From a pandemic, to a new University and U.S. president, to a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement — 2020 was indelibly marked by strife, uncertainty and hope. At Emory and nationwide, students and faculty endured a truncated spring semester and virtual fall semester and a racial reckoning. On campus, Emory Campus Life staff spoke out about an abusive workplace and track athletes aired their grievances with their coaches.
Wheel editors selected the 15 most pivotal stories of the year based on online page views and community impact.
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Emory lost about $45 million in net revenue through Aug. 31, the end of the University’s 2019-2020 fiscal year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Vice President Joe Biden became the 46th president of the U.S. after winning the state of Pennsylvania, four days after Election Day. The delay was largely attributed to the high volume of mail-in ballots as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic change over the police killings of Black civilians, Black Emory students and organizations denounced the Emory Police Department, demanding the University disarm and defund EPD.
Current and former employees of Emory Campus Services, who oversee building and campus upkeep, alleged the department’s leadership fosters a toxic environment marked by rampant verbal abuse and exhaustion, as well as racist and misogynistic practices.
Emory Healthcare vaccinated its first employee against COVID-19 on Dec. 17 after receiving its first shipment of the vaccine that morning. It marked the beginning of Phase 1 vaccinations for the University, which will include health care workers and long-term care residents.
Track athletes described an environment of compounding pressure, isolation and insensitivity when asked about why they decided to leave the team.
While some students followed COVID-19 safety precautions during social outings, Uber drivers reported a vastly different reality for other students who frequented bars and clubs.
After 13 years in Emory Village, Rise-n-Dine, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, announced on Oct. 30 through their Instagram that it will close permanently as a result of COVID-19 related financial losses. Other restaurants in Village, like Lucky’s Burger and Brew, also shut their doors earlier in the year.
Emory will hold a modified in-person spring 2021 Commencement ceremony at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, a Nov. 20 email from University President Gregory L. Fenves announced.
Less than two weeks into a fully online fall semester, numerous resident advisors reported being exasperated: students blatantly ignored safety regulations and RAs were unprepared to enforce them.
The College voted to mandate a race and ethnicity course starting Fall 2021, nearly five years after Black Students at Emory demanded the creation of a “General Education Requirement that focuses specifically on the histories and experiences of people of color.”
As coronavirus cases broke record highs in the summer, University President Claire Sterk and President-elect Greg Fenves announced via a campus-wide email on July 17 that only a select group of students will live on campus and nearly all classes will move online.
This inhaler art exhibit outside of the Emory Student Center began as a joke in a GroupMe chat named “real eagles ONLY,” an informal, student-created group chat full of chaos, memes and nearly 900 first-year students.
In June, the University joined a number of other universities including Harvard (Mass.), Columbia (N.Y.) and Rice (Texas), in transitioning to a test-optional admissions cycle for the 2020-21 academic year.
Stories compiled by Ulia Ahn and Matthew Somekh. Page designed by Madison Bober.