Executive Branch of UNC Student Government

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Author: Nick Hatcher (page 1 of 2)

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. The Executive Branch of the Student Government wants to preface this letter by stating that in no way do we endorse the subjugation of one life to another. Every life is indeed important. However, in light of recent events and the continued aggression against black bodies, we want to take the time to say that each and every Black and Brown student on our campus is important to us. We feel your pain, we understand your frustration and anger, and we stand with you.

Our University, our community, and our world, they are all here today due to the contributions of everyone. They all are at their best when we are all in accord. When we attack, marginalize, discriminate, or martyr our fellow human beings we only hurt ourselves. In this trying time, we choose to focus on the injustices inflicted on POC bodies and ask that each of us takes this time to reflect on how we can be a part of positive change.

To all of our students, we want you to know that you are appreciated. If you need any assistance or just want to talk, know that the door to the student government suite is always open. Please also feel free to call 919-966-3658 for counseling services offered by the University during business hours and 919-966-2281 after hours.

Bradley Opere – Student Body President
Jordan Peterkin – Senior Advisor
UNC Student Government

NCAA Championship Joint Statement

What a time to be a Tar Heel! The Carolina Men’s Basketball team will be returning to the NCAA National Championship to play the Villanova Wildcats today at 9:19 pm. If victorious, this will be the 6th time in Men’s Basketball history that the Tar Heels will claim the title of NCAA National Champions.

Should we win, there are sure to be celebrations. Whether it’s rushing Franklin Street or partying with friends, please remember to stay safe. No one wants to see a Tar Heel victory marred by personal injury or damage to property.

Alcohol checkpoints will be in place around downtown, as well as DWI enforcement. If alcohol is consumed, limit intake so to remain alert and in control at all times while amid the crowds of people. Please also remember to monitor your drinks at all times.

On-campus parking rules will change for Monday. Please read the posted information on the Transportation and Parking website to avoid getting ticketed or towed. Do not get behind the wheel or drive with anyone if alcohol is consumed.

Carolina is a family, so watch out for your fellow Tar Heels. Remember the buddy system and charge your phone before going out. In case of an emergency, please call 911 or locate a police officer who will be stationed in and around Franklin street.

Regardless of the outcome, stay safe and have fun. Let’s bring home a sweet Carolina victory. Go Heels!


Houston Summers

2015-2016 Student Body President

Bradley Opere

2016-2017 Student Body President


On HB2

This press release was originally published in the Daily Tar Heel as a letter to the editor on March 23, 2016. You can view the original publication here.


Yesterday, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a blanket anti-­discrimination law, that in fact, furthers discrimination in this state for the LGBTQ community. Importantly and intentionally, the law does not include sexual orientation and gender identity under anti­-discrimination protection. As a result, the law overturns and overrides existing local ordinances protecting these groups, while also preventing local governments from passing new laws to protect the LGBTQ community. The new law also specifically prohibits the use of communal bathrooms by the trans community, requiring North Carolinians to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate, regardless of their actual gender identity.

The incoming administration condemns the actions of the General Assembly as backwards and discriminatory. North Carolina is better than this. We have a unique capacity in the South and in this country to be leaders, especially because of our university system. Our student population includes the LGBT community, and they deserve equal treatment and protection. Instead, North Carolina has opted to stand on the wrong side of history, ignoring the moral responsibility to protect all our students and citizens.

Our administration stands with LGBT community in solidarity against the discriminatory practices of the state. This afternoon at 5:45, members of the administration will attend a rally in Raleigh at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 3313 Wade Ave. We invite all interested and available students to join us in standing for LGBT rights.

Ultimately, we believe in a university that respects, values and protects diversity and the members of all communities. And we expect our elected officials to equally value the diversity of backgrounds and identities in our state.

Bradley Opere

Student Body President-Elect

Wilson Sink

Appointee for Director of State and External Affairs

When I Was an Undergrad Series: Dr. Shemer

Dr. Shemer

dr shemer pic


Tel Aviv University, Class of 1992


How does pursuing high education work in Israel?

In general, the systems are similar with some differences. First of all, it’s not a liberal arts college approach. It’s much more like a professional school. For example, I was a biology major, so I did tons of biology and a bit of chemistry, physics, and math, but I didn’t take any classes in history or philosophy or things like that. I would say that I took about twice as much biology classes as my students take. As a result, it’s very packed with sciences and everything is in three years.

