University of North Carolina Hands Over Silent Sam to Confederate Group
On Wednesday, the university entered a consent judgment with the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. (SCV), a Confederate group that had sued the school claiming rights over the statue.
The statue, given by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909, was erected in 1913. It has been the subject of controversy and protests in the past few years.
As a part of the agreement, the university will turn over possession of the monument to the group who will have own all the rights, title, and interests in the monument.
Last year, hundreds of students gathered around the statue asking the officials to erect an alternative monument, saying the installed one signified white supremacy. The statue was toppled amid tensions between police and protestors, while the school termed the development as “unlawful and dangerous.”
“The safety and security concerns expressed by students, faculty, and staff are genuine, and we believe this consent judgment not only addresses those concerns but does what is best for the university, and the university community in full compliance with North Carolina law,” said Jim Holmes, member of the UNC Board of Governors.
The group will maintain possession over the monument outside fourteen counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution.
In December 2018, the university administrators decision to build a new facility to house the Confederate statue received strong opposition from students who had been asking the school to roll back its plans. The students alleged that the proposal was giving space to white supremacy on campus.