip, and two, the people there are weird this time of year.

Even though two of my days there were taken from me by a nor'easter, I still thoroughly enjoyed Bar Harbor for what I, by myself, was able to see and experience, not for who I was able to meet or for crazy nights out on the town.

You should choose your destination the same way. Don't rely on other people to make your solo road trip worth it.

Get comfortable with your own company

I just spent a week completely alone. I didn't have a real conversation with anyone - besides my girlfriend over the phone - the entire time.

If you find yourself constantly needing the company of someone else, this trip might not be for you. On the other hand, it could be a good opportunity to learn to relish your time alone.

A solo road trip isn't just about the road or the trip - it's about the solo. It's about getting quality alone time to think and to scream-sing and to take detours down small backroads. It's about small self-discoveries. It's about allowing yourself to really be you.

And if you don't know who you are, that's okay, too. You'll have a lot of time to think about it, with no pressure from anyone else.

Try to get off your phone, too. Assuming you're a safe human and don't use your phone while driving, you should have plenty of time for non-distracted self-reflection.

Prepare to reenter the world

As I'm writing, drinking my black tea and sitting alone in an adorable Airbnb studio apartment in New Haven, Conn., I'm not ready to be back.

I'm notoriously an introvert. This trip has been a dream of mine, and I have felt comfortable fully inundated by my own thoughts.

Going back means bringing my head back above the water, though - putting my talking-to-other-people hat back on and doing life normally. And I'm terrified.

Of course, I'm excited to see the people I love again. But, this whole week, I've purposefully avoided big social settings. I'm just more comfortable without them.

I haven't had to deal with my social anxiety this whole time, which has been like a weight off my shoulders. Going back means putting that weight back on and going back to real life. I didn't think going in that I'd have to mentally prepare for coming back, but I do.

So, I suggest you prepare, too.

Real world, here I come.



<![CDATA['It was really bad': UNC women's basketball discusses steps toward equity in NCAA Tournament]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio -Sitting in the corner of the North Carolina locker room, UNC junior point guard Deja Kelly opened her teammate Malu Tshitenge's backpack.

The Tar Heels burst into laughter as the inside of the bag displayed more than 10 spray deodorants stuffed into the outer pocket. The Degree and Dove products were part of a care package that was given to each individual player.

According to several members of the UNC women's basketball team, it's a sign of steps in the right direction for equity between the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments.

As they start their 2023 March Madness run - and yes, the women's tournament now uses March Madness branding - several Tar Heels have reflected on how their tournament experience has changed over the years.

"It was really bad," junior forward Alexandra Zelaya said. "Now, just our access -even our hotel, the stuff that we're getting, our gear -being able to see the change just through my three years of being here, it's just so encouraging."

In 2021, Oregon's Sedona Prince was angry when she saw discrepancies between the NCAA Tournament's workout facilities and equipment for men and women. Her TikTok highlighting the differences went viral. The NCAA commissioned a 118-page report to review gender equity problems in women's basketball, citing Prince's video as "the contemporary equivalent of 'the shot heard round the world.'"

Before last year, Zelaya said the team was gifted with off-brand items that were low quality. Tshitenge and Kelly joked that, at most, they may have gotten a towel, hoodie and water bottle.

"It was just bad," Kelly said.

Now, the players are gifted with name-brand products that are neatly placed on top of their individual lockers. March Madness bucket hats were also part of the swag bags - redshirt senior Eva Hodgson proudly wore a white bucket hat with March Madness pins in Sunday's players' press conference.

"Those small changes may not seem big, but as female athletes - and being able to actually experience the inequality throughout the men and women - it's been really nice to see that change," Zelaya said.

Head coach Courtney Banghart, who competed in the NCAA Tournament before her time at UNC as the head coach at Princeton, has a more big-picture view of the situation, citing that the "financial model needs to shift" to achieve full equity.

In August 2021, the NCAA's extensive report found that, on average, the association spends more money on male athletes than female athletes. This discrepancy is because the organization views men's championships in a different regard than women's championships.

To the NCAA, men's championships fall into the "mere handful" of revenue-producing contests.

"If Orange Theory -which I'm obsessed with -wants to donate to women's basketball, they have to first donate to the men's tournament," Banghart said. "That trickles down to the units situation that the men's (tournament) has. (UNC Director of Athletics) Bubba Cunningham would make more money on our run right now if there were any units involved. Because of the way that the structure's in place, it's more lucrative for your men's basketball team to be more successful. The politics of that is real."

Sure, there have been improvements in tournament swag bags, but Banghart doesn't get involved in all that. To her, that's the NCAA's way of "changing the low-hanging fruit."

"It just takes time because the TV contracts are long," Banghart said. "Some of this we have to just have to live out until some of those things can renew."

Despite the lack of complete equity, many Tar Heels believe the cause is moving in the right direction. Several players noticed the difference from the past few years and have acknowledged the association's efforts in closing the gap.

Kelly said there's been more coverage of the women's tournament on TV and on social media. Tshitenge added that finally being able to use the March Madness title is a "huge step for us."

"It's gotten a lot better," junior forward Anya Poole said. "When I first got here my freshman year, it was not the same as it is now. Even the food is a lot better. Sedona really used her platform to speak up for the women's side because it shouldn't be as it was back then. I feel like it could take a step up, but it's gotten a lot better."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

UNC junior forward Anya Poole answers questions from the media in the North Carolina locker room during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

<![CDATA[Op-ed: UE Local 150 comes out in defense of academic freedom]]> Political appointees in the UNC governing boards threaten academic freedom. The workers in our union reject their attempts to overstep their roles and seize authority from university faculty and administration. One of the pillars of academic freedom is shared University governance - a principle that holds that certain roles, such as faculty hiring decisions and curriculum development, fall under the exclusive authority of the faculty.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, however, this principle is under attack from the politically-appointed figures that form the Board of Governors, which oversees the entire UNC System, and the UNC Board of Trustees. This is especially concerning given similar power grabs that are being enacted currently in the state of Florida.

In January, the BOG proposed a rule change that would interfere with currently-established hiring processes, including that of faculty and graduate workers. This rule change not only threatens the University's accreditation status, it also interferes with the faculty's authority to choose the procedures to identify the most qualified scholars to join their ranks.

