UNC Students, Faculty Reject Silent Sam Deal with Confederate Group
The Silent Sam controversy has once again erupted on the University of North Carolina campus, but this time over a deal that the university entered into with a Confederate group.
University community members have expressed strong reservations over the school’s decision to give $2.5 million to the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a Confederate group, that will own all the “rights, title, and interests in the monument.”
The group will maintain possession over the monument outside fourteen counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution.
Last week, hundreds of students marched on the campus protest against the deal saying that it promotes white nationalism.
“The university should not be continuing to negotiate with white supremacists, continuing to be complicit in white supremacy and fund them and give them power to do whatever they want,” student Tamia Sanders told WRAL News.
The regular meeting of the Faculty Council also castigated the decision and passed a resolution condemning the action as being in violation of the University’s mission
“While we continue to support the permanent removal of the confederate monument known as Silent Sam from campus, we condemn the settlement that gives the statue and $2.5 million to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Such a settlement supports white supremacist activity and therefore violates the university’s mission as well as its obligations to the state,” the resolution reads.
Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said that University must confront the issues of racism and injustice that still persists on campus.
The BOG settlement on the disposition of the Confederate Monument ensures that it will never return to campus, but issues of racism and injustice persist, and the University must confront them: https://t.co/I3Tuo0pmxQ pic.twitter.com/oAwpXdCV8w
— Kevin Guskiewicz (@KevinGuskiewicz) December 6, 2019
“I now want to focus on our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I will continue to reject and condemn those individuals or groups who seek to divide us. We have a lot of work to do to thoroughly address and reconcile with our past,” Guskiewicz added.
Given by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909, the statue was erected in 1913. 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.”