The second thing that is very different is more about the student body. In Israel there is a mandatory military service for boys and for girls. Then typically after the military, everyone goes for this one year of just taking time to breathe and think about what they are going to do. So the average first year student comes in at the age of 21 or 22 instead of 18. That’s a huge difference. It’s not the first day not with mom and dad when they come to university. They are older, more experienced and they experience a lot especially with military service. On the other hand, it’s not as lively and vivid as you’d find a typical social life at Carolina because the students come to study. There are some organizations and clubs, but there’s not a lot of pride in basketball and all that stuff. There was no Greek life or anything like that when I was a student.


Did you go to the military before you went to school?

Yes, I went for four years because I was also an officer. Then, I took a year off. So I started undergrad when I was 24. I was a bit older than the average, but not a lot.

Although the military sounds so different from college, in many ways, those experiences are the same experiences that I shared with undergrads here. Kind of like we have Carolina vs. that other university that starts with D and that I’m not going to pronounce here, we had your unit against the other unit. That’s the pride. Instead of dorms, you’re sharing a tent or room with other friends. The first real crush, not the high school one, the first love, and even people breaking up, just happens a bit earlier than compared to College here.


Did you always know you wanted to do biology?

No. This is one of the great things and one of the things I like about the system in Israel. The mandatory is not something that you want, but something you have to do. On the other hand, it offers one advantage over the system here and that is that about 90% of the students here came directly from high school. Well, if you have a chance to maybe do something really stressful like the military, where you’re not continuing the assembly line of education from middle school to high school to college, it gives you a little bit of time to think and see what really is interesting and to explore. There are some things that you like at the age of 22 that you don’t like at the age of 17. For example, I never took biology in high school. I was taking physics and math. But that trip post-military—I went to Europe with my girlfriend back then, my wife today—opened my eyes and ears and everything to explore, learn new things, learn new cultures. And one of those things was to learn more about nature. As we were walking, I would ask my wife, who actually took biology in high school, a lot of questions. When I came back, I wanted to read a little bit more about that. Then I read more and it was really interesting, just popular books. Then I read even more. Then I started to summarize the interesting books about evolution and other topics. It was great. Then the time came to decide what major and I said, “Why not biology?” So I decided to go for it, and now I’m here.


Did you have any idea of what you wanted to do with your biology degree?

No, none whatsoever. As I tell many of my students, we are all familiar with the whole issue of, “Ok I’m a senior now and I’m about to graduate and I have no clue what I want to do with my life.” I share with them my story because it shows that it’s true for not 100%, but for many. It’s perfectly fine; it’s ok. I always move from Point A to Point B. I try to plan as much as I can, but I learned early enough to let life lead me a little bit.

I decided to stay in academia after I did some undergraduate research. I fell in love with that and it was all great. I said, “This is what I want to do.” One of the smartest things I ever did was a decision I made upon graduation. I decided that instead of going directly to graduate school (which I should have done because I wanted to do research), I took 3 years off to become a farmer. I wanted to make sure that what I want is really what I want. During those 3 years, I learned new things and explored some new skills, but a fire burnt inside. I realized that I really did want to go to research, so I went back and continued to graduate school. It was all research, but I love teaching and I was doing teaching whenever I could. I came here to Carolina only to do research and to come back to Israel. My family and I fell in love with Chapel Hill, but I also fell in love with teaching. It was much more than really liking teaching, it was my true calling.

The same way of making or not making decisions when I was 22 and 23 was the same way that helped me at the age of 44 to decide to focus on teaching and advising, which is that I’m doing now. I never know exactly what’s going to happen. I can tell you for sure an idea of what I’m going to do in the next 10 years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was something a little different.


What advice would you give to your undergraduate self?

I would tell myself, “It’s fine. It’s going to be ok.” I was just as stressed out as anyone that I’m speaking with now getting into graduation. I didn’t have a clue of first of all, what I wanted to do when I grew up and second of all, if it was even feasible to do whatever I wanted to do when I grew up. That’s fine; that’s ok. We are in a very, very fortunate era. My parents lived for survival. They were in the Second World War and their whole goal was to survive. If they found a job when they made it to Israel, they found a job that came with some security and some bread to put on the table, literally. That’s it. I’m not in that position. I can choose jobs, which is something that my parents could not do and something that right now, about 65-75% of the world still can’t do. What I’m saying is enjoy what you have.


Did you procrastinate or start work ahead of time?