That same month, the BOT approved a resolution to create a new "School of Civic Life," without any consultation of faculty or any other group of University workers. The purported motivation for this new venture is to create "a space for free speech" and "a culture of civic and open inquiry." This assumes that faculty and graduate workers do not already have such a space and culture in their own classes, and is an insult considering how much effort they spend trying to foster such an environment.

Furthermore, the University administration is reported to be working on a state budget request to fund the new school, which speaks to the priorities of the members of the Board - the same Board that did not recommend such an action to address the real issues of poor building maintenance, lead contamination, insufficient course offerings for undergraduates, pay-to-work parking policies, poverty wages for many university workers, and understaffing in the facilities services department, the university libraries, counseling and psychological services, the academic departments and in the UNC Health System.

As workers of UNC, without whom the University cannot operate, we believe that the University should be a public good, producing research and an educated workforce and citizenry for the benefit of the State of North Carolina. We are certain that this role cannot be accomplished in the absence of academic freedom, or in the presence of political intervention in University affairs. We demand both governing boards take a step back, stick to their traditional roles and let us do our work.

- UE Local 150, The Workers Union at UNC-Chapel Hill



<![CDATA[UNC men's lacrosse celebrates 'awesome' victory over Dartmouth following 25-7 win]]> There are a lot of ways to describe North Carolina men's lacrosse's 25-7 win over Dartmouth on Sunday at Dorrance Field.

"Commanding," "controlling" or "dominant" are just a few words.

But graduate attackman Logan McGovern had his own description - "awesome."

With the team's recent 15-8 loss against Duke, it's easy to understand why McGovern felt this way. Coming into Sunday's matinee, the team wanted to get back on the field and prove their potential.

"When you have a disappointing performance like Friday was, to have a short rest and get back on the field as soon as possible, it really helped us out," McGovern said. "It helped lead to the fast start (on Sunday) and that's what we needed."

In the first eight minutes of the game, the Tar Heels matched their scoring total from the match against Duke - quickly getting out to an 8-0 lead. McGovern tallied two goals and an assist in that span.

By the end of the first quarter, nine different players scored to get out to an 11-0 lead. The wide margin allowed head coach Joe Breschi to dip into his reserves sooner than usual.

"At the end of the day, you go up 11-nothing in the first quarter, it's really good," Breschi said. "So many guys got an opportunity to step on the field and contribute today."

While the offense kept finding ways to score goals, the defense was busy making sure that Dartmouth was unable to do any damage.

Every time the Big Green looked to get settled into their offense, the North Carolina defense was there to wreak havoc. The Tar Heels knocked the ball away and forced Dartmouth to make mistakes, which led to 13 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

The Tar Heels allowed only one shot on goal in those first 15 minutes, and junior goalkeeper Collin Krieg easily saved the lone ball that got through the defense. The UNC players chalked the dominant quarter up to their pregame mentality.

"We were pissed off going into this game," senior attackman Lance Tillman said. "I know I was. I know the offense was. We were sick of the defense playing great and the offense not stepping up, so we had a little chip on our shoulders to perform."

Breschi backed up his players' analysis, saying that the team had "no time to wallow in the sorrows of a loss."

UNC has two home games against High Point and Providence before it is thrown into the gauntlet of conference play. The Tar Heels will end the regular season with four straight ACC games, including matchups against No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 Notre Dame.

If North Carolina hopes to avoid missing the postseason for a second-straight year, the offense will have to show it can produce the same type of scoring output that it had against Dartmouth.

"It comes down to trusting each other," Tillman said. "Knowing that our teammates are going to do the right thing. Having that trust is what's going to allow us to be a great team and reach our potential."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

UNC junior goalkeeper Collin Krieg (39) blocks a shot during the men's lacrosse game against Brown at Dorrance Field on Saturday, March 11, 2023. UNC won 19-6.

<![CDATA[Ballroom dance club combines international dancing with community]]> Although UNC sophomore Jayla Twitty had never danced before, she said she was hooked after her first lesson with the UNC Ballroom Dance Team.

"I showed up to the club and I was like, 'well, I can't leave, I have to stay, I love it so much,'" Twitty said. She now serves as the newcomer liaison for the team.

First-year Carolyn Guan, another ballroom dance newcomer, joined the UNC Ballroom Dance Team last semester to try out a new style of dance. In her first semester of competing, Guan won 'Best Overall Newcomer' and now serves as the vice president of the team.

The Ballroom Dance Team is a club that makes ballroom dance financially accessible to students who want to try the style. The team focuses on International Latin and International Standard styles of ballroom dancing and incorporates American styles in its social dancing lessons.

"Lots of people are afraid of ballroom because I quote, 'I cannot dance.' However, we can fix that, that's what we do," PresidentLeia Reilly said. "If you're terrified of Ballroom, just take a group of friends and give the Tuesday lessons a try."

The team coordinates both a social team - which is free to participate in all year -and a competitive team, which is $45 per semester. However, there are resources to help students who wish to join the competitive team but cannot pay the fee.

Both teams are open to all students at any skill level, with no experience required to join.

"Don't worry if you don't have a partner or you don't have shoes," Twitty said. "Just as long as you show up with an open mindset and are willing to just try it, I think you're going to enjoy it."

The team hosts three meetings a week on-campus in Fetzer Hall. Tuesday lessons, for both competitive and social, are for beginners and are always free. The club's Wednesday lessons are slightly more advanced and are free until competitive fee payments are due, but Thursday classes are advanced and only open to competitive members.

Along with the on-campus meetings, off-campus lessons taught by dancer Inga Sirkaite are also available on Mondays through the dance team for $15 a semester.

During the pandemic, student involvement decreased, Reilly said. However, she said the team has since rebuilt.

"I spent so many bloody hours just making sure that we had people again that we could survive as a club and as a team," Reilly said."So watching it move and grow has been a large personal accomplishment."

There are competitions all throughout the year, and most are held by universities. Some members, like Reilly, qualify to compete in competitions like Nationals.

"I've really valued the people that ballroom dancing has brought into my life, I really value the community that it has created, and just so many experiences and so much fun that I've been able to have with it," Reilly said. "I'm going to Nationals, which is so exciting."

UNC will be hosting its own competition, the "Carolina Ballroom Brawl," later this month on March 25.

Along with competitions, universities will also hold dance socials which offer team members the chance to meet fellow dancers from different university teams.

