Students, faculty, and staff across North Carolina’s 17 public universities are calling for the UNC System to protect them during the pandemic and move online for the upcoming school year.

Tuesday night, a group of 30 employees and students from across the UNC system submitted a petition to the chancellors and provosts at each school. 

The group demands that the universities move all courses online, routinely test for COVID-19 on campus, implement “thorough and rigorous” contact-tracing, and provide personal protective equipment to anyone that has to work on campus. They also ask that university leaders be transparent in the decision-making process.

The system is currently set to reopen in August, with classes starting as soon as August 5 for some schools. This plan was set in place by former Interim President Bill Roper back in April.

Since then, the curve has yet to flatten. There have been more than 80,000 cases in the state, and more than 1,000 people were hospitalized Friday. Despite this, the Board of Governors has yet to change its position.

Organizers ask that anyone with ties to the UNC System sign the petition. It has received over 1,000 signatures since its creation Tuesday night.

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