Without a car or your own kitchen, cooking in a residence hall is a difficult task—myth or fact? The truth is, whipping up a batch of delicious treats doesn’t have to be complicated! With just three simple ingredients, baking supplies from your community office, and 30 minutes to spare, you can make any of the recipes below. Head to Walgreens or CVS on Franklin Street (or Rams Head Market) to pick up the necessities, and get ready to eat!
• 1 ½ large ripe bananas
• 2 eggs
• 1/8 tsp baking powder
1. Crack eggs into a bowl, add the baking powder, and whisk together.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly mash the banana. Pour wet mixture into the mashed bananas and stir to combine.
3. Using 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake, cook in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Once bubbles begin to form, flip the pancake and cook for another minute.
4. Top with butter, maple syrup, berries, or anything else!
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and refrigerate dough for at least one hour or until firm.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and press down with a fork, making crosshatch marks.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
• 1 ¼ cup Nutella
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
1. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Pour into baking pan and smooth top with spatula.
2. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let brownies cool and set before serving.
The best thing about cooking in your residence hall? Food is a great way to make friends! Once you’ve cleaned up, share your treats with suitemates, floormates, or whoever happens to pass by.
Imagine living with a community of students who are all passionate about the same thing as you. Pretty cool, right? Residential Learning Programs (RLPs) offer all of the perks of living on-campus, with the added benefit of a unique educational experience right in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking to become more involved at UNC, make friends who share your interests, or further explore your academic passions, an RLP may be for you! Read on for a brief description of each program—if one catches your eye, click the name for more details.
Located in Carmichael, Chinese House offers residents the chance to practice their Chinese speaking skills on a regular basis. Through conversational hours, service projects, and social activities, you’ll build your fluency while learning more about the Chinese culture. If you’re planning on majoring or minoring in Chinese or studying abroad in China, this RLP will provide a helpful immersion experience!
Also housed in Carmichael, Transfer United helps junior transfers make new friends and transition to life at Carolina. As a member of this RLP, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in mentorship programs, attend social events, and take on leadership roles within the transfer student community.
The newest RLP, Pride Place will be housed in Cobb and aims to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for LGBTQ+ residents. As a member, you’ll engage in conversations about diversity, self-identity, and healthy communication while building friendships with your neighbors.
Similar to Chinese House, Spanish House provides residents with frequent immersion opportunities. As a member of this RLP, you’ll live in Craige North and participate in cultural development activities, social programs, and service projects like tutoring or translating. If you’re taking a Spanish course or already have some experience with the language, Spanish House is the perfect to further explore your interest in the culture.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and APPLES service-learning, UNITAS is located in Ehringhaus and centers around sociocultural diversity. Members of this RLP take two 3-hour courses—one per semester—with their fellow residents, as well as participate in a semester-long service-learning project. If you’re passionate about topics surrounding diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation, UNITAS may be for you!
Located in Joyner, Balance focuses on all eight dimensions of wellness, including physical, social, and emotional. As a member of this RLP, you’ll learn about each dimension through frequent educational and social events, from retreats to sports tournaments. Residents also commit to fostering an inclusive and healthy environment within the community.
If you’re passionate about public service and community service, this RLP provides plenty of opportunities to develop your leadership skills in these areas. Residents complete service hours, participate in a social change workshop, and take an APPLES service-learning course, all while living together in Hinton James.
WELL aims to provide residents with the chance to build friendships, leadership skills, and an appreciation of their gender expression and identity. While living in McIver, members of this RLP attend retreats and training sessions, complete a women’s studies course, and participate in community service activities.
It’s easy being green when you’re a member of this RLP—residents participate in seminars, social and educational events, and service projects centered around the environment and other systemic issues. Housed in Morrison, the Sustainability RLP offers plenty of opportunities for discussion and hands-on work within the community, including documentary screenings, park clean-ups, group dinners, and guest speakers.
Want to join an RLP? First-years, transfers, and returning students can all apply—the deadline for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors is March 1, while new students are eligible once you’ve accepted admission. Just follow these instructions, and you’ll be on your way to living in one of these unique academic communities!
Other Extracurricular Activities: Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Honor Court, NC Fellows Class of 2017
What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I have 17 siblings, so I grew up valuing the importance of creating relationships. My favorite thing about being an RA is just that – making connections with residents and staff members through appreciating our diversity in identities, opinions, personalities, and interests. We are all dynamic, we have multitudes, and it is always nice to experience those with each other.