"Ballroom definitely brought me into a new community," Guan said. "Since we usually go to socials at different universities, I'm constantly meeting new people.And everyone in the community is really nice, really understanding and I think it definitely made up a lot of my college experience."

Twitty said the club provides an opportunity to learn new dance styles and also interact with new people in the ballroom community.



<![CDATA[Office DJ: Stealing my dad's music taste ]]> I think my music taste is pretty good.

But I can't take full credit for it. It's really my dad's.

I've lost count of the number of times he's asked me, "Who's this?" while his hand covers the car radio displaying songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns N' Roses.

Every day on the way to elementary and middle school, he'd quiz me on artists as we listened to the '90s alt-rock station on the radio. We did that for years. Let's just say I can recognize Kurt Cobain's vocal fry from a mile away (rest in peace, legend).

When I turned 16, got my diver's license and could drive myself to school, my dad and I's game came to an end.

Although I had full control of the aux as I drove to school, I didn't stray too far from The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer or The Cranberries. I added The Backseat Lovers, Phoebe Bridgers and Lana Del Rey to the mix, too, though. Duh.

I guess my music taste is a little bit of my dad and a little bit of me.

I'm not 16 anymore. I'm not even a teenager. That's a weird thing to come to terms with.

I opened a Roth IRA last week. I still feel like I'm a kid.

I'm going to be living in a city I've never stepped foot in this summer. I still feel like I'm a kid.

Even though I'm 20 now, sometimes it feels like I'm still only old enough to be "driving" the big tractor outside the State Farmers Market Restaurant in Raleigh.

I wonder if other college students ever feel like they're in a weird limbo between childhood and adulthood. Between dependence and independence?

We enroll at a university like UNC as teenagers, but we leave as twenty-somethings. College marks the first time many students have full control of how they plan their day-to-day schedules, figure out how to not ruin their clothes in the laundry and cook their own dinner every night.

I live in a dorm, but my home is my parents' house. I still ask my parents for help when signing a lease or figuring out health insurance. But I do my own grocery shopping.

It's a weird place to be. It's a good place to be.

I'm grateful for my parents. I know my dad is always behind me, with one arm outstretched, ready to catch me if I fall. And I know it won't be like that forever. That makes it more special somehow.

My dad hasn't driven me to school in a while. But he did pick me up from UNC's campus for spring break. When I hopped in the car, guess what was playing? Yep.

As he drove to a soundtrack of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day, he asked me how to use Spotify. I excitedly explained the importance of a good playlist while he nodded thoughtfully. I think I've converted him.

This playlist is for you, Dad.

I'll know all of the lyrics to "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake for the rest of my life. You better know every song on this playlist - and be ready for a pop quiz.



DTH Graphic. City & State Editor Emmy Martin and her father in 2006.

<![CDATA[UNC softball loses 8-0 to Duke to wrap up weekend series]]> The North Carolina softball team (10-19, 1-5 ACC) fell to No. 16 Duke (24-5, 7-2 ACC), 8-0 to wrap up its weekend series.

What happened?

Following a lead-off home run from the Blue Devils' Deja Davis, the Tar Heels were able to regroup and hold Duke scoreless for the rest of the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, North Carolina was unable to gain a spot on the scoreboard despite a hit by second baseman Abby Settlemyre.

The Blue Devils loaded the bases in the top of the second and plated a runner off a hit to left field by Davis. The hit was followed by a passed ball by UNC redshirt first-year catcher Isabela Emerling, which led to another run. By the end of the inning, Duke put three runs on the board.

North Carolina quickly adjusted and changed pitchers in the middle of the second inning to sophomore Lilli Backes, a pitcher Duke has yet to see in this series. This allowed the Tar Heels to get out of the second inning, after a strikeout by Backes and an impressive snag by third baseman Destiny Middleton.

Duke's Jada Baker broke things open in the top of the third with a three-run homer to center field, giving Duke a 6-0 lead.

The Tar Heels were outperformed offensively for the rest of the outing, and the team racked up more errors than the Blue Devils. North Carolina was unable to handle Cassidy Curd's presence in the circle, which made the game seemingly less competitive than previous matchups between the two teams.

The Blue Devils held the Tar Heels for the next two innings, with Davis launching another ball over the center field fence in the top of the fifth. This brought in two more runs for Duke, making the score 8-0.

Duke mercy-ruled UNC in the bottom of the fifth, which marked the Tar Heels' second such defeat this season.

Who stood out?

Curd was the standout performer, as she held the Tar Heels to just one hit through five innings.

Backes played a part in stopping the bleeding in the second inning for UNC, as she finished the afternoon with three solid innings out of the bullpen.

When was it decided?

Duke gained an early lead and effectively held the Tar Heels with no hits or errors in in the bottom of the second. This stunted the momentum of the Tar Heels, and Baker's three-run shot put the game out of reach.

Why does it matter?

With the loss, UNC drops to 10-19 on the season and 1-5 in ACC play. The Tar Heels are now winless in their last eight matchups against the Blue Devils dating back to 2019.

When do they play next?

On Tuesday, the Tar Heels will head up-state to Boone, N.C. in a match-up against Appalachian State.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[UNC Kenan-Flagler STAR program connects students with corporate partners]]> UNC began a relationship with Nike when it signed an agreement to provide shoes and athletic apparel for its athletes and coaches in 1993.

Five years later, the Kenan-Flagler Business School offered the course Economics, Ethics, and Impacts of the Global Economy: The Nike Example, which sparked debate over the apparel company, regarding concerns students were having about Nike's labor practices in overseas factories.

By the end of that spring semester, a staff member from Nike came to view the students' presentations alongside their recommendations for the company.

The employee turned out to be Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Soon after Knight's visit, Nike addressed the labor concerns within its factories while the University continued to renew its contracts with the company.

This course foreshadowed the current Kenan-Flagler Business School program STAR - which connects students with corporate partners to tackle real business issues, Karin Cochran, executive director of STAR and professor in the school, said.

23 student teams are currently participating in Kenan-Flagler Business School's Student Teams Achieving Results program, or STAR. Over the next few months, masters of business administration and undergraduate students will work together with a variety of disclosed corporate partners to solve problems for each individual company.

"It was started to allow students to apply what they're learning in the classroom to a real business challenge for a real company," Cochran said. "In the process, we hope they will develop leadership skills, teamwork skills and problem-solving skills."

