It's not all Folt's fault
As would be expected, there was a great deal of anger at the Silent Sam rally on the first day of classes.
Unfortunately, much of this anger was misplaced and focused on individuals who had no control over the continued presence of the Confederate statue, and who were, in fact, sympathetic to the protestors’ cause.
One such individual is our own chancellor, Carol Folt.
Her name popped up in a few negative chants at the Silent Sam rally despite her own expressed desire to remove the statue. In her email to the student body, Folt said, "If we had the ability to immediately move the statue in the interest of public safety, we would."
Because of her prominent position at UNC, there is a tendency for students to blame Folt for a variety of issues that are really out of her control.
It is important for students to keep in mind that Folt cannot make unilateral changes, even if she wants to; she has to answer to the General Assembly and Board of Governors. As chancellor, Folt must balance the wishes of conflicting groups, from students and alumni donors to the legislature and governor, all just to keep the University afloat.
Folt ought to be respected for her strong leadership and her dedication to ensuring the University runs as smoothly as possible.
If you doubt her loyalty to our school and student body, consider the work Folt has done with donors. While state funding of the school still hasn’t returned to pre-recession levels, our University raked in a record $495 million in donations in the 2016 fiscal year. Compare that to the $287.4 million in donations raised in 2012, which was the second-best year on record at the time.
Folt loves this school, and considering the circumstances under which she must work, she’s doing a commendable job. Let’s make her job a bit easier, and stop pinning all our problems on her.