The campus safety office is reminding students that so-called hoverboards are banned from campus. This includes possession, storage, operation, and charging of hoverboards indoors. The ban applies to all of the campus community, including faculty, staff, students, and visitors in all campus buildings. The batteries of various hoverboards have been blamed for fires that destroy property and put lives at risk.
The intersection of Prospect Rd. and Saint Anna Rd. is now a permanent 4-way stop. The North Carolina Department of Transportation decided the traffic volume, along with a history of accidents made the change crucial. The all-way stop is a low-cost form of intersection control. The DOT expects a decrease in both the amount and severity of vehicle collisions. Students were alerted to the change in an email at the start of the semester.
Governor Pat McCrory was on campus briefly at the start of the semester to tout the NC Promise legislation that he signed over the summer. The law will make tuition at Pembroke and 2 other state schools only $500 per semester for in-state students. The law will also freeze tuition at all UNC system campuses, so that students will pay the same price for 4 years. McCrory’s visit was part of a statewide tour of campuses to discuss college affordability. The law goes into effect in fall of 2018. McCrory noted that the state will have to make up the difference in lost revenue for UNCP to continue operating.
Right before the semester started, university employees had to attend 2 days of professional development. Faculty, staff and administrators learned about new priorities, plans for the coming year, and accomplishments from last year. Administrators announced the new braves preferred vendors program and raffled-off door prizes. Employees learned they would need to complete Title IX training for sexual assault complaints. There were also breakout sessions on both days about workplace harassment. Before breaking for a boxed lunch, Dana Moore-Lopez from campus recreation, entertained the crowd with a humorous take on getting exercise, for employee wellness.
The city of Laurinburg and the UNC Pembroke Art Department have teamed up to create an art garden in the downtown. The garden was dedicated in a ceremony this summer and funded primarily by the city of Laurinburg. It was designed by 12 current art students, as well as, recent graduates and 4 professors at UNCP. It features a trail that wraps around the collection of 16 sculptures; some of which, were previously well-known campus fixtures. The location of the garden used to be a gas station, and the adjacent wall now features old photos of local scenes, from a private collection.