Cochran said STAR's students will also present their data, fact and action-based recommendations to real corporate partners.

She took over the program in 2017 and said she loves giving the students the opportunity to have real consulting experience while they're still in school.

The STAR program was started officially in 2005, but the business school has been conducting experiential learning projects called practicum since the 1990s. The general interest in starting the STAR program was to help students by having them participate in action-based learning similar to what is taught in the school, Cochran said.

Claudia Kubowicz Malhotra, clinical professor of marketing, is one of many faculty advisors for the STAR program. She loves the ability to work on a current problem for a company and see the marketing concepts she teaches put to action in the real world.

Specifically, she enjoys being able to have daily communication with a small group of students over several months with the common objective of delivering recommendations to a client.

"I don't know of another program that has that focus - of the combination of the undergraduates and the graduates together working on a team," Kubowicz Malhotra said.

She added that the undergraduates are able to apply their classroom and market knowledge to professional situations, while the graduate students can test their leadership, management and communication skills through the project.

Abby Crotteau, sophomore MBA candidate and a STAR ambassador, said she is excited to see the impact the groups will have with clients. She added that she believes the STAR program is holistically one of the strongest attributes of the Kenan-Flagler business program.

Crotteu said working with STAR has been a great introduction to the consulting realm and that through the project she has learned how relationships between companies and clients really operate.

"The amount of impact that students actually get to have is really exciting," she said.

Peter Jackson, a senior double majoring in business and computer science and a STAR ambassador, said the program helped him have a better handle on his summer internship and allowed him to work with a diverse group of people.

Although STAR is a business-based program, Jackson said it seeks to unite students from all backgrounds and majors to add variety to the consulting projects.

"The more diversity - the more diversity of thought in our program - the more success we can bring to our clients," he said.



UNC Professor Karin Cochran works with STAR students at an event on Jan. 20, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Allison Adams.

<![CDATA[North Carolina Senate Bill 196 to ensure fair treatment for those with student loans]]> In early March, Senate Bill 196, the "Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights", was filed in the N.C. Senate. If passed, the bill would create a license requirement process for lenders to help ensure fair treatment of student loan borrowers and their families.

The bill would impose an application process on student loan servicers, which would include a certificate of good standing from the state, the applicant's financial condition and the qualifications and business history of the applicant. If a loan servicer passes the application process, the commissioner of banks will give it a license.

The primary sponsor of the bill, N.C. Sen. Rachel Hunt (D-Mecklenburg), said she is trying to set up parameters for student loan lenders to make sure they treat student borrowers well.

"Right now, there are no parameters at all," Hunt said. "So they can do things like mislead them, make sure they pay extraordinary fees and change the terms of the loan."

Hunt is also a college counselor, which she said is a reason for her interest in the bill.

"I've seen through my own students, what student debt is doing to people and how it destroys lives," Hunt said.

Hunt said lenders currently do not look into income-based repayment programs or public service loan forgiveness programs for people who are not able to pay their student loans. Instead, the lenders immediately put those people in default, which is the source of much of the trouble with student loans, she said.

The bill would prohibit lenders from providing information about a disputed payment to a consumer reporting agency until 60 days after a written inquiry from the borrower. Hunt said the information given to a consumer reporting agency can affect a borrower's credit score.

James Mwombela, a student loan advisor who consults for Student Loan Planner, said the bill could allow borrowers to avoid costly mistakes.

Student Loan Planner is a company made up of financial consultants who have their own financial planning practices. They sometimes consult people looking to take out student loans, but mostly consult those working to pay back their loans, Mwombela said.

"Servicers have no incentive to help people pay their loans off faster, in fact, the servicer gets paid a fee for the outstanding balances that they service," Mwombela said. "It's actually in their interest to keep people in debt."

Mwombela said one of the requirements of the bill is that lenders would be required to discuss all the repayment options with the borrower before putting them in forbearance.

Lily Gullion, a second-year Ph.D. student in occupational science at UNC, took out student loans for her bachelor's and master's degrees.

"After I finished my master's degree, it was really hard to figure out career goals because I knew that I needed to stay within nonprofit agencies for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness," Gullion said.

Gullion said the forgiveness program has allowed her to pay her loans and rent, but it means that she can only take certain jobs and opportunities, which is limiting for her future career.

"I think that this is definitely a step in the right direction," Gullion said. "I think that students need to know their rights and need to know what this means long-term and understanding without false pretenses and what kind of burdens will be in their lives if they take out certain loans."

On March 6, the bill was assigned to the state Senate rules committee where it will be reviewed. If it passes the committee, the bill will be voted on by the full N.C. Senate.


@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

The North Carolina General Assembly building is pictured in Raleigh, N.C. on Jan. 13, 2013.

<![CDATA[No. 1 UNC women's lacrosse snaps 29-game winning streak with loss at No. 3 Northwestern]]> The No. 1 North Carolina women's lacrosse team (7-1, 4-0 ACC) snapped its 29-game, multi-season winning streak on Sunday with a 13-9 loss to No. 3 Northwestern (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten) in Evanston, Ill.

What happened?

Neither defense gave an inch as the game remained scoreless for nearly the entire first quarter. Northwestern outshot UNC, but the Tar Heels continued to show why they boast one of the best scoring defenses in the country, collapsing in on every run at the goal. Finally, the Wildcats found the back of the net as Emerson Bohlig and Hailey Rhatigan both scored in the final minute of the first quarter.

Northwestern's Elle Hansen scored off another free position shot to open up second-quarter scoring, and UNC responded by winning its first draw control of the game and scoring its first goal from first-year Caroline Godine.

That awoke something in Northwestern's Izzy Scane, the nation's leading goal scorer. The fifth-year attacker immediately ripped off two straight unassisted goals to put Northwestern up 5-1 with 12:22 remaining in the half. A few minutes later, Erin Coykendall scored on another free position shot to further extend the lead.

Godine scored again with 6:53 remaining in the half to cut the deficit to four, and the two teams were off to the races from there. Scane and junior midfielder Alyssa long traded unassisted goals and Coykendall scored for a second time.

After going into halftime up 8-4, Northwestern scored the first two goals of the second half. UNC attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger kept the Tar Heels in the game with her first goal halfway through the third quarter. With two minutes remaining in the third, senior midfielder Nicole Humphrey scored from the right side to make the score 10-6 heading into the final period.

