UNC Libraries

Making a Statement

UNC-Chapel Hill and state and local governing bodies issued guidelines, mandates, and restrictions to address the pandemic. Some members of the campus community felt that the University's response was insufficient and endangered the health of members of the campus community.  Conversely, some North Carolinians felt that the state's response was too restricitive and threatened the state's economy and individual liberty.

The items featured in this section capture the frustrations and fears felt by some in the campus and surrounding communities. These emotions were expressed in a variety of ways, from artwork encouraging mask wearing to attending protests.   

Posters expressing disappointment with UNC-Chapel Hill's handling of the pandemic

What the Fuck/They Don't Care, 2020

These two works by conceptual printmaker and mixed media artist Peri Law (UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2020) express Law's disappointment with Carolina administrators' handling of the pandemic. The design is inspired by the iconic Carolina blue cups available at the popular downtown Chapel Hill bar, He's Not Here. 

North Carolina Collection Gallery

Demands for More Caution and Care

From the earliest days of the pandemic, many in the UNC-Chapel Hill and surrounding communities have navigated a complex mix of personal and professional commitments, sacrifices, and emotional responses to changing conditions. There were many calls for University leadership to show greater transparency and caution as well as to show more care for those in our community who were unable to work remotely. This is demonstrated in this open letter titled "Graduate Worker Response to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Roadmap to Fall" which was distributed in Google Docs by the Anti-Racist Graduate Worker Collective at UNC-Chapel Hill. The letter demands a switch to all remote learning for Fall 2020 citing the risks associated with in-person teaching that would disproportionally affect graduate student workers, housekeeping and facilities staff, and students living in dorms. Over 500 people signed in support of the letter. For more statements from students and workers at UNC-Chapel Hill, see this section of our website archives.

The Student Perspective: Reopening Attempt 2020

The in-person semester plans and subsequent closing of campus in August 2020 garnered national attention. In this Washington Post op-ed, student Ramishah Maruf, describes dismay and frustration with University leadership.