At Wednesday's Board of Trustee's meeting, members of the board revisited the 2015 policy that changed the name of a UNC building to Carolina Hall, reviewed the composition of UNC's incoming students and prepared for University Day.
Drawing comparisons between the Saunders Hall decision and today
After BOT Vice Chairperson Chuck Duckett called the meeting of the BOT’s University Affairs committee to order, he began a PowerPoint review of the Board’s 2015 decision, in which they renamed a campus building and initiated a 16-year freeze on name changes to other university buildings. In light of the Board’s recent obligation to provide a plan of action to the Board of Governors by Nov. 15 regarding Silent Sam, Duckett wanted to reaffirm the University's priorities regarding contextualization, which were initially expressed back in 2015.
“One of the reasons we bring this up is to reinforce that those resolutions are in place,” he said.
The 2015 resolution expressed a commitment from the University to provide an accurate, accessible and complete history of all University locations and buildings. It also suggests strategies such as a housing a collection of UNC history in a permanent public space and implementing an online orientation course about the history of the University.
“There are always questions and statements about what this university’s intent was, and I think this university is very unified in this attempt to tell the full, complete history of this university,” Duckett said. “People can do better on knowing the complexity of the history of this fine university.”
He then disavowed a recent Daily Tar Heel article that quoted a professor who suggested that many University buildings still had names that allowed an air of white superiority to persist into the present day. Duckett argued that contextualization has always been a priority of the BOT and will continue to be.
“I think it’s universally accepted around here that we celebrate and defend freedom of speech at this university,” he said. “However, one does not have the right to present untrue statements as fact.”
Housekeepers honored for extra efforts