8 Tips for a Healthier College Room

Living in a small space is virtually guaranteed on campus. Residence hall rooms are one of those small spaces – and they also provide connection with other students, resources and groups on campus. One technique to stay healthy on campus is to set up those small spaces for your academic success. Here are our tips to do just that:

Room in residence hall with Carolina gear and calming touches
  1. Minimize stuff. It’s tempting to pack every. single. thing. from your room at home, but resist that urge. Start with the bare essentials and add more later. The more minimalist you can go, the better. You can always bring back what you really miss the next time you visit home.
  2. Maximize storage. Loft your bed so you can fit more things under there. Worried about the height? Bed risers can give your bed just enough boost to give you more storage underneath.
  3. Get your Zzzzs. Bring a black out eye mask and ear plugs. If your roommate has a different sleep schedule than you, you’ll need to deal with it. Always put eye masks on and earplugs in before going to sleep.
  4. Create some calm. Adjust the lighting with lamps (but if you live on campus, not multiple-bulb light fixtures or halogen lamps, those aren’t allowed in UNC housing), white holiday lights, or battery powered candles. Add some calming scent with lavender or diffusers. Incorporate plants into your space such as bamboo.
  5. Decorate. Hang photos or posters that inspire you to fulfill your goals at college using temporary mounts or blue tack removable adhesive. Photos of family and friends can also offer a sense of familiarity. Add color with your bedding and furniture.
  6. Stay organized. The room is small – so have a place for everything and take a few minutes each day to put things in their place. Shoe caddies, extra hangers, under the bed storage, and cloth storage bins all make a difference. And make your bed! It’ll take a minute but will help make your room look more inviting and comfortable.
  7. Snack on foods that nourish you. Residence hall rooms at UNC allow a 6 cubic feet fridge to be used, and larger kitchen areas are available to the community. Ideas for nutrient-dense snacks:
    • Nuts | Seeds | Dried fruits | Fresh fruit | Veggies, especially snackable ones like carrot sticks, celery, snap peas, peppers, edamame | Bars, especially protien- & nutrient-filled ones. Look for few ingredients and words you recognize. | Peanut butter | Hummus | Yogurt | Granola | Oatmeal | Avocado
  8. Communicate. Living with so many people in such close proximity requires good communication. Set up expectations with your roommate right away and revisit as needed. Let your neighbors know when something they do impacts you. Connect with your residence hall staff when you need help.

Suggested packing list focused on your health and wellbeing:


  • Sheets (UNC residence hall mattresses are 36″x6″x80″)
  • Mattress cover
  • Comforter/quilt
  • Bedside caddy
  • Bed pillows
  • Throw/blanket
  • Alarm clock (it can be helpful to turn your phone OFF at night)
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask


  • Desk accessories
  • Laptop with security cable and sleeve
  • Desk lamp (single bulb, not halogen)
  • Bulletin board, pushpins
  • 3 prong power strip with surge protection and cord fire protection
  • Dry erase board and markers
  • Book light


  • Speakers
  • Headphones/ear buds
  • Floor cushions/backrest
  • Area rug
  • Fan
  • Frames and wall art
  • Blackout window panels
  • Floor lamp (non-halogen, single bulb)
  • Room fragrances (such as aromatherapy)
  • Little white holiday tree lights
  • Battery operated candles
  • Comfy chairs
  • Crate or small table for coffee table
  • White noise machine


  • Shoe storage
  • Stacking drawers
  • Closet organizers
  • Luggage
  • Batteries
  • Purse organizer
  • Hangers
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Small tool kit
  • Hooks for hanging bathrobes, jackets
  • Drawer organizers
  • Closet curtain/rings/rod (for Hinton James, Craige, Avery, Parker, Teague and Ehringhaus. All other residence halls provide moveable wardrobes with doors)


  • Towels (for your body and for cleaning your room)
  • Washcloths (for your body and for cleaning your room)
  • Laundry basket/hamper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Shower tote/caddie
  • Hair supplies
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Toothbrush and holder
  • Drying rack
  • Soap holder and soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Hand vacuum
  • Multiple COVID-19 face masks
  • Travel sized hand sanitizer