What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: There isn’t one exact moment, but a collection of small instances. I’m a giver. I love giving my residents snacks or baking treats for them. Whenever I have leftover candy or sweets from a program, I make sure to give all the extras away to my residents. I just love how excited they get when I offer them free food! I know it’s not conventionally “fun”, but I so enjoy making them smile through food.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Don’t let your doubts keep you from applying to be an RA! It is natural to be hesitant or worried throughout the application process, but don’t let those concerns hold you back from meeting amazing people at UNC and from bringing your charm to the residential experience!
What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I love having the opportunity to provide an environment that is welcoming and for my residents to know that they are loved and appreciated.
What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: A few of my residents and I went swing dancing at a Cru event one night!
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Talk to as many RAs as you can! Write down different programs they have done, bulletin boards, and ways they interact with their residents. It will give you an opportunity to know what has and hasn’t worked and get you thinking ahead for next year!
October 31st…when else will you see a pack of dancing bananas, groups of Disney characters, and superheroes roaming Chapel Hill? While Halloween on Franklin Street is a long-celebrated tradition, the residence halls hosted plenty of spooky events all weekend long as an alternative option for students looking to have fun on campus. From pumpkin painting to costume contests to haunted houses, and ending with the Food Truck Rodeo on Halloween night, check out the highlights below!
The perks of residence life are plentiful—proximity to classes, easy access to campus resources, a sense of community, and…free quesadillas?
You’ve probably been riding the elevator, brushing your teeth in the bathroom, or just hanging out in the study lounge in your residence hall, when you noticed a poster advertising some kind of event. Maybe, you’ve even been walking through the lobby only to find students scooping bowls of ice cream or flipping pancakes. They’re not the RAs—so who is this mysterious group of residents, and what do they do?
Chances are, they’re part of your Community Government—think kind of like Student Government from high school, but within your residence hall community. Still confused? Read on for some frequently asked questions about CoGo!
What is Community Government?
Community Government is a part of the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which works to create a positive on-campus living experience. Each Community Government (called CoGo for short) is appointed and led by a Community Governor, who was elected in August. Your CoGo usually consists of about 8 to 20 residents, who hold positions like Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, and Marketing Manager. Together, the CoGo team plans fun events for your community and purchases residence hall enhancements.
Is Community Government Like My RA?
Not quite! Your RA is a paid staff member hired by the Department of Housing and Residential Education (DHRE), and they serve as an administrator and mentor for your hall. CoGo members are volunteers, and any resident can apply. Each Community Government also has its own budget for hosting programs, which is based on the number of residents in their community. While the RAs and CoGo are separate entities, they both share a common goal of making your hall a great place to live!
What Kind of Events Does Community Government Plan?
CoGo programs may be social or educational, and they can range from weekly recycling drives to formal dances. Popular events include pancake nights, sports viewing parties (watching UNC beat Dook is even more fun with a crowd!), and holiday-themed activities. Many Community Governments hold end-of-year traditional events, large-scale social programs which may involve catered food, inflatables, or musical performances. If you have an idea for an event in your hall, let your Community Governor or a CoGo member know! Their job is to represent you, and they’re always open to suggestions.
How Can I Learn More/Get Involved?
Avoid that sinking feeling when you realize you missed out on free cinnamon rolls—sign up for Food in my Hall, a free RHA text notification list. You’ll get a message every time your Community Government is having an event! Also, be sure to follow your community on Facebook and Twitter for updates on upcoming programs. If you’re interested in joining CoGo, get in touch with your Community Governor—they may have an open position or an opportunity for you to help out.
Whether you’re interested in taking on a leadership role or just enjoy eating free pizza and meeting new people, attend an event and get to know your CoGo! That group of residents passing out cupcakes in your residence hall’s lobby does more than just hand out free food—they work really hard to make your on-campus experience memorable.
You leave your room in Hinton James, head to class in Carroll Hall, eat lunch at Lenoir, circle back to another class in Genome Sciences, work out at the SRC, return to Hinton James, then go to dinner with friends on Franklin…the daily life of a Carolina student involves plenty of rushing around campus. While UNC is pretty walkable, sometimes you need a quicker way to get around. Read on to learn about transportation on campus, plus a few tips on how to make walking more enjoyable!
