Executive Branch of UNC Student Government

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Author: Harry Edwards

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While you were away…

Welcome back Tar Heels! I, and the rest of my executive team, hope that your summer was as productive as it was enjoyable.

One of the roles I took on when I was elected Student Body President last year was to spend my summer in Chapel Hill working on laying the foundation to accomplish everything I had promised to do in my platform. This summer, we focused on one of Student Government’s roles – as an advocate for students to the Administration. In an effort to make Student Government more transparent than in years past, I wanted to take a minute to share with you what my team and I have been working on over the past three months:

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plots– We have worked very closely with Michael Morrison, President of NPHC, to help devise a plan to get plots on campus. We worked with Vice Chancellor Crisp, individuals in the Development and Alumni Association offices, and the Department of Housing and Residential Education. There have been recent discussions around on-campus housing for NPHC chapters and we will continue working to ensure these conversations include input from NPHC members and alumni.

Body Cameras– Campus Police officers have all agreed to wear body cameras. We had many conversations with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and members of the Department of Public Safety to facilitate this occurrence in response to calls from students for reform.

Capital Campaign– We met with the Development office to help create a plan to ensure that students’ stories are offered to friends and donors of the University. This would more clearly demonstrate the importance of Carolina Covenant and other need-based programs that are supported by such generous giving. Fundraising totaled $447 million this fiscal year, the highest amount on record.

Transportation and Safety– We led the restructuring of hardship parking towards on online platform and increased the number of available permits. The RR lot became available to off-campus residents. Additionally, the Night Time Travel Working Group was created to take a look at the issues of travel our students face during late night hours. This group includes many individuals across campus, from the Department of Public Safety to Administration, students, and more. We worked with the Director of Transportation and Parking and the Vice of Chancellor of Finance and Administration on this working group.

ACC Just Ask Campaign– This campaign was started among ACC Student Body Presidents and will allow for a Conference-wide awareness initiative about mental illness and mental health. Campus Health has been involved in conversations related to mental health and our entire team is in the process of being trained on these issues.

Contextualization and Education Working Group– In the coming months, this workgroup will contain students, faculty, historians, and experts on race and place. Once the working group is structured, students will be a part of this process by offering feedback and participating in the group.

Heels United CampaignThis campaign supports the University’s commitment to a safe and welcoming Carolina – a campus that is free from discrimination and harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking. The campaign raises awareness of these issues, prevention efforts, and available resources. Over the past two semesters, we have been providing feedback to better the campaign as a whole.

Last spring, we made the following pledges to you: to be visible by being in the Pit at least once a month; to actively seek out student opinion (invite us to your organization’s meetings and events!); and to encourage open dialogue (starting with a Town Hall soon in this semester). We stand by each of those pledges. Each day, we wake up with the responsibility of representing 30,000 of our fellow students. Know that we don’t take this responsibility lightly and that we want you to hold us accountable.

Welcome back to Carolina. Be on the lookout for videos and social media posts in the near future that will highlight our current activities and all the ways you can get involved!

Sincerely,

Houston Summers

Student Body President 2015-2016