“We will not honor William Saunders, an architect of white supremacy. Nor will we honor 'Carolina Hall,' because neutrality is white supremacy in disguise,” Beshea read.
After Beshea, other students came to the mic and read quotes from Hurston from some of her essays and publications.
After quotes were read, the floor was opened to any students who wanted to share.
Shelby Dawkins-Law, a third year PhD student in the School of Education, took the stage to speak about her experiences as the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation.
“In that position I felt silenced," she said. "I felt that my blackness, my womanhood had to be thought of second before my status here as a student."
Dawkins-Law said she has never felt comfortable in her nine years at UNC and then called out the University for ignoring past issues of slavery, rape and racism.
“At the end of the day this Carolina Hall is whitewashing every single black person who has been on this campus, every single black person who built this campus,” she said. "All of this is just a slap in the face."
Once Dawkins-Law had finished, sophomore Mitch Xia brought out a ribbon that had Hurston Hall written on it and said they wanted to welcome everybody to the official opening of Hurston Hall.
“We will not accept the school’s renaming of this building," Xia said. "Carolina Hall is a cop out. Carolina Hall was a way of appeasing the mass, and appeasing correctness and making themselves feel better without actually doing shit."
After the ribbon was cut, Beshea ended the event with music.
Students hung around after the event to talk about Hurston Hall and problems with the University.
“I personally think it was a way to almost reinforce that black and people of color’s voices don’t matter as much,” sophomore Cara Pugh said.
Pugh also read a Hurston quote during the event and said it was a very special moment.
“It was very empowering to read a quote by Zora Neale Hurston on the stairs of Hurston Hall in front of students that looked all different colors, all different sizes, shapes, genders, sexual orientations," Pugh said.
"This is not just an issue with the black student issue — this is an everyone issue."