He said they received a call reporting the incident shortly after noon.
“We’re not investigating it because it’s noncriminal,” Young said.
Chelsea Douglas, a sophomore transfer student from New York, said she had never seen a Confederate flag in person before coming to the South.
“The first time I was in North Carolina was the first time I saw a Confederate flag, and that was just so wild,” she said.
Douglas said the presence of a Confederate monument was not surprising.
“We’re in North Carolina,” she said. “I expect this.”
Erinn Crider, a junior, said she didn’t think spray-painting or changing the monument was the right way to send a message.
“I can absolutely understand why people find Silent Sam offensive,” she said. “I think that vandalizing it in any way is an inappropriate way to handle harsh emotions in the situation.
“I think it calls for commentary and understanding on both sides, both for the appreciation of history, but also the appreciation of the struggle that people experienced.”
Though Julia Whitfield, a junior, said she understood some people disagree with the method, she respects the message.
“I know some people think it’s kind of disrespectful to paint on monuments like that,” she said.
“I guess it kind of is, but if standing in the Pit isn’t going to get someone’s attention, I guess people feel you’ve got to do something else to get people’s attention.”
Jim Gregory, a spokesman for the University, said the statue has had a controversial history.
“This has historically been a source of expression for people,” he said.