Correction: An original version of this story incorrectly stated that Cary Levine thought it was an "abomination" that a statement from Chancellor Folt's asked students to not attend last Tuesday's protest instead of "telling counter-protesters to stay home." The article was updated to clarify that Levine thinks Folt shouldn't tell any people to not attend.
Silent Sam dominated the conversation at the Faculty Executive Committee Meeting Monday afternoon, with some members calling on Chancellor Carol Folt to make a stronger statement and condemn the University’s controversial past.
Folt said she is the first chancellor to publicly call for Silent Sam to be taken down for safety reasons. She also said she has an obligation to refrain from biased and political speech that could shut down public discourse on the subject.
“I do think right now it’s a public safety issue, and I feel like I am saying that in a very clear way,” Folt said. “I think that I can make a real statement there, and quite frankly I don’t think that we have had the conversation as a university about the value of historical monuments.”
Folt said many people in the University community believe the power to remove the statue is entirely in her hands, but she said the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees play a significant role in the decision-making process.