UNC's Reilly Casey drew a foul and scored from the 8-meter to cut the deficit to three goals and keep the comeback bid alive. Rhatigan picked up a yellow card following that score, and Mottice capitalized on the player-up opportunity with a perfectly placed shot from the right side to make it 10-8.

But just when UNC seemed like it had the spark it needed, Scane was there to extinguish the flame. After receiving the ball from the left corner of the goal, she cut up the center of the field and rifled a shot through three defenders and into the back of the net.

From there, the Wildcats preserved their lead to come away with the victory

Who stood out?

Scane was the best player on the field and notched a first-half hat trick to prove it. She finished the game with a five-point performance. After missing the entire 2022 season because of a torn ACL, the veteran posed a new threat to this relatively inexperienced UNC team.

Godine, who has impressed in limited playing time during her first year at UNC, was a silver lining for the Tar Heels with three goals.

When was it decided?

Once Scane and Rhatigan got hot, the Tar Heels found themselves chasing a runaway train.

When Scane scored while being triple-teamed to break UNC's four-goal run, the writing was on the wall.

Why does it matter?

Northwestern outplayed North Carolina top to bottom on Sunday, dominating on draw controls, forcing turnovers and winning 50-50 balls to get out to an early lead.

The Tar Heels struggled to make passes and turned the ball over five times in the first quarter. Sloppy ball movement forced the UNC offense into a lot of isolation plays that were snuffed out by the Northwestern defense.

UNC played without sophomore defender Brooklyn Walker-Welch, putting even more pressure on North Carolina's defense to contain Northwestern's dangerous scoring offense. While UNC initially seemed ready to step up to the challenge, it took too long for the offense to settle into rhythm.

When do they play next?

North Carolina will return to Chapel Hill on Thursday to face off against High Point at 6 p.m.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['I was ready': Teonni Key serves as important role player in UNC's NCAA first-round win over St. John's]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - When Teonni Key subbed in for Alyssa Ustby in the fourth quarter, Ustby was sure her younger teammate could get the job done.

Key, a redshirt first-year forward, has seen limited minutes this year and has hardly ever played in crucial moments. But when Ustby fouled out with 6:15 left to play in UNC's NCAA Tournament opener against St. John's, someone had to step up. In the No. 6 seeded Tar Heels' 61-59 win over No. 11 St. John's on Saturday, that player was Key.

"I was really confident in the preparation that Teonni has done," Ustby said. "I had a lot of confidence that she would do well, and she did amazing."

Even before Ustby was sidelined, the Tar Heels had already been approaching their breaking point. St. John's took its first lead of the night thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from forward Danielle Patterson, who also drew Ustby's final foul.

As the first team All-ACC selectee headed to the bench, Patterson mock-saluted goodbye and proceeded to score inside to put the Red Storm up 51-48.

"We were rattled, clearly," head coach Courtney Banghart said. "When Alyssa fouls out, she creates extra possessions for us. You can trust that. It just added to our rattled-ness. It wasn't a game where we felt settled the whole time, so it just kind of added to that."

With under four minutes to play, St. John's had a chance to extend its three-point lead and take full control of the game. A first-round upset was rapidly becoming an imminent reality for North Carolina, but Key forced a timely turnover. Two plays later, first-year guard Paulina Paris tied the game on a three-point play.

Then, with just over a minute to play and the game still tied, star veteran guard Deja Kelly saw an opening for a post-entry pass to Key. Without hesitation, Kelly passed up a shot, trusting the rookie to make a play in her first career NCAA Tournament game.

Key backed down inside and drew a foul. She's not the best free throw shooter with a 59 percent average, but she stepped up and calmly knocked down both clutch foul shots.

"All my teammates told me to breathe and just relax," Key said. "That's what I did. Just hit free throws."

And finally, with six seconds remaining and the game tied at 58-58, Key set a screen for Kelly, who hit the go-ahead and-one layup to put the game away.

The first-year's final stats weren't outstanding by any means - tallying two points, zero field goals and one steal in 11 minutes of action. But every play the Cary, N.C. native made - on or off the box score - came at pivotal moments down the stretch.

"That's a player's game out there late in the game," Banghart said. "I can make a few calls here and there, but these guys got to go make plays."

For a team that believed it was underseeded in the bracket, barely escaping from an 11-seed is certainly a wake-up call; at times, Banghart even thought her team's errant play was proving the selection committee right. Ustby also admitted that all five of her fouls were careless, as it was the first time this year she fouled out.

On Monday, North Carolina will look to make its second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance by upsetting No. 3 seed Ohio State on its home turf. The undersized Tar Heels notoriously struggled against Big 10 teams early on in the season, but as shown by reserve players like Key hitting their stride at the right time, anything can happen in March.

"I know that my team needed me and we had been preparing for moments like this the whole season," Key said. "Whatever it took, I was ready to put it on the line for the team."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['That's what she does': Kelly comes up clutch again for UNC women's basketball in NCAA Tournament first round]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio -Theresa Nunn wasn't nervous when her daughter Deja Kelly got the ball with less than seven seconds remaining.

"That's what she does," Nunn said with a laugh. "I was kind of expecting a play like that."

So was St. John's. It was obvious that with the score tied, the ball would go to Kelly in the clutch.

Still, the junior guard was able to step up again for the Tar Heels. Kelly's and-one bucket in the game's final seconds allowed No. 6 seed UNC to edge No. 11 seed St. John's, 61-59, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Kelly led the Tar Heels with 18 points on Saturday - six of those coming in the game's final five minutes.

On UNC's final possession, it took two cuts from Kayla McPherson and Eva Hodgson and then a screen from Teonni Key to get Kelly open for the in-bounds pass from Kennedy Todd-Williams.

Much like her mother, Kelly wasn't nervous. She loves those moments.

Kelly admitted that, as she set up at the top of the key with 6.5 seconds left on the clock, her thought process was simple -she wanted to go left and wanted to get to the rim. The junior said she would have taken the pull-up but it wasn't falling, as evidenced by her five missed second-half jumpers.

So, she instead chose to weave through four defenders. The final St. John's player in her way, graduate guard Mimi Reid, slid inside the restricted arc and was called for the blocking foul as the ball went through the hoop.

