Photo by Dan Sears

CHAPEL HILL – Living in a college town means living by the college calendar, and things are picking up again in Chapel Hill-Carrboro.

A new school year begins Tuesday. All week long there will be events and offers for newcomers and those returning to get everyone back into the swing of things.

Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Meg McGurk, says local businesses and organizations are teaming together to make the transition for newcomers and their families as smooth as possible.

“We just produced a brand new downtown business guide and map that just came in last week that we’ve been distributing throughout the community,” McGurk says. “(We’re) giving it to all our visitors’ centers and all our businesses.”

That’s just one of the many things available to students and newcomers to the community.

The Week of Welcome began Friday and continues until Sunday. One part of the week of introduction is called the Feel of Franklin. Participating restaurants and stores on Franklin Street are offering special deals and discounts for those who show their student I.D.s.

For a complete list and schedule of all that’s being offered during the Week of Welcome, click here.

UNC received a record 30,836 applications and is bringing in 3,960 first-year student. Of those, roughly 3,200 are living on campus.

Associate Director of the Center for Housing and Residential Education, Rick Bradley, says since early May when classes let out, crews have been working tirelessly to prepare the housing for its new occupants.

We have done some building renovations this summer in a very short turn around time doing some interior room work and bathroom renovations,” Bradley says.

The newcomers hail from 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, all but five states in the U.S., and 20 different countries.

McGurk says move-in weekend doesn’t just benefit freshmen and transfer students. There are benefits for everyone returning to the Southern Part of Heaven.

“Businesses can offer discounts to students that show their ID,” McGurk says. “We’ve got the Good Neighbor Initiative kicking off next Monday where it’s a wonderful partnership that we welcome all of the students to the neighborhood throughout Downtown. We actually walk door-to-door.”

UNC’s sexual assault task force was created in May and has met all summer to review the University’s current policy and create a new one that better protects its students. It’s met almost every Wednesday over the summer break and was hopeful to have a new policy in place by the start of the Fall semester, but Interim Title IX Coordinator, Christi Hurt, said it was better to get it right than to rush the process and get it done by a set date. The task force will continue to meet until the new policy is defined.

Off campus, many town functions continued, but some took a summer break as well. The Chapel Hill Town Council will resume its regular weekly meetings September 9, but will have to do so in a temporary location since the June 30 flooding did major damage to Town Hall. Meetings will take place at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road until reconstruction is complete, which is estimated to take about a year.

The Central West Steering Committee is a group that was formed after the Chapel Hill 2020 planning process to provide design feedback for an area along Estes Drive between Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Franklin Street. It has continued its meetings throughout the summer and meets again Monday at 6:00 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

There are other meetings scheduled Monday and throughout the week, which you can find by clicking here.

In Carrboro, town officials get right back to it next week when the Board of Aldermen meets at Town Hall Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m.  For Carrboro’s calendar, click here.

***Carrboro’s meeting for August 27 is cancelled.

Of course, current and hopeful town and school board officials are gearing up for November’s municipal elections. For a list of the candidates, click here.