The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday May 29th


House bill could eliminate tenure in the UNC System, faculty see it as a threat to academic freedom

N.C. House Bill 715, or The Higher Ed. Modernization & Affordability Act, aims to end faculty tenure at all UNC System universities and community colleges. Many UNC professors have expressed alarm at the legislation. A letter with over 670 signatures said the faculty are concerned by the “interference and overreach” of the N.C. legislature, UNC Board of Governors and UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees into academic freedom and shared governance at the University.  “(The state legislature) challenged the core operations of the University —  teaching, research, hiring, tenure — everything that we take seriously, everything that's vital to the institution, is being challenged in a new way here,” history professor Jay Smith said. “And, we just wanted to raise our voices in protest.”

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Adriana Cook is a UNC student who is graduating this spring as a "non-traditional", or grown adult gradutate.

'It's never too late': non-traditional students reflect on their UNC experiences

The undergraduate college experience is often thought of as a transitional time into adulthood, but the undergraduate experience is not limited to those 18 to 22 years old.  Adriana Cook, a senior at UNC, enrolled when she was 59 years old. Last September, she celebrated 14 years of sobriety and overcoming addiction — a feat that started her on the path to higher education.   “I couldn’t see that what I was doing was ruining my life at that time,” she said. “I think it’s important for younger students to maybe think about postponing college for a little bit — a year or two — to get some life experience and gain a better appreciation of school when they come back."

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The Old Well and the South Building are pictured on campus on Nov. 17, 2021.

Board of Governors give service award, discuss equitable enrollment

The UNC Board of Governors full board meeting on Thursday approved the appointments of numerous Board of Trustee members for universities within the UNC System. The governors recognized an honoree for the faculty service award and discussed equitable enrollment of low-income and rural students. In his last official report, UNC student and Governor Raymond Palma highlighted some of the UNC Association of Student Governments' achievements this year. 

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UNC senior Rida Bayraktar sits at Polk Place on Friday, April 14, 2023. Bayraktar is the most recent vice president of the UNC Muslim Students Association which sets up a table every Friday and reaches out to other clubs on campus, in order to bring more people into the community and celebrate holidays, such as Ramadan, together.

Muslim students strive for visibility on campus

The UNC Muslim Students Association provides a space for students to pray, socialize and learn more about the culture. But attaining that space — both physically and figuratively — is something that students continually strive for.  During Ramadan, a holy month marked by spiritual reflection and community, MSA has been able to reserve rooms in the Student Union for prayer — specifically for Taraweeh, a prayer that takes place every night of Ramadan. “On any Christian major holiday like Christmas, Easter, there's no exams, there's no assignments due that day,” Sidra Qayyum, the most recent president of MSA said. “It's just a little frustrating when there's other religion’s holidays that aren't taken into account as well.”

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UNC seniors exit the Bell Tower during the annual climb, hosted by the UNC General Alumni Association on Monday, April 19. The event is an iconic tradition for graduating seniors at UNC.

Seniors unable to sign Bell Tower during climb express frustrations

The classic UNC senior tradition of climbing the Bell Tower took place on Wednesday, with one twist — seniors weren't allowed to sign.  "I think telling students that they can't partake in this tradition is like telling students not to drink water from the Old Well on the first day of class," said one student. The UNC General Alumni Association said students were not allowed to leave their signature on the tower this year to preserve the "structural integrity" of the historic building. 

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