The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday June 2nd


'No body or mind left behind': The 32-hour fight for accessibility at UNC

On Feb. 26 2022, the elevator in Koury Residence Hall stopped working. This left Eleanor Bolton and Laura Saavedra Forero, UNC students who use wheelchairs, stuck in the hall for 32 hours.  On Thursday, Campus Y Co-Presidents Saavedra Forrero and Megan Murphy sat out on the steps of South Building for 32 hours to protest for a more accessible campus and community.  “And so, at the end of the day, despite how long it takes and how stressful it can be — at least for me  — direct action is really a way for me to channel all of my energy, and the complexity, and frustration and anger into something tangible and hope for change,” Saavedra Forrero said. 

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ChatGPT: Cheating or checking?

ChatGPT, released last November by OpenAI, is a generative chatbot that provides in-depth writing samples and answers to questions on a variety of topics. With 96 million visitors per month — including some students who use the platform for assignments — there is concern about ChatGPT's potential role in academic dishonesty and plagiarism. 

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Gene Nichol, a professor at the UNC School of Law, is pictured on Feb. 23, 2023, in Van Hecke-Wettach Hall.

UNC law professor plans launch of new book, focused on NC representation and politics

UNC School of Law professor Gene Nichol is publishing a new book this April that focuses on the political effects of lacking representation of marginalized groups in North Carolina's government.   “The first thing I hope people see is that we are literally in a battle for the future of democracy in North Carolina, and we are frequently losing that battle,” Nichol said.  

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NCSU Professor Bonnie Fusarelli gives her acceptance speech after receiving the Holshouser Award during the UNC Board of Governors meeting at the UNC System Office on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

UNC Board of Governors talk mental health grant, increased funding

The UNC Board of Governors recognized an honoree of a faculty service award and discussed enrollment challenges at its Thursday board meeting.  In his report, UNC System President Peter Hans spoke about the mental health crisis and expanding initiatives to combat it. The BOG also discussed no tuition increases for resident undergraduate students.   

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

Delta Sigma Pi no longer associated with Undergraduate Business Program after recruitment complaints

Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed business fraternity at UNC, is no longer affiliated with the University’s Undergraduate Business Program until at least fall 2024. In an email to potential new members, Associate Dean of the UBP Shimul Melwani and Assistant Dean of the UBP Jordan Hale said they received “very concerning complaints'’ from students about the recruitment process.  Melwani and Hale also said they made a formal incident report to the Title IX office of UNC’s Equal Opportunities and Compliance Office, which will conduct its own investigation into the organization, according to the email. 

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Omar will make its North Carolina debut on Feb. 25 and 26 as a part of Carolina Performing Arts. The opera tells the story of Omar ibn Said, a West African scholar who was forced to board a slave ship headed for Charleston, South Carolina.

'Omar': A cultural opera hits the stage this weekend

This weekend at Memorial Hall, the Carolina Performing Arts will be showing "Omar" – an opera following the story and life of Muslim scholar Omar Ibn Said.  Leading up to the N.C. premier, UNC has hosted several events and discussions surrounding the historical context behind the opera, delving into who he was, his impact and his connection to the University. 

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Tori Ralston and Tarish "Jaghetto" Pipkins hold up a flyer for "The Bench" on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. When asked what they're most looking forward to about the show, both said, "We're looking forward to having a rehearsal, a show, and a conversation."

'The Bench: a puppet show about everything and nothing' to debut for The Process Series

A conversation with the former director of Carolina Performing Arts led Joseph Megel to create The Process Series — a feature of new works in the performing arts.  In early March, the series will debut “The Bench,” a show from veteran puppeteers Tori Ralston and Tarish Pipkins. The show is about two people, an older Black man and an older white woman, whose random encounter changes both of them. 

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UNC hosts 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference

Twice a year, the Universities Studying Slavery hosts a public conference with a panel filled with dozens of speakers to discuss, collaborate and learn.  This year, the University Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward will be hosting the 2023 Conference at UNC from March 15 to 18. The four-day program, titled “At This Place: History, Race, and a Way Forward,” will feature speakers from various academic institutions dedicated to creating just and equitable futures.

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Eleanor Bolton, a sophomore majoring in political science is pictured in front of an out-of-service elevator in Hamilton Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.

'Blatant disrespect and harm': Unreliable elevators highlight campus accessibility issues

Hamilton Hall has two of the most unreliable elevators on campus. Eleanor Bolton, a sophomore studying political science, has been unable to attend some events for her major in Hamilton Hall due to the elevators often being out of service. This is one example of the reality many students, faculty and staff who use wheelchairs or have mobility issues face on campus. "The lack of empathy and humanity with which the problems are being addressed is just completely harmful," Bolton said. "To be told by administrators over and over and over again,  'We're doing our best' when their best is completely illegal and a violation of my human civil rights is just so unbelievable."

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