Take the Bus
A, D, F, J, S, T…the long list of bus routes can seem like a confusing bowl of alphabet soup. Which one should you get on? Luckily, you’ll only need to know three routes to get anywhere on campus—you’ll be thankful you’ve mastered them when it’s 20 degrees outside or you have to get from Craige to the Hanes Art Center in 20 minutes.
• RU: The RU (Reverse Shuttle) runs counterclockwise, so you’ll usually ride it from South Campus to North. Hop on at the stop next to the sand volleyball courts by Hinton James or outside Ehringhaus and Koury, and you can get off by Fetzer Gym, the Union and Davis Library, or the Old Well.
• U: The U (Campus Shuttle) runs clockwise, but you may ride it toward North or South Campus depending on where you’re trying to go. Popular stops include Horton, the Dean Dome (close to the business school), the Hinton James sand volleyball courts, Student Stores, the ROTC building (across from the FedEx Global Center), Hanes Art Center, and Franklin Street.
• P2P: The P2P runs counterclockwise every night from 7pm to 4am, so you’ll never have to worry about making it back to your residence hall safely. The shuttle stops at Ehringhaus and Koury, Hinton James, and Public Safety (between Morrison/Hardin and Craige/Craige North), and takes you toward Franklin Street and Granville Towers.
Pro tip: download the NextBus or EZ Chapel Hill Transit apps. With these handy programs, you can bookmark your most-used bus stops and see how many minutes remain until the next bus arrives. Check out the bus and P2P routes online for the full list of stops!
Ride a Bike
Biking is another quick way to get around campus—plus, you’ll get some great exercise. (They don’t call it Chapel Hill for nothing!) If you bring a bike, you’ll want to purchase a sturdy U-lock and register it for free with the Department of Public Safety to protect against theft.
Don’t have your own wheels? The Residence Hall Association sponsors a program called Tar Heel Bikes, where you can check out a bike from the Hinton James, Craige, Ehringhaus, or Morrison community office for free with your OneCard!
Fall weather is coming! While the trek from South Campus can be miserable in the sweltering heat, crisp mornings and scenic autumn leaves are on the way. In the meantime, hiking around campus all day is an awesome workout, and you can make it more enjoyable by listening to music, setting a goal for the number of steps you take per day using an app or a Fitbit, or walking with friends.
Whether you decide to walk to and from North Campus every day, or you give up on that plan and start taking the bus after the first month (I may or may not speak from personal experience…), there are plenty of ways to get around campus. Don’t hesitate to try them all and figure out which works best for you!
You’ve been living in your residence hall for a week or two, and you notice your laundry hamper filling up quickly. Your mom is not around to conveniently wash, dry, fold, and deliver your clothes right to your room, and you only have a few more days before you’ll have to resort to wearing long-sleeved shirts and sweatpants in the middle of August. The time has come—you have to do your first load of laundry. Whether you’ve never done your own laundry before or you’re just unfamiliar with the on-campus machines, save yourself a call home from the laundry room with this how-to guide.
Washing Your Clothes
1. Load your clothes into the washer, taking note of the machine number.
2. Open the black plastic lid on top of the machine, and pour detergent and fabric softener into the labeled compartments.
3. Walk over to the electronic box on the wall and swipe your OneCard (one wash cycle costs $1). Push the machine number, and keep pressing Enter until you see your remaining balance.
4. Return to the machine, and select a fabric setting. I usually choose Bright Colors for my regular load of laundry and Delicates and Knits for nicer, more fragile shirts. Once you press a button, your wash cycle will begin!
Drying Your Clothes
1. Load your clothes into the dryer, taking note of the machine number, and add a dryer sheet.
2. Swipe your OneCard at the electronic box on the wall (one dry cycle costs $0.50). Push the machine number, and choose how many extra dry cycles you want (one extra is recommended, for a total cost of $1). Keep pressing Enter until you see your remaining balance.
3. Return to the machine, and select a fabric setting. I pick Whites and Brights for my regular load of laundry, hanging my more delicate shirts to dry in my room. Once you press a button, your dry cycle will start!
Other Tips and Tricks
1. One wash cycle takes between 35 to 40 minutes to complete, while two dry cycles takes an hour. The laundry rooms can get busy, so take out your clothes on time—or somebody may take them out for you!
