Half an hour into the annual University Day performance, students rose from their seats and silently exited Memorial Hall. The students conducted this silent walkout to protest the administration's lack of action to remove the Silent Sam statue.
The protest, which was organized by senior Michelle Brown, was a component of the UNC Boycott movement. Brown said over 30 students participated in the demonstration.
The silence of the protest was intentional, Brown said, because of the Board of Governors' recent policy draft that could result in the expulsion of any student who disrupts another demonstration of free speech on campus.
"To avoid any excuse for the Administration to punish us because we already know that they're not standing with us on this issue, we're going to keep it silent," Brown said.
Brown said she had not realized how much support the movement had until they began spreading the word. The sit-ins, boycott and protests on campus have garnered positive support from local residents, faculty members and students. According to Brown, faculty members have begun a Silent Sam task force and have written to Chancellor Carol Folt.