  • Small fridge (max 2’x3’x1′ or 6 cubic feet)
  • Microwave oven
  • Coffee maker
  • Plates and bowls
  • Glasses, cups and/or mugs
  • Cutlery and utensils
  • Can/bottle opener
  • On the go travel mug
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Bag/chip clips
  • Water pitcher and filters
  • Food storage
  • Lunch bag
  • Toaster, blender, coffee or tea maker and/or air popcorn maker as desired


  • Bike and U-lock
  • Gear for your favorite activities
  • Comfortable shoes to wear while moving yourself around campus

UNC Housing rules to know:

  • NO Candles, incense, fireworks
  • NO Weapons
  • NO Crockpots, instant pots, electric griddles
  • NO Halogen lamps or multi-bulb lamps
  • NO pets except fish
  • NO two-prong household extension cords
  • NO items with exposed heating elements such as hotplates or toaster ovens
  • NO items that exceed 1000 wats of usage

Updated August 2021

How to Live with Roommates…and COVID-19

Your home should feel like a safe space. And yet, most of us have slightly different calculation strategies for risk, so living with roommates this fall may result in times when a roommate’s behavior makes you feel vulnerable to COVID-19. Conversation is the best strategy for conflict – and using the guide below can help clarify expectations and reduce the chances of conflict this semester. 

There are ways to stay healthy and share your living space. You can help protect you, your roommates, and your community by getting vaccinated, wearing your mask indoors when not at home, especially when in crowds, and giving people distance when possible.  

Consider having a conversation – even before you move in – to talk about COVID-19 risks and behaviors. 

Opening question 

  • What are your thoughts about COVID-19 right now?  

We know the list of more detailed questions below can feel overwhelming. Likely many of the questions posed would come up in a more organic conversation about COVID-19. Use this as a guide in whatever ways are helpful to you.

Understand current and anticipated behaviors 

Such as risk reduction strategies, socializing, transportation  

  • What behaviors are you practicing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission? Specifically… 
    • What are your thoughts on vaccination? 
    • When/where do you wear a mask?  
    • When do you interact with people without a mask and who are those people? What do you know about their precautionary behaviors? What is the setting for these encounters – indoor/outdoor? How long do you typically interact? 
    • Have you attended any large gatherings during the pandemic, and will you this semester?   
    • How frequently do you tend to clean and disinfect your/our space?  
  • What risks do you anticipate this semester? Specifically… 
    • What are activities you can’t avoid no matter what happens with the pandemic – such as work or classrooms?  
    • How will you transport yourself around town and campus?  
    • Do you have plans to travel this semester?  
    • How do you navigate restaurants and bars?   
    • How often do you plan to visit, stay with, or host family, significant other, or friends?  
    • How often do you plan to be home in our shared dwelling? 
  • What additional COVID safety precautions do you practice?  

Get a sense of health needs 

  • Has anyone you know been diagnosed with COVID-19? If so, how does that impact your behavior now?   
  • Are you in a vulnerable population as outlined by the CDC?  

Make a household plan 

  • How will we adapt our space and behaviors to adjust for COVID-19?  
  • Who is allowed inside the residence? How will we handle friends or family who have interest in coming to or gathering at our residence?  
  • How will we transport ourselves around town and campus?  
  • If at least one roommate deems something unsafe, are we all willing to honor that?   
  • What symptoms would indicate to you that one of us needs to have symptomatic COVID-19 testing completed? When would we expect a roommate to quarantine? If one of us tests positive for COVID-19, what will we do?  
  • Under what circumstances will we be willing to quarantine for the benefit of our room/household?  
  • Are there other topics we should discuss (dating, mail pickup, mask disinfecting plan, remembering to take our masks, vaccination booster if/when it becomes available)?  


