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Thursday September 23rd

Folt to ask Gov. Cooper to petition for removal of Silent Sam, says anonymous faculty group

<p>Students and community members began a 24/7 demonstration at Silent Sam on Aug. 22.</p>
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Students and community members began a 24/7 demonstration at Silent Sam on Aug. 22.

Updated at 10:37 p.m: An anonymous group of 17 UNC faculty members announced on its Twitter account it received notice from a source in South Building that Chancellor Carol Folt will ask Gov. Roy Cooper to petition the N.C. Historical Commission to relocate Silent Sam.

The tweet said the governor will be asked to immediately petition on the grounds that recent events suggest the monument must be moved to be preserved. 

The group said it will stand down but will "re-engage if the chancellor fails to follow through on her promise."

Joanne Peters Denny, director of media relations, said UNC administration has not been in conversation with the anonymous group. 

"We do not know who is behind these statements and have not been in communication with any such group," Peters Denny said. 

Editor-in-chief Tyler Fleming and state and national editor Ana Irizarry met with and identified a member of the group Monday. The professor verified the existence of the group but did not provide any names of the other members. 

The group of senior faculty — allegedly all at the full or endowed chair level — sent a letter to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt demanding the University take down Silent Sam by Thursday. If the University fails to do so, members of the group "vow to move the statue themselves," according to the letter. 

A Twitter account was created Tuesday morning. The group announced the account would be its official means of communication. 


At 1:49 p.m., the group tweeted it would announce "important and hopeful developments in the effort to remove the Confederate monument" during half-time at the UNC-Miami basketball game. 

The group sent a copy of its initial letter to the chancellor to The Daily Tar Heel. 

On Sunday, Tanya Moore, a University spokesperson, said the chancellor received the letter, but the University can't confirm if it is authentic. 

The group said in the letter its members consist of faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and the School of Law.

The letter said the removal of Silent Sam is consistent with University policy that states, "the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community. The University values safety, diversity, education, and equity and is firmly committed to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct."

This is a developing story. Check dailytarheel.com for updates.

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