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The University is currently operating under Reduced Campus Services and Operations due to COVID-19

Keeping the Carolina community safe

When the Carolina community sought help to keep our students, faculty and staff safe during the pandemic, more than 1,400 Tar Heels stepped up and logged nearly 22,000 hours supporting the University's public health initiatives.

Lauren Thompson poses for a portrait in a Carolina Together Ambassador mask.
Lauren Thompson, a first-year exercise and sport science major, directs traffic at the entrance to the Student Union's COVID-19 testing center on March 10, 2021, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

When you walk across campus, you’re sure to see students in yellow vests ready to help you navigate campus buildings. When you walk into a Carolina Together Testing Center site, you’ll see more students ready to assist their peers.

Student volunteers are all over campus this semester, helping to keep Tar Heels safe and healthy.

More than 1,400 students are volunteering with Carolina Together Ambassadors and the Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps, and collectively they have logged nearly 22,000 hours to help ensure that the Carolina community could live, learn and work safely on campus.

Meet some of the Carolina Together Ambassadors and Carolina COVID-19 Student Service Corps members who have worked diligently to keep all Tar Heels safe and healthy.

Lauren Thompson, a first-year exercise and sport science major, has spent the semester working with the Carolina Together Ambassadors. The ambassadors can be found at nearly two dozen locations around campus, helping students, faculty and staff navigate safety measures and simply being a friendly face to help people follow the University’s COVID-19 Community Standards.

Carolina Together Ambassadors are also the keepers of the University’s “Golden Ticket” incentives initiative, which rewards students for following the COVID-19 Community Standards and promoting healthy behaviors. Golden Ticket recipients join weekly drawings for gift cards to local Chapel Hill businesses. More than 1,250 Golden Tickets have been awarded this semester.

Like many of the Carolina Together Ambassadors, Thompson saw the program as a way to give back and help keep the community safe.

“I saw an opportunity to be a voice on campus to promote healthy behavior and use my strengths to make the community a better and safer place,” she said. “I’ve also met a lot of cool people and connected with a lot of professors throughout my time in the program so far.”

For Joshua Choy, a junior computer science major who transferred to the University in the fall, the Carolina Together Ambassadors has also been a chance to get to know his new home in Chapel Hill.

“My first semester at Carolina was online, so I wanted to be on campus to learn more about everything,” he said. “I also wanted to help with the transition to in-person classes.”

In addition to being at various academic buildings around campus, Carolina Together Ambassadors are stationed at the Carolina Together Testing sites and the Carolina Student Vaccination Clinic.

Since January, the University’s more than 80 Carolina Together Ambassadors have logged over 2,000 hours of service.

“I chose to become a student ambassador to help ensure that our community and campus remains safe,” said Carolina Together Ambassador Rhya Artis, a sophomore majoring in biology. “Since we’re online, I don’t get to see many people throughout the day, but being a student ambassador has allowed me to have a sense of normalcy by interacting and communicating with students daily.”

Inside the Carolina Together Testing sites, you’ll find even more student volunteers who are keeping the testing program running smoothly. They are members of the Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps.

More than 1,350 students have volunteered with the program’s various service opportunities related to COVID-19 relief on campus and in Chapel Hill. Some of the projects they are working on include social media campaigns, student outreach, support at COVID-testing sites and contact tracing.

Sophomore Manav Patel serves as an operations leader with the Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps and performs various duties, such as checking in students at testing locations, ensuring that each station is well-supplied and transporting completed tests back to the lab.

“I enjoy volunteering with the Student Services Corps because I get to help create an environment where students can enjoy the campus experience,” said Patel.

Other Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps members like Elayne Wang, a second-year dental student in the Adams School of Dentistry, have been working behind the scenes to prepare test kits for the centers.

“I love being able to help the community, especially during this time in a pandemic where everything is so different,” said Wang. “It’s great to be able to make a difference.”

Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps members have volunteered more than 19,800 hours as they’ve worked to keep the community healthy.

Learn more about the Carolina Together Ambassadors and the Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps