Campus community continues to boycott, Folt responds


DPS came to McCorkle Place to vacate the immediate area surrounding the Silent Sam statue Aug. 31, 2017. 

In response to continued inaction in the case of Silent Sam, a collection of staff, faculty, community members and both undergraduate and graduate students are boycotting UNC products and businesses from Sept. 18 to Oct. 18. 

The collective, united by the movement Boycott UNC, is urging students to avoid places like the Bottom of Lenoir, Ram’s Head Market and Student Stores. Their end goal is an explicit request for the removal of Silent Sam from Chancellor Carol Folt. 

One of the boycott’s organizers, Mistyre Bonds, said she and her peers feel the University is prioritizing the worth of the statue over the needs of its marginalized students.

“We can’t control what Folt does,” she said. “We’re asking each other and we’re asking students to take matters into their own hands.”

When asked about the boycott, Folt said she thinks the boycott will have unintended consequences. 

"You want to direct your efforts where they really can have an effect," she said. "It's going toward an end that I don't think most people want to support: lower aid and less jobs."

Although the movement seeks to undermine the University’s profits, Bonds aBoycott UNC are taking precautions to make sure employees don't face consequences on account of the boycott.

Boycotters gave University employees an email address where they can relay their concerns about potential effects.

“We reached out to businesses at the Bottom of Lenior and offered them to sell their food through us for 100 percent of the profit, so if they were negatively impacted by the boycott they would be able to retain funding,” Bonds said. “Because at the end of the day we’re not attacking specific businesses, more the University.”

The boycott is also recruiting off-campus restaurants to ally with their cause. Ms. Mong, Bskis, Mediterranean Deli and other Franklin Street spots have pledged some degree of support. 

Bonds said that Boycott UNC is giving the restaurants a statement to display in their windows, and some places have agreed to offer a discount to students that have signed an online petition sympathetic to Boycott UNC’s goals. 

Isaac Park, co-owner of Ms. Mong, is aligned with the boycotters on the issue of Silent Sam and wants them to know he’s fighting with them.

“By feeding them food and showing them support, I’m showing them that people care about such things,” Park said. 

Jamil Kadoura, owner of Mediterranean Deli, was unaware of the boycott entirely and said he didn't know of any partnership between the boycotters and his business.

In a statement, the University said because they don't receive daily reports of receipts, they cannot determine an impact of the boycott at this time. 

But Folt also praised the devotion students expressed.

"There's a lot of passion there," she said. "It can get directed to many things that have to do with still continuing to add to our diversity."


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