"That's exactly as we wanted it," Banghart said. "We have a play call, but I can't tell you what that is. Yeah, we felt like it was a great execution. (Todd-Williams) made the pass, we trust her there. We had a time-out, she knew that. We wanted Deja going left and we wanted Teonni (Key) setting the screen so she could trail for the rebound. We would have really loved for them to foul us, and they did, so that was even better."

After sinking the layup, Kelly promptly got up and began to stalk the perimeter of the court. Meanwhile, her teammates went absolutely ballistic.

Todd-Williams pumped her fist and began jumping around. The entire Tar Heel bench hopped up and down while Hodgson and Key made a beeline to Kelly, getting in her face and yelling to fire her up.

"When it went in, at first I thought they called a charge and I was going to be really upset," Kelly said. "But it went in and we got the foul and I made the free throw, so there was a lot of emotions in that one play."

After two missed free throws from Patterson that could have tied the game, it was only fitting that Kelly was the one holding the ball when the final buzzer sounded.

The junior point guard was soon swarmed for post-game broadcast interviews. After she finished, she found her mother -who had just finished embracing Banghart moments earlier - in the stands. They both held up hearts to each other, part of a tradition that Nunn said helps the two connect from far away.

"When she was itty-bitty, and she used to go to preschool, she was always nervous when I dropped her off," Nunn said. "I'd see her at the door and I'd (blow a kiss) and she'd blow one back."

Now, Kelly is hardly nervous. The first-team All-ACC selection leads her team in scoring with 16 points per game and has a team-high nine games this season with 20 or more points. The junior has played six 40-minute games this season. In UNC's final game of the regular season, her free throws iced the win on the road against Duke.

Kelly is used to stepping up for her team. And in March, when the game is on the line, she's willing to do whatever it takes.

"With Coach putting the ball in my hands, (I'm) just trying to make a play," Kelly said "If they doubled, I was ready to make a pass. Just anything like that, just trying to make a play down the stretch and will my team to a win."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

UNC junior guard Deja Kelly smiles after UNC's NCAA Tournament first-round game against the St. John's Red Storm in the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, March 18, 2023. The Tar Heels won 61-59.

<![CDATA[Austin O'Connor national champion once again as UNC wrestler claims 157-pound NCAA title]]> The North Carolina wrestling team claimed a trio of All-Americans at the 2023 NCAA Tournament, highlighted by redshirt senior Austin O'Connor securing his second national title.

What happened?

Redshirt first-year Lachlan McNeil's journey to All-American status began with an opening-round duel against No. 23 Cole Mattin. The 141-pound bout saw McNeil secure an early takedown en route to topping the Michigan redshirt junior, 6-2.

Thursday evening, McNeil would advance to the quarterfinals with a one-point upset win over No. 7 Vince Cornella. In UNC's next contest, a pair of takedowns by No.2 Andrew Alirez helped the wrestler prevail, dropping McNeil to the consolation bracket.

Despite dropping the high-stakes duel, McNeil would bounce back and split his next two contests, capped off by the Toronto native falling in his weight class' third-place bout. McNeil finished the week in fourth place and became a first-time All-American.

Gavin Kane's route to becoming an All-American for the first time started off rocky. The 184-pound sophomore dropped his opening duel in an upset defeat to No. 22 Colton Hawks.

However, Kane would work his way through the consolation bracket over the next three days. UNC's No.11-ranked wrestler would go on to win four consecutive matches to earn himself All-American status and place eighth in the 184-pound class.

O'Connor finished the regular season undefeated and earned an ACC title to help the graduate student secure the top-ranked seed in the 157-pound class. His path to a national title began with a decision victory over No. 32 Vinny Zerban on Thursday.

Later that same day, O'Connor hit the mat to duel against Missouri's Jarrett Jacques. North Carolina's prized wrestler would open up an early two-point advantage before securing his second decision win of the tournament, 4-1.

In the quarterfinal contest, O'Connor would prevail via major decision over No. 9 Will Lewan behind a pair of first-period takedowns. The 157-pounder's next contest saw O'Connor locked into his closest match of the week. UNC's riding time point proved to be the difference over No. 5 Josh Humphreys and O'Connor advanced to the national championship bout.

Saturday night, O'Connor squared off against Penn State first-year Levi Haines. The two were held in a gridlock for the first two periods, with neither earning a point. However, the title game's final 90 seconds saw O'Connor record two takedowns to help him prevail over the second-ranked wrestler in the nation, 6-2

Redshirt sophomore Max Shaw and graduate Jack Wagner competed in the 197 and 125-pound divisions, respectively. Each won their initial bouts before each dropping their final two contests of the week, finishing the tournament with a combined 2-6 record.

Who stood out?

O'Connor earned his second individual national title after a grueling victory over Haines. The graduate became the first multiple-time champ since TJ Jaworsky claimed three straight titles for UNC from 1993 to 1995. O'Connor also earned his fifth All-American finish, becoming the first Tar Heel in program history to earn the esteemed status five times.

McNeil and Kane also posted impressive tournaments with each claiming All-American finishes.

When was it decided?

After a scoreless first period, the Lockport, Ill. native never allowed Haines to escape during the second period. In the bouts final minute and a half, O'Connor went full throttle to secure a pair of takedowns and win the individual national championship.

Why does it matter?

O'Connor cemented himself as one of the best wrestlers to ever step foot in Chapel Hill. A year removed from earning All-American status on a torn ACL, the sixth-year senior claimed his fifth All-American finish this season -- becoming the first Tar Heel to do so.

Moreover, McNeil and Kane's impressive weeks provide a glimpse of what the future holds for head coach Coleman Scott's program. With O'Connor exhausting his collegiate eligibility, the two second-year Tar Heels will likely become the new faces of UNC wrestling moving forward.

When do they play next?

The conclusion of the NCAA Tournament wraps up North Carolina's season.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Tar Heels survive dramatic final seconds in first-round NCAA Tournament win over St. John's]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 6 seed North Carolina women's basketball team (22-10, 11-7 ACC) defeated No. 11 seed St. John's (23-9, 13-7 Big East), 61-59, in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at the Schottenstein Center on Saturday evening.

What happened?

UNC drew first blood when junior guard Deja Kelly hit a mid-range jumper in transition. Redshirt senior guard Eva Hodgson then found junior forward Anya Poole for a fastbreak layup, and junior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams scored a putback off a Kelly corner three airball.

