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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

News in Brief for September 13, 2017

Carolina moves up on Sierra Club’s ‘Cool Schools’ list

Carolina ranks 28th among more than 200 participating colleges and universities nationwide, according to the Sierra Club Cool Schools annual sustainability report. The Cool Schools ranking serves as a guide for prospective students to compare schools’ commitment to sustainability. This year’s report reflects accomplishments through June 2016.

Carolina was recognized with high scores in the categories of innovation, co-curricular activities and planning. In the decade since the survey was launched, Carolina has been consistently recognized as one of the leading institutions in sustainability in the United States.

The University’s ranking recognizes the long-term success of its many sustainability initiatives, such as reducing water use by 52 percent in the face of campus growth of more than 7 million square feet since 2003, avoiding $40 million in water costs. Carolina’s Three Zeros Environmental Initiative – the new campus plan to move the campus toward water neutrality, zero waste and greenhouse gas neutrality – drove a top score in the planning category.

The Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States, bases the school rankings on sustainability data collected in a range of areas. The raw data for scoring comes from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS self-reporting tool. The club then takes the data and scores it across 64 questions. The scoring methodology was updated this year to reflect increased emphasis on climate-related issues.

“We are pleased that Carolina moved from 39th to 28th in the Cool Schools ranking and remains the top-ranked school in our state for sustainability,” said Brad Ives, the University’s chief sustainability officer and associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. “We are energized by this benchmark of our progress to make our campus more sustainable, and we will continue to challenge ourselves and improve in this area as part of our Three Zeros Environmental Initiative.” 

Alert Carolina siren test scheduled for Sept. 14

The University will TEST the emergency sirens and emergency communication procedures on Thursday, Sept. 14, between noon and 1 p.m. The University tests the sirens regularly throughout the year to make sure the equipment and notification processes work as planned.

During this sirens test, NO ACTION is required.

Anyone outside, on campus or near campus, likely will hear the sirens. The sirens are not designed to be heard inside a building or vehicle. The sirens will sound an alert tone along with a brief pre-recorded voice message. When testing is complete, a different siren tone and voice message will signal all clear.

The University will also send text messages to cell phone users who registered their numbers in the online Alert Carolina Contact Information page available through the ONYEN services website. The University will post safety-related announcements on the Alert Carolina website,, along with updates.

New look for employee paystubs

Beginning in October 2017, employee paystubs will have a new look. Nothing about your pay will change, only the way the paystub looks. The new paystub will have the same information that previous paystubs contained, plus several updates and some additional information. If you have any questions about the new look or about how to locate information on your paystub, please visit, email or contact your department’s Human Resources representative.