To some extent, I did procrastinate. Because I came at the age of 24 and because it was after military service, I had to confront things that were a little bit more stressful than having 3 exams in the same week. I’m not comparing myself to students. I’m just comparing me to myself, having that experience. I was confident enough to say, “Ok I need to think about my time.” In some cases, I would procrastinate and in other cases, I wouldn’t. I learned to plan very well. For example, in Israel, —this is another difference I didn’t mention earlier—they don’t have midterms. It was all one final, high stakes exam. You take one final and you were allowed one make-up usually. Now, after you’re done with the military, you actually continue to serve in the reserves. I was in a position where I had to go for about 40-50 days a year, and I don’t go when I want or when it’s comfortable and convenient. I would go when I was needed. Out of the 6 semesters that I had, in about 5 of them, I had to go the reserves during exams. The university gives you a make-up after you go or you can take a break from the reserves to take the exams. As a result, you don’t really have 3 or 4 days to study for the exam. What I had to do in many cases was to study for a group of exams and then go and take all of them. I really had to learn how to plan ahead because in that position about to study for the exam, I cannot start from scratch. Procrastination could’ve worked only to some extent because you take the exam at the end. It was a lot of juggling to do.


Did you have any interesting class experiences?

There was one really funny course, the Biology of the Reproductive System. We had a hippie professor who came from the US in the 60s from Berkley. He was still in the 60s and that’s the way he taught us about the biology of reproduction. I’m not going to go into too much detail. Let’s just say that when I teach reproductive biology in Human Anatomy and Physiology, I don’t use the same slides that he used to show. This is something I remember because his class was always filled with students, regardless of whether they were students in the class or just people who came to see what he would talk about this time.


Did you have any noteworthy professors?

We had some lousy professors and some great professors. As a professor I learned a lot from being in undergrad. I think when I’m teaching or planning my classes, it helps me a lot to remember myself as an undergrad. I try to adopt some of what I liked, but I especially avoid what I disliked. For example, I try my best to not take advantage of my powerful position as a professor.


What did you do for fun in undergrad?

We didn’t really have fun as a student body. We didn’t go to the Pit; we didn’t care about that. There were some clubs, some music, and theater. It was more about going back to where you lived (we didn’t live in dorms), and doing whatever you do. For me, that was cooking. It’s interesting because today I had a class about the digestive system and I showed off with some of the stuff that I do. We talked about the role of food in life, which is much more than just providing nutrients.

We would meet and hang out. Although we didn’t have a legal issue with alcohol and we could’ve had it because the legal age is 18 in Israel, I actually don’t remember us doing a lot of that. It was just hanging out with friends.


What kind of music did you listen to?

Oh man, this is old. Progressive rock, Genesis (old school Genesis). My undergrad was late 80s- early 90s, but the music I grew up on was the early 70s and stuff like that so Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes.

Again, this is the late, late 80s, but I was 24 and our generation grew up in the 70s and early 80s. Those were the years we got our musical education and fashion influence. It’s the same as, let’s say, you in 5 or 6 years at the age that I was in undergrad being affected by Britney Spears or Taylor Swift or whoever that was. So the Taylor Swift of my generation is the disco ages in the 70s and the Beegees in the 80s.


What about movies?

I can’t remember which ones. Deer Hunter with Robert de Niro. The Godfather was an epic one. I was a lot into the good quality European movies like Fellini and things like that. Movies were something I liked a lot.

In the military, Kung Fu movies were a lot of the fun.


What is your worst roommate story?

I lived for one year with a great guy as a roommate. I do remember one thing that I felt so horrible about. We both lived in a completely remote place where our original houses were. We’d go home every weekend, which was 2 or 3 hours away, and came back on Saturday night. In Israel, the week would start on Sunday and we’d have Saturday off. That’s another difference. We studied 6 days a week. One of those weekends, I stayed in the city to study and I didn’t go home. I fell asleep at some point, and I had locked the door from the inside. That poor guy came with his bags from home and for whatever reason, I was not able to hear him (I was usually a light sleeper). He was knocking on the door and shouting and everything. He could not get in. At some point, he asked the neighbors and he climbed all the way from somewhere. When I woke up, he told me the whole story and I felt so bad.

Also, he had asthma and I had never heard anyone have asthma attacks. He got one and I thought he was about to die. I was really about to call the ambulance and he told me, “It’s fine, it’s fine.”

We’ve Got Your Back

Fellow Students and Community Members,

On Wednesday afternoon, Elon University student and football player Demitri Allison fell from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morrison Residence Hall. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Demitri and the Elon community.

As the Student Body President and as one of the Carolina Football Team captains, we care first and foremost about the well-being, safety, and mental health of our students, teammates, and community members.

Mental illness can affect anyone. There is no shame in admitting when you are in need of help. We must all have each others’ backs. If you notice a friend experiencing symptoms of poor mental health, please offer them support and encourage them to seek out the help they need.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can be reached at (919) 966-3658. Additional resources can be accessed at CAPS on the third floor of Campus Health.

We must unite as one team to fight the stigma surrounding mental health and ensure our students – our teammates – have access to the services they need.


