Today, Chair of the Faculty Mimi Chapman and Student Body President Lamar Richards sent the following message to faculty and students. Professor Chapman is pleased to collaborate with the Student Body President.
Dear Carolina Community,
The past year has been one that historians will be documenting and analyzing for years to come. Indeed, each of us is beginning to try to make sense of what this year has meant for us, our colleagues, our families, and our world. Even during a global pandemic, civil unrest and hatred have continued to plague us, causing many of our students, faculty, and staff to wonder about the future of our country.
Marginalized communities have borne a particular burden this year as racial violence continues with new episodes and attacks occurring almost weekly. The resulting racial trauma cannot be overlooked or written off. Faculty, staff, and students of color have been asked to be resilient in the face of these on-going assaults rooted in oppression and white supremacy.
Today, we write to ask for compassion. Faculty, please show understanding for students. As we transition into finals season, the anxiety and stress levels of students will continue to rise. No assignment, test, quiz, or project is worth a student’s mental and emotional health. We are asking faculty to protect our students by being understanding in the coming days. Likewise, students, remember that faculty have suffered this year as well. Many have lost loved ones, had challenging lives caring for their young children while working to support your learning. And all of us should show gratitude and appreciation for the amazing staff of the Carolina community who have kept this campus running in the same challenging circumstances that affect us all.
Beginning today, the Undergraduate Student Government and CAPS will be hosting the first virtual #TarHeelSafeSpace to discuss racial trauma and healthy support techniques for Carolina’s Black community in the midst of continual police violence in the United States, for which students are able to register at go.unc.edu/BlackStudentSpace.
Information regarding future spaces and events can be found at diversity.unc.edu. Should students wish to participate, faculty, please consider restructuring your class activities to allow them to do so.
To all of our community, we wish you peace in the storm.
With our best,
Student Body President
Chair of the Faculty