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'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

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The news of the past academic year, explained

A look back at the 2022-2023 academic year and the events that defined it
OGB Archives
The 2022-2023 academic year was full of new faces and new challenges.

Many college students have moments that define their college experience. In four years, you may reflect on your time at Wake Forest and recall social, academic and personal experiences that shaped the person you are today. While each person has a unique Wake Forest journey, our campus is collectively impacted by the events that we share.

Wake Forest is busy — classes, activities and events are held daily. Sometimes it may seem like “news” is happening every day, shaping and altering our campus. However, there are a few moments that stand out. Here are the stories that defined the 2022-2023 academic year.

Aug. 15, 2022 – New Road Names 

The City of Winston-Salem approved Wake Forest’s request to rename four roads after trailblazing professors: Dolly McPherson, Herman Eure, Elizabeth Phillips and Marge Crisp. This renaming resulted from efforts to remove the name of enslaver and former Wake Forest President Washington Wingate from campus. 

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Sept. 7, 2022 University disables COVID-19 Dashboard  

Despite lingering COVID-19 cases, the university disabled the COVID-19 dashboard in an effort to shift the COVID-19 response from pandemic response to endemic response. 

Sept. 12, 2022 –  Wake Forward Letter

The university sent an email to the Wake Forest community on May 5, 2022, explaining compensation updates for faculty and staff. The email stated that these changes only applied to those who are directly hired by Wake Forest, which does not include contract workers who are employed by companies such as Aramark and the Budd Group. Wake Forward, a progressive faculty group, sent a letter to the administrators in response, requesting that the university review the working conditions of contract workers and ensure they made at least a living wage. This letter gathered 159 signatures from Wake Forest faculty, students and staff. 

Social Sentinel’s AI tracks social media posts to determine threats to campus safety. (Courtesy of Seven Days)

Oct. 6, 2022 Social Media Monitoring 

Wake Forest confirmed that it is one of 37 colleges to have used Social Sentinel — a “threat detection” service that uses AI technology to monitor student social media. 

Oct. 27, 2022 Trespassing 

An individual who approached mainly female Wake Forest students on campus and in the surrounding area was charged with trespassing on campus. According to Wake Forest Police Department Major Jamie Herring, this individual briefly worked for campus dining. 

In Fall 2022, News covered protest posters put up by Chinese international students to protest the election of Xi Jinping and China’s COVID-19 policies. (Evan Harris)

Nov. 3, 2022 Protest Posters 

Chinese international students hung posters in multiple campus buildings, protesting the Chinese government and Chinese President Xi Jinping. These posters were hung in response to China’s 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing, which elected Xi to a third term. Posters in support of Xi and China’s zero-COVID policy were also posted around campus. 

Nov. 14, 2022 Campus Climate Survey Data 

Data from Wake Forest’s first Campus Climate Survey was released, disclosing that 55% of the survey sample reported experiencing at least one incident of sexual misconduct. 

Jan. 9, 2023NPHC Expansion

Wake Forest’s National Pan-Hellenic Council opened an application for national NPHC organizations that did not currently have a Wake Forest chapter to apply. Wake Forest’s NPHC was looking for a historically African American fraternity or sorority as well as a multicultural organization to join the university’s council. 

Feb. 2023 Omaar Hena 

Students received an email stating that English professor Dr. Omaar Hena was put on a leave of absence. The email did not disclose why Hena was placed on leave. Earlier in the month, posts on the anonymous social media app Fizz began to circulate regarding “photos and videos Hena posted of himself on Instagram and Reddit, which ranged from sexually suggestive to pornographic.” 

Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan join three Wake Forest students in a panel to discuss the importance of sexual citizenship. (Maddie Stopyra)

Feb. 17, 2023 ConsentCon

Approximately 159 Wake Forest community members attended the university’s first annual ConsentCon — a workshop-based event discussing sexual assault prevention and consent. 

March 2, 2023 ChatGPT

Students and professors discuss the use of ChatGPT — an artificial intelligence program that uses “existing web data to generate human-like feedback” — in an academic setting. 

Notes of encouragement to survivors are displayed at the Safe Office Crew’s March 30 Speak Out event. (Evan Harris)

March 29, 2023 Speak Out

The Safe Office Crew hosted its 29th annual Speak Out event. Students gathered in Wait Chapel to honor sexual assault survivors. 

June 30, 2023 TimelyCare

Wake Forest’s University Counseling Center reallocated funds to hire in-person providers after discontinuing its partnership with  online therapy service TimelyCare. 

June 29, 2023Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action is unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court left in place “race-conscious admissions at armed service academies and did not entirely outlaw the consideration of an applicant’s background.” 

Aug. 3, 2023 Non-Binding Early Action 

Wake Forest announced a non-binding early action option for first-generation undergraduate applicants. This application will launch this fall and allow first-generation students to apply to Wake Forest by Nov. 15 and hear back by Jan. 15, all while retaining their ability to consider other schools.

The Old Gold & Black remains committed to reporting stories that shape Wake Forest and its community. We hope that you will follow our coverage during your four years at Wake Forest. 

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About the Contributor
Maddie Stopyra, News Editor
Maddie is a sophomore from Rural Hall, North Carolina who is majoring in English and double-minoring in journalism and psychology. In her free time, you can probably find Maddie reading on the quad or buying too many books at a local bookstore. You will most likely never see her without a coffee cup in her hand.

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