We, the residents of ___________________ agree to the following from ___(date)_____ to ____(date)____:  

Dwelling visitors – who is allowed into our home, when, in what circumstances, how long:   

Gatherings – hosting, attending, indoor/outdoor, common areas:  

Cleaning – sharing responsibilities, extra disinfection, dishes, laundry: 

Food – sharing, group meals, restaurants, grocery shopping:  

Transportation – how will we get around, car riding with non-roommates:  

Testing – who will be tested and when: details for UNC required and voluntary testing at carolinatogether.unc.edu/carolina-together-testing-program  

If a roommate is a close contact to a known positive, we will…  

If a roommate tests positive, we will…  

If there is a conflict between these agreements and behavior, we will…  We plan to revisit these agreements on ___(date)____ to review and revise as necessary.  

Signed: ______________ 

When Conflict Arises 

Remember, that conflict is likely to occur even after a conversation like this. When conflict happens, stay calm and: 

  • Express specific observations about a situation or concern rather than your judgments or evaluation. Ex. “I noticed that … We agreed that …”  
  • Disclose your feelings about the situation or concern. Provide a genuine understanding of your emotions and sensations, not your beliefs about what you think others have done to you. Ex. “I felt scared and exposed when…” 
  • Identify what you need or value. Ex. “I really value shared agreements about behavior – especially during a pandemic.” 
  • Request specific actions that would start to meet your needs or support your values. Avoid demanding character changes or stating ultimatums. Ex. “Would you be willing to revisit our agreements together and update them as needed?” 

If your conversation does not go well, you can consult with your RA (if living in a residence hall) or other supportive students or adults for guidance and support.  

Ultimately you cannot control others’ behavior. If your roommate is behaving in a way that you deem unsafe, take steps to help yourself by limiting contact as much as possible, avoiding shared spaces, wearing a mask and asking your roommate to wear a mask in shared spaces. 

This post has been updated for clarity and brevity. Originally posted August 2020, it has been reposted in August 2021.

Get outside! Best nature areas to explore near UNC.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” -Edward Abbey

The woods and water can be an integral part of your UNC experience -and you don’t have to go far to find them.

The triangle region is full of outdoor spaces to camp, hike, run, and paddle.

Ask any outdoor enthusiast and these spots will be on their list of adventures while at UNC. Explore them! We start with those closest to campus and swirl outward across the state.

Learn more about these spots – and then, go play outside! (pro tip: Don’t feel comfortable adventuring on your own? Check out Carolina Adventures Expeditions! They provide gear, guides and routes for some of these fantastic adventures.) Continue reading

Returning to Campus

Jaylin Pierce sits near the steps of Wilson Library overlooking Polk Place on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Campus life comes with so many benefits! You can interact with such a vibrant, energetic learning community. You can be in spaces that invigorate you. And yet, for many of us, returning to campus comes with a whole lot of stress and anxiety.

When on-campus life was taken away from us at the beginning of the pandemic, many started to see their home as one place where we could feel safe. Some of us might be struggling with the idea of leaving the safety of home to return to such an uncertain environment.

We all are likely thinking in unique ways about returning to campus. We may feel eager to return, ready to socialize, grief for a slower pace, or longing for more time alone.

No matter what you’re feeling, be patient with yourself and others. It’s going to take time to settle in together.

Here are some tips to help make the transition back to campus less stressful.

Where is the stress coming from?

It’s normal to be apprehensive about returning to campus. Re-entry anxiety tends to stem from 2 areas:

  • Safety: People are anxious about unknowingly contracting or spreading COVID-19.
  • Socializing: Over the past year we’ve minimized social interactions which means we may feel a little awkward now when we look people in the eye or need to make small talk.

Start mentally preparing

  • Imagine scenarios you might encounter on campus. This helps you emotionally prepare.
  • Transition slowly if possible. Campus faculty and staff, for example, might go to their office before the official start date. Returning students might visit their primary classroom building or walk down Franklin Street.
  • Prepare your space. Whether it’s your office or your residence – find ways to refresh, clean, organize or otherwise get your space ready for your return.
  • Improve your sleep habits. Start establishing a routine bedtime and to have a healthy sleep schedule in place before returning to campus. Getting enough sleep can buffer you against stress.

