By: Bryson Piscitelli
Our campus is hurting, and not just from the poisonous political divide. We as students are suffering because of the actions, and negligent inactions, of the UNC Administration.
1. Response to Suicides
College is a stressful endeavor for anyone, but suicide should not be considered a normal result of that. These tragedies and the Administration’s response to them reflect a deeper, structural problem with how the UNC Admin treats students’ mental health. When the Administration responded to the tragic deaths of our peers by canceling classes for one day— University Day, when most classes are already canceled, this was hardly a solution to the problem. It was an insult to a grieving student body.
2. Cutting Library Funding
UNC-Chapel Hill’s Admin recently announced they are cutting five million dollars from the libraries’ budget. What should a university fund if not the basic resources for learning? Note that Admin has no problem funding the millions of dollars allotted to salaries for their own, the endless ranks of bureaucrats that make up Administration. When UNC can’t even fund libraries, the most important resource for our studies, alarm bells should instantly go off in our minds.
3. Abysmal Mental Health Resources
Student counseling (CAPS) is infamous for its poor quality. Wait times as high as multiple weeks make using the service impractical for the vast majority of students. In the wake of tragedy, Admin has made nominal moves to address mental health with endless flowery, rhetoric-filled emails and plans for a ‘mental health summit’ and creation of a ‘Heels Care Network.’ Yet we know that these will do little to change campus culture, as the Admin treats mental health with a cold, procedural exactness that believes people can be cured of their depression by simply getting on Zoom calls with psychiatrists. Mental health is more than that.
4. Letting Campus Crumble
Carolina’s campus is one of the most beautiful in the world. Who doesn’t feel Tar Heel pride when standing next to the Old Well and looking across the storied landscape of McCorkle Place, which has been the home of everyone from basketball superstars to a US President? Evidently, not UNC Admin. Our historic campus buildings have been allowed to literally crumble because of the negligent University leadership. We are nearing two years since a tree fell on Alumni Hall and the building is still visibly damaged. Even the Old Well has now been sitting for weeks with no water fountainhead. With many other buildings outwardly deteriorating, UNC is approaching one billion dollars in deferred maintenance expenses. How can an Admin that truly cares about students look at our home and allow it to fall apart?
5. Bureaucracy Over Students
UNC entered the fiscal year with an over $100 million deficit, primarily from “salaries and rents.” (Source: The Well) UNC prioritizes paying its bloated administrative salaries before investing in students.
6. Hostile Greek Relations
When UNC Admin required Greeks to attend a lecture on how ‘Right-Handed privilege’ is ‘a system of oppression,’ it made national headlines. But it was a symptom of a larger problem; Admin has a hostile relationship with Greek Life. It views the institution as a tumor needing chemotherapy rather than trying to regulate its problems with legitimate respect for Greek Life’s integral place in social life.
7. Nikole Hannah Jones
Regardless of your opinion of the scholar, UNC’s handling of her hiring brought embarrassment to all. The stresses of college life are not made any better when UNC’s leadership allows our name to be tarnished with a PR debacle.
8. Connect Carolina
Our multi-billion-dollar endowed, 231-year-old institution cannot figure out how to run class registration in a simple and functional way.
9. Overall Incompetence
They may seem varied, but these many flaws are united in being no fault of students, but of those in power. Without strong leadership, we continue to suffer as the consequences of the Admin’s incompetence ripple into our daily lives.