2. On the flip side, if you’ve been waiting by a completed washing machine for more than 10 minutes, it’s okay to take the clothes out. Some residents will just place them on top of the machine, but it’s nice to be polite and put them in a dryer.
3. Nothing’s worse than trekking down from the 10th floor of Hinton James only to find that all the laundry machines are full! The OneCard CaroLaundry website shows you which machines are available in each residence hall and allows you to set up email or text notifications when your laundry cycle is done.
Don’t let doing laundry for the first time intimidate you—once you know how the machines work, washing and drying your clothes is a piece of cake!
Week of Welcome—seven days of endless free food, little schoolwork (yay for syllabus week!), and plenty of fun. As a rising junior, I can’t wait! If you’re a first-year, though, the lengthy schedule of social programs, meetings, and information sessions can seem a little overwhelming. Week of Welcome is geared toward new students, giving you lots of opportunities to meet people and get involved—but which should you attend? Read on for the top 10 must-do events!
1. FallFest: If you only attend one Week of Welcome program, FallFest should be it! Held on South Road and Hooker Fields, this massive nighttime event is your chance to sign up for any clubs and student organizations you may be interested in. Bring a tote or drawstring bag (and your appetite!)—you’ll get tons of swag from on-campus groups and free food from popular area restaurants.
2. New Student Convocation: A Carolina tradition, New Student Convocation gathers the entire first-year class in Carmichael Arena to be welcomed by Chancellor Folt, learn all of the school cheers, and mark your official induction as a Tar Heel.
3. Target Back-to-School Express: Whether you forgot to pack laundry detergent or just want to take a late-night trip off campus, tour buses pull up in front of Hinton James to bring hundreds of first-years to SuperTarget. This isn’t your ordinary back-to-school shopping run—the festivities usually include prize drawings, free samples, games, and a live DJ.
4. Mini Golf in the Library: When else will you get to play mini golf in a library? You’ll be grouped in teams of 5 or 6 to play the nine-hole course, so the event is a fun way to bond with new people over some friendly competition.
5. Summer Reading Discussion: You’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to do schoolwork before classes even start?” While maybe not the most exciting program, the Summer Reading Discussion is a helpful introduction to academic life at UNC. You won’t be graded, so there’s no pressure, and you’ll get to meet around 10 other first-year students that could be future study buddies!
6. Sunset Serenade: If you’ve ever seen Pitch Perfect, you already know that a cappella is popular on college campuses, and UNC is no different! To kick off the school year, all of the major a cappella groups perform a free concert on Polk Place the evening before the first day of classes (FDOC).
7. Community Kick-Off Night: Your Community Kick-Off Night may be a cookout, pizza party, s’mores bonfire—some kind of social event where you’ll get to meet the RAs and other staff in your community. Ask your roommate or suitemates to join you, but talk to other residents as well! You never know, the guy next to you in line for ice cream may be in your ECON 101 class or planning to join the same club sports team.
8. RHA Speed Friending: The Residence Hall Association (RHA) hosts awesome events for on-campus residents, and their first program of the year is aimed at first-years looking to make new friends. You’ll get to decorate your own T-shirt, play in a giant ball pit, and enjoy games and plenty of free food!
9. Carolina Fever Kick-Off: When you think of UNC, basketball is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. If you can’t wait to cheer on the Tar Heels, you’ll want to learn about Carolina Fever, the official UNC student fan organization, and the point system. Hint: attending athletic events can earn you cool prizes—and even UNC vs. Duke basketball tickets!
10. Organization-specific events: On-campus organizations love recruiting first-years, and most will be hosting kick-off programs where you’ll meet the leaders and learn how you can get involved. The Daily Tar Heel, Campus Y, club sports, Student Government, and Greek life are just a few of these.
While these 10 events are the perfect start to your Carolina experience, there are many more—check the Week of Welcome schedule in your Tar Heel Beginnings Guide for details, and attend anything that interests you!
For most Tar Heels, summer means three months away from the Southern Part of Heaven. Some students return to their hometowns to work and spend time with family, others travel abroad, and still more take on internships in new cities. However, UNC isn’t completely quiet after finals end in May—during the week, campus is bustling with summer school students, new first-years and families at Orientation, and tour groups. Take a glimpse below to learn why nothing’s finer than summer at Carolina!
The official student blog about life in campus housing at UNC Chapel Hill