Dealing with Safety Concerns

When you have people sharing your space that you know have different commitments to pandemic safety, communication and boundaries can help.

Set the stage by talking to the person about their values around shared spaces and how they propose you work together to create safety for everyone. Listen and ask questions. Use policies or rules to help in the conversation.

During interactions, speak up to clarify your boundaries such as “I’m still social distancing.”

Set yourself up for success by creating physical distance with whatever spaces you can control.

And ultimately – do what you can control to keep yourself safe. You can determine what helps you feel safe – we suggest getting vaccinated, regularly washing / hand sanitizing, and wearing a mask.


Sometimes you won’t have much control over whether you can slowly transition back to campus or whether you just need to arrive one day. You also may or may not have control of a space of your own on campus. Regardless, taking time to reflect can be helpful.

What are you struggling with – is it leaving home, feeling safe, or having a schedule again? Determine the crux of your concerns.

What have you learned during the pandemic that you want to maintain? It might be spending more time outside regularly or moving your body more.

What drew you to join UNC Chapel Hill? What did you love about pre-pandemic times?

What about returning to campus will be helpful to you?

Reach Out for Help

When we feel stressed or anxious, we often start behaving differently. For some people, it may be feeling more irritable and quickly losing patience with those around us. Others may physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches, jaw clenching, neck or back pain, or other symptoms.

Know and look for your own warning signs, and take care of yourself first.

If you need help managing your stress or anxiety – they are causing problems in your life – talk to a mental health professional.

Students have access to CAPS 24/7 or peer support resources.

Employees can access the wellness resources for COVID-19 page on hr.unc.edu. Another important resource is the Employee Assistance Program. The UNC department of psychiatry also has a number of resources.

Adapted from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/returning-to-work-soon-here-are-some-ways-to-make-the-process-easier/ and https://thewell.unc.edu/2021/06/15/pandemic-mental-fatigue-dont-be-shy-about-asking-for-help/

LDOC (Last Day Of Class) 2021

Save the date! The Last Day of Class is May 5th, with a nod to a 90’s throwback theme.

LDOC Programming

LDOC programming will be reimagined offering both in-person and virtual programs to help you stay safe and well This years 90’s theme includes games, giveaways, yoga, stress relief exercises, free food and so much more!
Festivities will be offered during the last week of class by CUAB, Hha!s , Campus Rec and other Student Organizations. Check out some of the offerings below!


  • LDOC S.N.A.C.K.S. is a wellness messaging campaign highlighting the importance of Sleep, Nutrition, Activity, Connectivity, Knowledge, and Self-care to support students for finals! Get a  “LDOC S.N.A.C.K.S Pack”, filled w/items for each category–including tea, sleep masks, fruit snacks + more. Register w/ CUAB on Heellife to get one! (while supplies last).


  • Drag Queen Bingo – RSVP to attend, and a chance to win prizes, watch performances, and even ask the Drag Queen questions.


  • LDOC Outdoor Yoga – The class will be held on the outdoor practice field across the street from the baseball stadium. There will be free water, snacks and Purple Bowl vouchers (sponsored by Panhellenic) for all participants!
  • Tasty LDOC – free food for LDOC with CUAB’s Tasty Meals series. Spots are limited so we encourage you to signup for a meal from ONE restaurant.

For a full list of LDOC events visit Heellife

Taking Care of Tar Heels

With the pandemic fog starting to rise and more regulations lifting state and country-wide, practicing a safe LDOC is an essential piece of celebrating the tradition this year

Make a plan: 

  •  Before LDOC, talk with your friends about getting to and from events safely, how you will get around and how you will get home, and how you will keep tabs on each other throughout the night so no one gets left behind. 
  • Account for all people in your group of friends when you go out and when you head home. Staying with friends throughout the night will help ensure that everyone is safe and having a good time! 
  • Offer to watch your friends’ drinks (alcoholic or not) when they leave the table. 