Houston Summers

UNC-CH Student Body President


Marquise Williams

UNC-CH Football Team Captain

When I Was in Undergrad Series: Academic Affairs Interviews Dr. Loeb

Dr. Loebunnamed

Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience

University of Virginia, Class of 1992


When I was an undergrad…

Honestly, I think college is one of my most special periods of time. I just loved college. Maybe that’s why I’m in this field now. It’s just such a great experience in really opening up the mind and that is despite that actually it was the worst time as well because I lost my mother when I was in college. So despite that tragedy, having the support and everyone there was just an amazing experience.


What was your most awkward college experience?

A group of us, because we were all single, decided to go to a movie as an anti-Valentine movement. Although, what was weird was that both guy friends sitting next to me reached out to hold my hand. I was nervous the entire time, hoping that both would not know that they were each holding my hand.


Were you in any interesting clubs?

I don’t know if this is interesting, but I was definitely into music so I was first soprano in a lot of the choirs and I also was a DJ for Charlottesville, one of the local radio stations. I really loved doing the Friday morning shows, but when I did the late, late night shows, now that got weird. I would get really strange men calling me and asking me certain questions. I didn’t love that, but the rest of it was all great.


Did you pull all-nighters often or did you or did you begin work ahead of time?

I pulled all-nighters all the time. I was an absolutely horrid student. I basically read all through my textbooks during finals week, so it was a very difficult week. I still managed to end up on Dean’s List except for the one time I took calculus.

I was really really horrible. It was not until graduate school that I just ended up with so much work that there was nothing to be done except to improve on study strategies. That affects me even today because now when I help other students to improve on their study strategy, I always empathize with them. I’m not here to judge, I’m only here to help you out if you need some ideas because I was such a terrible student when I was in college. That was a humbling experience and because of that, I see students a little differently maybe from others; because I don’t always expect students to be at their top game, especially when they first come in (I certainly was not).


What was your hardest class?

My most difficult class was a calculus class, even though I had already taken it in high school because I didn’t pay attention in high school, I didn’t pay attention in college, and that made it really difficult to do well in that class. So I’ll say that even to this day, I’m not entirely sure what calculus is for and maybe I’ll Google it sometime.


What piece of advice would you give to your college self?

This one’s not funny, but it’s actually for real. One would be that I would tell myself to figure out a way to get to bed before 4 AM. That seemed to be my usual bedtime. And I’d also tell myself to pay more attention to my group of girlfriends than I did. I would always hang around my boyfriends, whoever it was at the time, and I saw my girlfriends seldom and I think that was regretful because they were just a really great group of women that I knew and I wish I had just spent more time with them.


Did you have a memorable campus crush?

I thought they were all great. College was just so fun. In fact, we remain friends today and they all came to my wedding, as did some of my husband’s exes as well. So we all remained great friends. So not one, but many, not too many, but many.


What is your best or worst roommate story?

My worst roommate story: once, my roommate was really disrespectful to my parents when they were visiting, and so when I started to talk about it, she started to yell back. So then I yelled back as well and continued yelling until she was a quivering, crying mess in the corner. She kind of had a reputation for being a little bit of a spoiled brat, she was an only child, so afterwards, when I came out, my hallmates (which is probably sad) all cheered. But today, we are actually Facebook friends and we’re always complimenting each other on our children so it turned out all well!


What were you like in college?

Pretty much honestly, I was a really goody-two-shoes college student. I never drank until I was 21 and when I did, I didn’t think it was that great although I love my wines now. But at that time, I thought it tasted horrible. Maybe it was the brand people would give me, I don’t know, it was awful! But, yeah, really good kid, really geeky and I just liked good, clean fun like board games, movies, and dinners out. That’s what we loved to do.


Where was your favorite college hangout?

I actually don’t recall one place because we were all over the place and very social. So we’d be at The Corner or each other’s apartments or dorms or whatever. But my group of friends, we were so geeky, the kinds of things we just did were movies and dinners and games.


Did you study abroad?

No because quite honestly, going to college was my study abroad. Neither my parents nor I had any idea what college was about because they had not been, especially not in the United States. I came when I was 3 years old so we didn’t know anything about what to expect so college was actually my big adventure. But I will say that if I had the chance to do college over again (although, goodness I hope not—it was a great time but I’m too old now), I would definitely take the opportunity to experience and know another culture. You won’t get that awesome financial and native experience, it’s harder to get when you’re older. That would’ve been great.