The Tar Heels extended their lead to 8-0 off a fading one-legged floater from Kelly. St. John's guard Mimi Reid hit a three for the Red Storm's first score of the game, but junior forward Ustby answered with a lefty layup and Kelly hit another one-legged mid-range jumper.

St. John's began to find its rhythm as star guard Jayla Everett hit two threes and a jumper. Hodgson hit a three, followed by Ustby and Kelly adding a pair of baskets, but guard Unique Drake closed out the first quarter with a jumper. UNC led 19-15 heading into the second frame.

The Red Storm amped up the physicality in the second quarter and trimmed the deficit to 19-21, but Todd-Williams and Ustby hit back-to-back threes to extend the lead again. A five minute scoring drought for St. John's ended as halftime approached when Reid hit a free throw. UNC led 29-20 at the break.

Hodgson hit a second-chance 3-pointer and Ustby drew a charge on the other end to open up the third quarter. Guard Kadaja Bailey hit an and-one shot over Hodgson to cut the lead to eight points, but Todd-Williams answered with a three. Everett continued her hot shooting with another three and Ustby bullied her way inside for a basket to put UNC up 37-30 midway through the third quarter.

Todd-Williams scored two more baskets, including a fadeaway jumper. The Red Storm kept getting to the charity stripe, hitting five free throws, but Hodgson hit another three to keep them at bay. Ustby picked up her fourth foul before the third quarter was over, forcing head coach Courtney Banghart to make more substitutions.

St. John's opened up the final quarter with a 5-0 scoring spurt to tie the game at 46-46, causing Banghart to call timeout. Ustby risked fouling out on a fastbreak bucket and St. John's took its first lead of the game when forward Danielle Patterson hit a corner three.

Patterson drew a charge on Ustby a minute later, who exited the game. Patterson scored another layup, expanding the UNC deficit to 51-48. With redshirt first-year forward Teonni Key in for Ustby, the Tar Heels looked disarrayed.

Patterson scored again, but Kelly answered with a lefty layup to pull it within three points and first-year guard Paulina Paris scored a fastbreak and-one layup to tie it up. Key posted up in isolation and drew a foul, hitting both clutch free throws. Reid tied the game with an inside basket with under a minute to play.

Todd-Williams scored a putback layup to put UNC up by two with under 30 seconds left and St. John's called a timeout. With 6.5 seconds to play, Reid snuck inside for a game-tying layup. Out of UNC's timeout, Kelly drove inside and scored an and-one layup with 2.3 seconds to play and nailed the free throw to put the Tar Heels ahead for good.

The Red Storm used its final timeout and Patterson drew a shooting foul from behind the arc, but missed the first two free throws with 1.5 seconds to play. From there, the Tar Heels never looked back.

Who stood out?

Kelly led UNC in scoring with 18 points and the go-ahead game winning drive to the basket. Todd-Williams scored 14 points and Hodgson continued her hot shooting from the ACC Tournament, going 3-6 from downtown.

Everett and Patterson scored 17 and 10 points, respectively.

When was it decided?

The game was decided in the final possessions, when Kelly hit the layup and Patterson couldn't convert all three free throw attempts.

Why does it matter?

North Carolina advances to the next round and will take on the No. 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes on their home turf. If the Tar Heels make it out of Columbus, they will advance to the Sweet 16 in Seattle, looking to build on last year's Sweet 16 run.

Additionally, Ustby, who turned 21 today, became the 40th Tar Heel in program history to score 1,000 points.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will face No. 3 seed Ohio State on Monday.


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA['I think we got a little anxious': No. 14 UNC men's lacrosse falls to No. 4 Duke]]> DURHAM, N.C. - Music blared from the Duke men's lacrosse locker room after the Blue Devils' victory over North Carolina on Friday night.

On their way back to the bus, UNC players walked through the pouring rain, past the Duke locker room and heard the celebration.

While the Tar Heels never led in the game, after scoring four goals in four minutes to start the third quarter, it seemed as if, even for just a moment, they might have had a chance to be the ones celebrating at the end of the night. Instead, No. 14 UNC fell to No. 4 Duke, 15-8, on the road at Koskinen Stadium.

North Carolina went down at the half, 9-4, due to the compact Blue Devils defense. Duke goalkeeper William Helm made it so that even if the Tar Heels did get a shot on goal, it would more likely end up in the goalie's stick rather than in the back of the net.

For the first four minutes of the second half,the Tar Heels grabbed hold of the game. UNC scored four times and got within a goal of Duke.

But, in the end, it was just a quick string of goals and nothing more.

As fast as North Carolina was able to get those four goals, the Duke defense was quick to adjust. For the rest of the game, Helm held it down in the crease. By the end of the night, the graduate goalkeeper had 14 saves.

"He made some good plays and good saves," UNC head coach Joe Breschi said. "He changed the complexion of the game. I think we got a little anxious too because we had the momentum on our side. We took some bad shots that we weren't taking earlier so that was unfortunate."

While Helm shut down the North Carolina offensive attack, the Blue Devils' offense started to grow their lead once again.

Going into Friday, the North Carolina defense allowed an NCAA-low 7.67 goals per game. But going up against a Duke offense that averaged the fourth-most goals per game in the nation, it was going to be hard to stay within striking distance.

"The offense they have is very talented and I think we did some things that we hadn't been doing all season," Breschi said. "We can't have simple mistakes, especially with them having great finishers inside."

With 11 minutes left in the game, the Tar Heels were again staring at a five-goal deficit with Duke possessing a 13-8 lead. Unlike its run to start the third quarter, UNC had no answer for how to get back into the game.

While North Carolina possesses an array of offensive weapons, it has been unable to showcase such players in games it has lost. The Tar Heels score an average of 18.5 goals per game in wins, but have been able to muster an average of just seven goals per game in their three losses.

The offensive roller coaster the Tar Heels find themselves on will need to reach a stationary end as they enter conference play and face an assortment of ranked teams to round out their schedule.

"We just have to continue to work on our shooting and the placement of our shots and so forth," Breschi said. "At the end of the day, we need to keep pounding away at these defenses."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Preview: UNC women's basketball to face No. 11 seed St. John's in NCAA Tournament ]]> COLUMBUS, Ohio - Despite it being Courtney Banghart's 11th postseason appearance and UNC women's basketball's 29th NCAA Tournament appearance, the level of excitement for the Tar Heels this March is the same.