Make it a night to remember: 

  • Drink water! 
  • Consider your comfort and risk level based on NC Governor’s and CDC guidelines.  Fully vaccinated folks should still wear a mask when gathering indoors and avoid medium and large gatherings. 
  • Activities like pre-gaming raise BAC (blood alcohol content, a measure of the amount of alcohol in your body) and make it more likely for a person to pass out or black out.  Talk to your friends about risk reduction strategies if they are planning to drink. Some common strategies among UNC students are: eating before drinking, avoiding shots, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, setting a pacing limit (e.g. 1 drink per hour), or an overall drink limit for the night.  For more ideas, check out this blog post

Ask for Help: 

  • Familiarize yourself with LDOC- specific resources and guidelines like the Town of Chapel Hill Guidelines, Parking Information from Public Safety 
  •  If someone is experiencing signs of alcohol poisoning or other injury, call 911 for medical help. 
  • If you see a potentially violent (physical or sexual) situation, call 911 for help! 
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, find one of the many uniformed police officers that will be on hand for the event. Their main goal is to keep everyone safe. If you can’t find someone in person, call 911. 
  • Keep in mind NC’s new Good Samaritan Law: If you seek medical help on behalf of someone with alcohol poisoning, you will be exempt from certain underage alcohol possession charges. In other words, they cannot ticket you with underage possession or consumption of alcohol if you are seeking medical attention on behalf of someone who may have alcohol poisoning. 
  • When things don’t go as planned, contact other resources that night or the next day for support for yourself or your friends. 

No matter how you celebrate your accomplishments, the end of the academic year, and LDOC take time to reflect on the year, center your wellbeing and support your fellow Tar Heels

Check out this healthy heels post for more resources to wind down this semester

Semester Wind Down

Whew, what a semester it has been! Virtual hangouts, online classes, and a global pandemic. There are plenty of things to be proud of after this year and celebrating the end of the semester is no different.With excitement in seeing the light at the end of this COVID tunnel and the end of the semester, it’s important to assess your level of comfort and risk to keep yourself and community safe and well.

Students lounge on Polk Place on April 12, 2021, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Keep in mind low risk strategies to manage stress:

  • Take care of yourself, first! What is most helpful to you in this moment? You could study, or take a walk outside, or enjoy some social time with a friend.
  • Take care of your friends and your family. Helping others cope with their stress can help with your own anxiety and will make your community stronger.
  • Take intentional breaks from your screens. Being on your phone or computer for extended periods of time can be draining. Schedule breaks to get outside or call a friend.
  • Connect with others. If you want to get together, hang with small groups who you know well and trust. Assess your risk with the updated CDC guidelines and recommendations.
  • Support your friends, family and your community. Send encouraging text messages with jokes, memes, funny pictures and/or inspiration.

Take care of your body and brain by:

  • Meditating
  • Eating well and balanced
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Making time to unwind
  • Do some activities you enjoy

While it might be tempting to turn to alcohol to cope with this stressful time, keep in mind that alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system and negatively impact your ability to regulate your emotions. It can also affect academic performance and brain function. If you’re considering using substances, understand what you are putting into your body and the potential risk involved.

If you’re concerned about your substance use habits, check out the Student Wellness website for resources or write us an email to set up a one-on-one appointment with a trained staff member.

No matter how you celebrate your accomplishments and the end of the academic year, take time to reflect on the year, center your wellbeing and support your fellow Tar Heels.

How to Assess Risk of Indoor Spaces like Bars and Restaurants

We applaud the many ways our local business community has adapted to the virus – and many locations are doing everything right.

What to seek in a safer venue:

  • Mask wearing – When people aren’t actively eating or drinking, are they wearing masks? Are people’s masks covering their nose and mouth? Better mask wearing means less risk.
  • Distance – are people keeping distance from each other, and putting their mask on when they need to be in close proximity? How crowded is the space overall? More space means lower risk.
  • Time – how long will you be in the space? Less time spend means lower risk.
  • Airflow – this can be difficult to discern without knowledge of the HVAC and filtration systems. Some visible things you can notice include open doors or windows, a large room, high ceilings, and/or a visible and working air purifier. Better airflow means less risk.
  • Vaccinated people – you will have less risk being vaccinated yourself and being around vaccinated employees and guests, if there’s a way to discern that information. With most bars and restaurants, you won’t know vaccine status of the crowd.

