Screenshot from the virtually-held Campus Safety Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 to discuss concerns about returning to campus regarding COVID-19.

Campus Safety Commission discusses community standards and rising COVID-19 cases

With a little more than a month left before the fall semester is set to begin, critical questions about the return to on-campus operations remain. 

The Campus Safety Commission met Wednesday to discuss some of these concerns, including implementation of community standards, the current rate of COVID-19 cases and what could trigger potential “off-ramps” to send students home. 


2020 Coronavirus Outbreak

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Students in Evanston, IL joined countless other cities around the nation in support of the Black Lives Matter movement by protesting against the killing of George Floyd and other recent tragedies on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

What will protests look like in the fall? Community members, free speech experts discuss

In the weeks following the killing of George Floyd, several student groups, including UNC Black Congress and the Black Student Movement, have been involved in organizing protests against police brutality and systemic racism across the Triangle.  However, given UNC’s safety guidelines for the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, questions remain as to how protesting efforts will be carried out on the University’s campus during the upcoming semester.  


Graphic of Heel Talk podcast

Heel Talk episode 12: Faculty and staff petition UNC against return to campus

In this episode, host Evely Forte spoke to DTH reporter and incoming Assistant Copy Editor Sasha Schroeder and incoming Assistant Online Editor Praveena Somasundaram to understand why many UNC faculty members, professors and teaching assistants are petitioning UNC administration about the fall 2020 semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what the petitioners are really demanding and how they hope the University will implement potential changes. 


A summer facilities worker walks to the edge of Wilson Library while wearing a mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

'On the front lines': UNC facilities workers consider costs of fall return to campus

As the start of the fall semester approaches, questions from housekeeping and facilities workers about the practicality and implementation of safety guidelines for on-campus operations remain.  Part of the community standards for sanitizing these public spaces involve housekeeping staff disinfecting “high-touch surfaces,” like restrooms and elevator buttons, four times every day, and cleaning all classroom surfaces nightly.   "For them to do the cleaning the way they want it done in every building, it’s not possible,” said one housekeeping crew leader.


Screenshot of the Faculty Executive Meeting on Monday, June 22, 2020, where there was discussion on racial equity in the upcoming school year.

Faculty Executive Committee discusses fall semester, racial injustice at UNC

Two UNC professors presented a roadmap for racial equity that has been in development for over a year at Monday's Faculty Executive meeting.  The roadmap calls for sustained actions over the course of three years, including renaming campus buildings in an inclusive process, establishing faculty advisory groups on racial equity and holding an annual UNC Board of Trustees meeting with Black and Indigenous faculty, and faculty of color. 


The Graduate Student Petition and a previous Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) Meeting in Kerr Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Graduate workers continue to petition UNC, demand not reopen in-person instruction

In a petition published June 12, graduate workers have expressed concerns about the safety and logistics of returning to campus for in-person instruction this fall. Workers demanded that UNC not reopen in-person this fall, does not layoff or furlough staff and grant them a one-year time-to-degree extension, among other demands. The University has said the Carolina Roadmap was developed with feedback from multiple parties, are working to refine the plan and will make "whatever adjustments are needed in real time.”