Updated at 9:35 a.m. on Aug. 22:
Metal crowd control barriers went up around the Silent Sam last night in anticipation of a 7 p.m. rally around the statue.
This preparation is consistent with previous rallies at and around Silent Sam. The set-up consists of one fence immediately around the statue and another surrounding the greater area in the middle of McCorkle Place.
Chancellor Carol Folt sent a campus wide email this afternoon about a possible rally that may occur tomorrow evening concerning the Silent Sam statue.
The email asked for a peaceful demonstration and warned students to avoid the McCorkle Place if they were not involved in the rally. The email did not describe what specific groups will be leading the rally, only that they are not associated with the University.
Folt expressed her concern for the safety of students on campus and said the UNC Police will be taking measures to make sure the area is safe during the rally.
She asks the students to consider more peaceful options when discussing the issue of removing the statue. Folt said the administration was working on the possible removal of Silent Sam in the future.
"We are always concerned about safety on the campus and if we had the ability to immediately move the statue in the interest of public safety, we would. However, while we will continue to explore all options, the University currently does not have that unilateral authority or legal ability to do so. And the University must obey the law. "
This statement follows Mayor Pam Hemminger's statement asking Chancellor Carol Folt to take down Silent Sam.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.