Carroll Hall houses UNC's School of Media and Journalism.

Amid Silent Sam debates, UNC prepares to celebrate First Amendment Day

Tuesday marks UNC's tenth First Amendment Day, an annual celebration and discussion about the First Amendment and its role on college campuses. On a campus facing fierce debate on the Silent Sam monument, organizers feel the importance of the First Amendment and its celebration is stronger than ever.


Silent Sam Monument

The Daily Tar Heel tags stories to make it easier for you to find our more about topics you care about. Consider it a Wikipedia for all things UNC.


Student Body President Savannah Putnam attends a special meeting of the Board of Trustees the morning of Aug. 28 at Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center.

SBP Savannah Putnam's 'Catch-22': Power dynamics in the BOT

When the Board of Trustees huddled in closed session earlier this month, awaiting instruction on how to proceed on the delicate Confederate monument issue, Savannah Putnam met with them.  As the SBP, her job is to act as a liaison between the students and administration. Yet despite her status as a voting ex-officio member of the BOT, she was asked to leave a conversation which took place before the official special meeting dates of both the BOT and BOG.


Vice Chancellor Winston Crisp spoke at the University Affairs Committee meeting on Jan. 30. Photo by Cori Patrick.

'What a mess. Won’t be texting': More messages from UNC post-Silent Sam revealed

On Friday, WRAL released texts and emails exchanged between UNC faculty and administration before and shortly after Confederate monument Silent Sam fell.  In the  messages, faculty and administration discussed what was happening at the protest, expressed shock when it was pulled down and coordinated media strategy. They also discussed their messaging in reaction to the demonstration, with some saying that they should be clear in expressing how wrong it was.  In the aftermath, messages were also exchanged about student government, and their subsequent response to monument's toppling. 


UNC Chancellor Carol Folt walks with Mark Merritt, vice chancellor and general council of UNC, through the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center in Nashville, Tenn. during a lunch break Aug. 16, 2017.

Folt, McCracken receive dozens of emails and voicemails after toppling of Silent Sam

Following a public records request by the DTH for communications to the Chancellor's Office on Aug. 20 and 21, the University released 18 emails, one text and approximately 150 voicemails. The DTH has also received 11 emails sent to UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken.  Many of those who contacted the chancellor were upset about the events that took place on Aug. 20, and revoked their support of the University -- emotionally, physically and monetarily. Others questioned the state of the University, the community and worried over what would happen next. 


IMG_0158 2.JPG

Updated: UNC releases arrest information from Saturday's Silent Sam rally

“Until the school moves Silent Sam and the pedestal off campus, this is going to keep happening."  Another clash between two groups of demonstrators and police erupted on Saturday, adding to the mounting number of arrests over the fallen statue. Students, Confederate demonstrators and police struggled to have their voices heard as the protest escalated. From flags to food, each side fought for their beliefs. Certainly the Silent Sam issue is no more resolved than when the statue came down before LDOC 2018, but no matter what side you're on, everyone has a right to be safe. 


Number of protesters arrested at Silent Sam since Aug. 20 rises to 17

Many in the Chapel Hill community feared Thursday night’s Silent Sam demonstration would turn to violence following Chancellor Carol Folt’s statement urging students to stay away from McCorkle Place. While the demonstration began peacefully, the night finished with three arrests, making a total of 17 Silent Sam-related arrests in less than two weeks, said UNC Media Relations manager Carly Miller in a statement.