"(It) just never gets old, the opportunity that awaits, the magnitude of the event," Banghart said in UNC's press conference on Friday.

While last year's experience -upsetting No. 4 seed Arizona in Tucson and going up against South Carolina in the Sweet 16 -provides UNC's players with some confidence, the Tar Heels will face a tough road to advance to Seattle.

The first step in No. 6 seed North Carolina's trek back to the Sweet 16 is its contest against No. 11 seed St. John's at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Against the Johnnies, the Tar Heels will need to pay particular attention to defending the perimeter and disrupting redshirt senior guard Jayla Everett's flow.

Make Everett uncomfortable

The Red Storm roster includes three ACC transfers. Aside from the two former Notre Dame players in Danielle Cosgrove and Danielle Patterson, the most notable of the transfers is Everett -a former Pitt Panther who paces the team with 16 points per game.

Everett will be coming in hot, as her game-winning floater with .3 seconds on the clock sealed the Red Storm's 66-64 victory over Purdue on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament First Four game.

"She has a ton of experience," Banghart said. "The finality of your career (and) your athletic mortality is on full display here in the NCAA Tournament. She takes and makes a lot of tough shots."

Banghart said Everett reminded her of Wake Forest's Jewel Spear, as both are a huge focal point of their respective offenses. On Saturday, the Tar Heels' defense needs to make Everett uncomfortable.

"(Everett is) just a really gifted offensive player that's going to require a good defensive effort by us 1 through 11," Banghart said.

Prioritize the perimeter

St. John's ranks top-25 in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage behind a 36.1 percent clip as a team.

The Red Storm's prowess from the perimeter is a full-team effort. Aside from Everett, who leads the team with 75 3-pointers on 42.6 percent shooting, Kadaja Bailey, Unique Drake and Patterson are all formidable threats for behind the arc.

In Thursday's game against the Boilermakers, St. John's canned 11 3-pointers at a 47.8 percent clip. Drake and Everett combined for seven 3-pointers. Cosgrove added two and Mimi Reid and Patterson each chipped in a trey as well. North Carolina will have to come out focused, as eight of the Red Storm's 11 shots from distance against Purdue came in the first half.

Banghart said on Friday that playing in the ACC, especially against teams like Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Clemson, have prepared the Tar Heels really well to take on St. John's.

"We've seen lots of really good players, lots of dynamic threats, lots of deep teams," she said. "You hope that what you've been prepared for all year, in terms of the talent that you've played against, prepares you well for an opportunity like this."


@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

<![CDATA[Despite third-quarter push, No. 14 UNC men's lacrosse falls to No. 4 Duke, 15-8, in rivalry matchup]]> DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 14 North Carolina men's lacrosse team (4-3, 1-1 ACC) fell to the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils (7-1, 2-0), 15-8, at Koskinen Stadium in Durham on Friday evening.

What happened?

Duke's defense dictated the start of the game, allowing just one shot on goal from the Tar Heels in the first nine minutes. The Blue Devils struck first offensively as well with a goal from senior attackman Dyson Williams. It wasn't long before Duke had claimed its second goal and a 2-0 lead that set the tone for the rest of the night.

Again, the Blue Devils sent a shot between the pipes to extend their lead to three. However, UNC first-year attackman James Matan took advantage of a quick clear to score one-on-one on the break over Duke goalie William Helm. Duke responded by dropping in three goals of its own, including one with just 11.1 seconds remaining, to claim a 6-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Tar Heels' defense tightened up a bit in the second quarter, but their offense still struggled to make up any ground for much of the period. Even when graduate attackman Logan McGovern found the back of the net for UNC's second goal, Duke came right back with a goal of its own as it boasted a 9-2 lead.

Toward the end of the half UNC graduate midfielder Harry Wellford sent in a goal on a quick turnaround shot from the left side of the cage. And on the very next possession, the Tar Heels made noise with a goal from senior attackman Lance Tillman to cut Duke's lead to five.

For the majority of the first half, the story was UNC's inability to win faceoffs and claim possession. Winning just 4-14 first-half faceoffs, the Tar Heels were forced to defend for much of the half, and Duke's offense took advantage.

The momentum from UNC's two goals to end the first half carried over into the opening minutes of the third quarter as it sent the ball into the net after picking up a ground ball just feet from the cage following a save from Duke. The goal was the second of the night for Matan.

UNC started the second half determined to capitalize on the momentum it had earned as it won the first three faceoffs of the half-scoring on all three drives back-to-back. The second goal of the run came from senior faceoff midfielder Andrew Tyeryar. Tillman then notched his second goal of the night to bring the Tar Heels within two.

One minute later, UNC was back on the board and back in the game. A goal from graduate midfielder Johnny Schwarz brought the Tar Heels within one goal as Duke led 9-8. The Blue Devils finally stalled the bleeding with their first goal of the half five minutes into the quarter.

Another goal by Duke provided the Blue Devils with a three-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter as they weathered the aggressive UNC comeback.

Duke struck first in the fourth, claiming a 12-8 lead off the fifth goal of the night from Williams. A second fourth-quarter goal for Duke helped the Blue Devils regain their five-point advantage from halftime. As the rain picked up on Friday night those two goals seemed to literally dampen the Tar Heels' red-hot run to start the half.

In the final three minutes, Duke scored twice more, delivering the final blows as the Tar Heels dropped 15-8 in Durham.

Who stood out?

Despite having the number one scoring defense in the nation coming into the game, UNC's defense was not the story of the game-it was Duke's. The Tar Heels scored just eight goals after entering the night scoring 14.5 goals per game.

But as soon as the third quarter started, UNC came to life on both ends. Tillman helped spearhead a solid UNC offensive attack to begin the second half, but the offense's efforts would prove to be in vain.

When was it decided?

Two early fourth-quarter goals from Duke helped to crush UNC's momentum from its third-quarter run as Duke put itself in position to close out the game and win its fifth straight.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels haven't won in Koskinen Stadium since 2016, and they were not able to avenge last year's 15-6 loss to their rivals.

The loss was UNC's third of the season, all of which have been suffered over the course of the last five games.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will be back at home at Dorrance Field on Sunday, March 19, at noon, as they take on Dartmouth.