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Social Equity

An important part of creating a sustainable community is ensuring that opportunities are available to everyone regardless of economic, social, or physical limitations.  Carolina has a number of programs that work to promote social equity both on campus and in the community.

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Affordability

In January 2012, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked Carolina as the top value among public universities for the eleventh consecutive year.

In-state undergraduate students pay approximately $4,600 in tuition and fees, and $12,000 including room, board, and books. Over 60 percent of Carolina students receive some form of financial aid, which is generated by federal and state student aid programs, revenues from tuition increases, trademark and licensing royalties, sales at Student Stores, and private scholarship sources.

The path-breaking Carolina Covenant program enables academically qualified students from families making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level to graduate debt free.  More than half of these scholars are the first in their families to attend college. In addition to receiving grants, students work 10 to 12 hours per week in a federal work-study job. A mentoring program eases the transition to college for both the students and their families. More than 1,800 students have benefitted from the program, and the 600 members of the first two graduating classes performed better and were more likely to graduate than members of control group peers. When announced in 2003, the Carolina Covenant was the first such program at a major U.S. public university. Similar initiatives have since been implemented by many universities across the country.

The minimum wage for university workers was raised to $25,000 plus benefits in FY 2009.

Links:
Carolina Covenant - http://www.unc.edu/carolinacovenant/

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Diversity

students walking to classDiversity is defined broadly at UNC to include experiences and perspectives of students, staff, and faculty as they relate to race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, culture, nationality, disability, religion, and region. Efforts are made to ensure that students are not “the only one” of a given identity or background in a learning environment.

Diversity and Multicultural Affairs’ (DMA) efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student body have met with success. UNC’s student body is considerably more diverse than it was fifteen years ago. Asian-American and Hispanic-American populations doubled and now represent 14 percent of all students.

The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) identifies talented low- to moderate-income students while they are still in high school or early in their community college careers.  C-STEP guarantees admission to Carolina if students earn an appropriate associate degree and successfully complete the C-STEP program.  IN 2011, Central Carolina Community College became the sixth partner school to join the program.  Nearly 250 students have enrolled at Carolina through the C-STEP program since its launch in 2006.

Issues of accessibility and affordability for students from under-represented and rural populations are addressed by DMA through programs such as Tar Heel Target, Project Uplift, Upward Bound, Native American Visitation, and Hispanic Student Visitation. These programs reach thousands of North Carolina students each year and encourage the best and brightest to apply to UNC, regardless of their socio-economic status. Programs like Pre-orientation, Leadership Advantage, and the Legal Education Advancement Program encourage underrepresented and non-traditional students to lead and achieve at UNC. Diversity programs for students have been held on virtually a monthly basis since 2007, thanks to the Diversity Incentive Fund. More than 100 events over the past two years include Strengths of Muslim Women, Asian American Heritage Week, Hope Not Hate, Noche Latina, and the History of North Carolina in Black and White.

There are 17 multicultural student organizations including the Black Student Movement, the Asian Students Association, and the Persian Cultural Society. These groups stay connected through Masala, which hosts cultural teach-ins, diversity training sessions, and an annual fashion show.

UNITAS, a multicultural living and learning community, is dedicated to promoting tolerance and understanding in students’ daily lives. Participants work to overcome prejudices based on differences in gender, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. In addition to living together in the residence hall, these students take a year-long anthropology course together that explores issues of social and cultural diversity through experiential and service learning.

Resources:
2009-10 University Diversity Plan Report
Campus community demographic reports

Links:
Office of Institutional Research and Assessment - http://oira.unc.edu
Diversity and Multicultural Affairs - http://www.unc.edu/diversity/
UNITAS - http://housing.unc.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=183&Itemid=141

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Historically Underutilized Businesses

Historically underutilized business meetingWith more than $765 million in bond-funded construction over the past 10 years, UNC-Chapel Hill proactively sought to work with minority-owned construction businesses. Sixteen percent of bond-funded projects were awarded to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), for a total value of $120.9 million. The state seeks 10 percent HUB participation on contracts.

The UNC HUB Resource Center ensures that historically underutilized businesses have opportunities to participate in construction at UNC and provides regular training and support. Formal plans, guidelines, and bid rules contribute to the program’s success.

Links:
HUB Resource Center - http://www.fpc.unc.edu/HUB/HUBInfo.aspx

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