Students munched on pizza, played games and celebrated the Last Day of Classes last month by taking advantage of various University-sponsored activities.
Because of the threat of inclement weather, LDOC activities normally held in the Pit were moved inside the Student Union. But even that didn’t seem to dampen students’ excitement.
“I feel like this is a great way to enjoy the last day,” said Sarika Simha, a junior computer science major from Morrisville.
More than 1,300 students participated in activities in Great Hall, while others enjoyed sampling the fare from food trucks parked near the Pit and participating in activities across campus, said Brian Lackman, interim director of Student Life and Leadership. The Carolina Union Activities Board is one sponsor of LDOC. Other campus organizations and departments, including international student and scholar services, campus recreation, the applied physical sciences department and BeAM@CAROLINA also organized activities, which included zip lining, cardio dancing and customizing a charcuterie board.
Planning usually begins at the start of the semester. Lackman said Mia Manicone, a junior English and comparative literature major, served as the primary student coordinator and was advised by graduate student Raven Walters.
What students rightfully perceive as a fun day to relax and de-stress before final exams is also an attempt by University leaders to keep them safe. “For some students, LDOC has typically been a heavy drinking day, so it’s been an intentional effort for years at the Union and with other student services across campus to have LDOC activities to serve as an alcohol alternative,” Lackman said. “We enjoy offering students fun activities on LDOC and hope it helps to mitigate the harm that can come from excessive drinking.”
Lackman said it was obvious Carolina students appreciated the chance to take a break and celebrate with friends, adding he overheard positive feedback from some of them as they played mini-golf, stood in line to make signs — always a popular LDOC activity — captured memories in the photo booth or simply grabbed some pizza and left.
“It can be really stressful at the end, and so I think just having this opportunity to chill for a day is good for all students,” said Maya Chaplin, a senior exercise and sports science major from Fayetteville.
Anish Dsouza, a sophomore public policy major from Apex, agreed, though for several hours he sat inside the Student Union glued to his laptop. “I have three assignments due tonight, including a group project,” Dsouza said. “I hope to get my work finished by around 5 p.m. because I do want to enjoy my LDOC. One of my friends wants to watch a movie tonight and then maybe go out.”
Cooper Nunnally, a senior public policy and management society major from Asheville, said he has enjoyed participating in LDOC over the years.
“I just really like seeing all of my friends at LDOC,” said Nunnally, who went to the Student and Academic Services Building South to grab some donuts and lemonade. “It’s just so nice to be able to come together at the end of the year and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished over the school year.”
Joseph Pham, a freshman from Greensboro who said he intends to major in computer science, had no idea what to expect from LDOC before the day unfolded. “This was really a good way to have fun before final exams, when we’re all cramming,” Pham said minutes after making a sign that read Send Dudes My Way. “It’s really nice of UNC to provide us with this experience to relax for the last few days we can.”
— Laurie D. Willis ’86