When choosing activities, you can still opt for the safest options available.

  • Outdoor venues or indoor spaces enforcing reduced capacity are preferred to crowded, indoor places.
  • Small and spaced out meetups are preferred to big groups.
  • Keep wearing your mask, and if you’re in a space where people aren’t masking appropriately, especially indoors – leave when you are able.
  • Get vaccinated when you can. Remember it takes 2 weeks after your final vaccine dose to be “fully vaccinated.” Walk-ins and appointments for the Moderna vaccine are being offered today (Monday, 4/19) and Thursday from 9am – 5pm at the Carolin Union.

Adapted from Dear Pandemic Indoor Drinks and Ventilation

How to Convince Someone to Get Vaccinated against COVID-19

There are oh-so-many reasons why some people might not be jumping to be vaccinated. To name a few: Fear of the government or the medical community. Indifference to the pandemic’s impacts. Misunderstandings about the vaccines. Lack of vaccine availability in their community.

All of these are understandable responses to a complex, politicized situation.

When you embark on a conversation with someone you think may not be excited to be vaccinated, remember that the goal isn’t to coerce – it’s to connect by creating a good conversational environment. Do the things we know help people feel heard and respected, which at its core means active listening. Dedicate the majority of your time to listening and understanding the other person’s perspective.

Start with asking questions to understand.

  • “What are you considering regarding getting vaccinated?”
  • “What information is important to you for making your decision about the vaccine?”
  • “What would need to change for you to be willing to get the vaccine?”

Listen and then listen some more.

Offer support and encouragement. Reflect feelings.

  • “I appreciate your honesty.”
  • “I can tell you are being thoughtful about this decision.”
  • “I see how strongly you feel about this.”

Highlight areas of agreement.

  • “I am looking forward to things being more normal too.”
  • “We both care about our community.”
  • “I agree – the pandemic has been divisive.”
  • “I too like to deeply understand decisions about my health.”

Ask more questions. Listen some more. Find more areas of agreement.

When you do these things, usually the other person will eventually get to a place where they are ready to listen to your perspective. It may not happen during the first conversation, and that’s ok too!

When it’s your turn, tell your story in a way that avoids making anyone feel defensive. In this case, perhaps how you first felt fear or hesitancy about the vaccine development or rollout, and then how you overcame those feelings to come to your current understanding. When you share your story, end it by turning the conversation back to the other person and their process. Seek to learn more about what they need and how you can support them.

  • “What about you? Have you had any experiences like that?”
  • “What does my story bring up for you?”

Often you won’t even have to ask a question because the other person will naturally launch into statements or stories of their own after hearing your story. That’s a great sign! Return to active listening, asking questions, reflecting, and connecting from there.

Before you part ways, connect and strengthen the relationship.

  • “I’m so glad we talked.”
  • “Can we check in again in a few weeks?”
  • “I really care about you.”

Remember, the best decision-making happens when someone is rational, open-minded and feels supported. Strategies like those mentioned above help to facilitate the kind of environment that could allow someone reconsider their ideas.

Go forth and ignite good conversations!

This article was adapted from political persuasion research by Karin Tamerius. Read more about compassionate political persuasion.

I have an opportunity to get the vaccine but it’s not my turn. Should I take it?

We want everyone to be vaccinated when it’s your turn! And we know many of us are navigating the ethics of when to be vaccinated.

In an ideal world, the systems would be set up to create equity in vaccine order.

Our role as individuals is to:

  • Tell the truth, about
    • Health status
    • Work and volunteer requirements
    • Residence location, and
    • Priority level.
  • Avoid taking a dose that is clearly intended for others.

All of the vaccine requirements are self-reported. And many of us live in gray zones of the vaccine groupings. Draw on your best self when you answer the questions of eligibility. How would the most ethical person you can imagine respond to the questions?