Kevin Gusckiewicz: Energy, Experience, Emphasis

After months of searching and interviewing, UNC has selected a new Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. On Thursday, Chancellor Folt and Provost Dean announced that the new Dean is one of our own: Kevin Guskiewicz, the Senior Associate Dean of the College, focusing on natural sciences. He has a wide range of interests and experiences, ranging from NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, to the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. Additionally, he is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Exercise and Sports Science.

Houston Summers was a part of the selection team, which interviewed over twenty candidates. Here are three key reasons why Guskiewicz stands out, and why he will be a tremendous asset in his new role:

  • Energy. He won’t officially enter his new role until January 1, but this Monday he is beginning to create a plan for the transition and set goals for the college.
  • Experience. He has worked in sports, academia, and research, making him a well-rounded leader that can connect with a variety of groups of people with diverse interests.
  • Emphasis on Students. He wants face time with students, and he wants to be present in our community.

We should all be excited about this new chapter in Tar Heel history!

It’s Election Day

Happy Election Day – please exercise your right to vote TODAY in the Municipal Election for Chapel Hill Town Council and Mayor. To vote on Election Day, you MUST already be registered and the deadline to register to vote on Election Day has passed. You must vote in the precinct where you are registered (details below).
Student Government is offering FREE RIDES to the polls today in collaboration with Buzz Rides. Rides will be offered according to the schedule to each of the 5 precinct locations that students living on-campus are assigned to:

If you live in: Alderman, Kenan, McIver, Old East, Old West, Spencer

Pick Up: Campus Y @ 11 am

Polling Place: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 300 East Rosemary St

If you live in: Manly, Mangum, Ruffin, Grimes, Aycock, Graham, Stacy, Everett, Lewis, Cobb, Winston, Conner, Alexander, Joyner

Pick Up: Davis ATM’s @ 12 pm 

Polling Place: UNC General Administration Bldg, 910 Raleigh Rd

If you live in: Carmichael, Parker, Teague, Avery, Ehringhaus, Koury, Morrison, Hardin

​Pick Up: Kenan Stadium Gate 2 @ 1 pm 

Polling Place: Center for Dramatic Arts, 120 Country Club Rd

If you live in: Craige, Craige North, Hinton James, Horton, Odum Village, Baity Hill, Ram Village, Taylor

Pick Up: Rams Volleyball Courts @ 2 pm

Polling Place: Chapel Hill Kehillah, 1200 Mason Farm Rd

If you live in: Granville Towers

Pick Up: Granville West Tower @ 3 pm

Polling place: Lincoln Center Admin Bldg, 750 S. Merritt Mill Rd

To check your registration information, learn your precinct location, or to see a sample ballot, please go to the N.C. Board of Elections website at http://www.ncsbe.gov.  If you have any questions or concerns, please like us on Facebook at Tar Heel Vote to learn more and message us to ask questions.

Go Heels!

Challenging the Community to Create Change at Carolina

The third of Houston’s three focal points of his campaign is “innovation.” Specifically, Houston shared his vision of creating an Innovation Incubator on campus to “facilitate the development of ideas and products that will have sustainably profound impacts on our university and state.” By supporting entrepreneurs, the student-run competition, Carolina Challenge, uses a competitive environment to impact our community in this same way.

In 2015, over 100 entrepreneurship teams competed in the Carolina Challenge competition, held annually at UNC. The competition aims to take the ideas of UNC students, faculty, and alumni—in the nascent phase—and help those visions become a reality. Core team member, Brian Smith, explains, “Carolina Challenge fosters development at UNC by serving as an intermediary for the entrepreneurial community and professional, who mentor the students and facilitate the often strenuous process of launching a venture. ”

The annual Carolina Challenge pitch party will be held on November 19. Applications are due by November 5 at 11:59pm.

Though we don’t yet have an innovation incubator, we have a group of students, alumni, and faculty in our community who want to make our Carolina a better Carolina. And that is the first step.

How to Handle the Pro-Confederate Rally

It has come to our attention that local Pro-Confederate groups are planning to rally on our campus this Sunday around the Silent Sam statue. We feel the need to let the student body and community know of this prospective rally in an effort to keep you all informed and to help ensure that no student is caught off guard by the surge in activity surrounding the statue.

As much as we respect and uphold the right of all students and outside speakers to freely express their views on this campus, we must be mindful that malicious words and actions can cause serious harm to others.

It is our priority to make sure every student feels and is safe on our campus. If you encounter these protests on campus this weekend, we ask that you respect their fundamental right to express their beliefs and encourage you to exercise yours. But do so peacefully, embracing the motto of our University: Lux Libertas.

Throughout our Administration, we have stood by students and the circumstances of this weekend are no different. We will continue on in our focus towards building a safe and inclusive community for all students.

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