Chapel Hill residents might see their newest Town Council member in class or on Polk Place this semester. That’s because Tai Huynh isn’t just part of Chapel Hill’s governing body, he’s also a Carolina senior.
Huynh will split his time between serving the town and completing his degree in computer science. While he plans to graduate this spring, he will stay in Chapel Hill throughout his four-year term, working to develop the town, advocating affordable housing and addressing racial disparities.
“[Serving the town] has definitely been the most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my time at Carolina,” he said. “The relationships and bonds I’ve formed with community members and local civil rights activists, they’re just such an integral part of my Carolina experience.”
After a close race, Huynh was sworn in on Dec. 4, making him only the third UNC-Chapel Hill student to ever assume the role. He is also the first Vietnamese American elected to the town’s governing body.
“Being a student, [I was] definitely an underdog in the campaign. It came with its own set of challenges, so I think the moment of being sworn in really brought all of that to fruition,” he said. “I think it’s a good step forward for our community, having more people of color on council that represent a larger portion of our town.”