If doses are truly going to waste and a vaccination provider is looking for arms, it’s okay to take a dose. You get some extra karma points if you instead try to connect those vaccines with someone who is higher priority.

This is a challenging time of scarce vaccines, variation between locations’ systems and rules, challenges to equitable access, and the emotions of our own and our loved ones’ safety. We trust you to do what’s right and are here to help if you have questions.

We anticipate that vaccine scarcity will diminish over the next few months, so if you can, be patient! Those who haven’t been vaccinated yet will have their spot coming soon.

Image by Danica Day @Danicady on Instagram

It’s #BeatDuke Week

Lotto to Watch in the Dean Dome

As North Carolina’s numbers have continued to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, the state has eased some restrictions. The latest North Carolina guidance allows larger indoor arenas with a capacity of more than 5000 people to open at 15% capacity, as long as additional safety protocols are in place. These protocols include mask-wearing, assigned distanced seating, and a guest flow plan.

Two students wearing UNC gear and masks hold up finger "w"s in the Dean Dome
Photo of students at FSU game in Dean Dome by Chibby Ogu @ogu_chibby15 on Instagram

This shift means that students are eligible for in-person tickets to the UNC versus Duke home game on Saturday. Check your email for details from UNC Athletics.

Watch the Game from Afar

Even if you don’t win the lottery to attend or don’t feel comfortable attending an in-person event, a virtual watch party is happening.

Or you can set up your own virtual or in-person watch plan! The state still restricts indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 50 when not at a business or arena. While what you can do has changed, what you should do remains the same: outdoors is better than indoors, mask-wearing is better than unmasked, fewer people is better than more people. You need to find your own tolerance of risk, but the least risky option is to watch with your roommates and connect with others online.

Make your virtual celebration fun

UNC students wearing UNC gear with blue streamers, a UNC basketball player face cut-out and Franklin Street sign in their hallway.
Photo of roommates watching Duke game in February provided by Stephanie Marvin @stephanie_marvin on Instagram
  • Wear your favorite team colors. Paint your face. Get out your team pom poms.
  • Go big when setting up your viewing space:
    • Overzealously decorate in your team’s colors.
    • Ask to use your roommates’ monitors so you can collectively see online chatter, multiple camera angles, and your video-chatting friends all at the same time.
    • Make themed snacks.
  • Start a group text with your friends who are also fans.
  • Challenge your friends to create the most fun team-oriented TikTok.
  • Engage on Twitter, Reddit, or another online community space while you watch.

Risk Reduction for Small Gatherings

UNC students in Carolina gear sit outside under a blanket during the last UNC game against Duke
Photo of Duke game watching setup by Meredith Braddy @meredith.braddy on Instagram

We all know gathering with people outside your household adds risk. Avoid gatherings if you can. If you do get together with people who don’t live with you – here are ways to make it safer:

  • Talk about it. Have a conversation ahead of time to set expectations for the gathering.
  • Gather outdoors. It’s safer than gathering indoors. Use a projector to broadcast the game. If indoors, open windows and doors if possible.
  • Distance yourselves. Sit at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. Avoid direct contact like hugs and high fives with those not from their household.
  • Wear masks with more than two layers over their nose and mouth that fits snugly against the sides of the face. Bring a spare mask (or a few) in case yours gets wet from moist breath or snow/rain, or if someone else forgets theirs.
  • Avoid shouting, cheering loudly, or singing. We get mad at Coach K too! Hold in those hollers and instead clap, stomp your feet or use handheld noisemakers.
  • Remember that people without symptoms as well as those with a recent negative test can still spread COVID.
  • Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds – especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and visiting with others, as well as before eating.
  • Avoid touching your face including mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • BYO food, drinks, and plates/cups/utensils (and mask!).
  • It’s ok to stay home. Do what’s best for you, and definitely stay home if you’re sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have been exposed.

And when we #BeatDuke, also #BeatCOVID by not rushing Franklin Street. Might we suggest instead going onto your porch or driveway, banging pots and pans, and yelling “Tar” and “Heel” back and forth with all of Chapel Hill?

#GoHeels #BeatDuke #BeatCOVID