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Chapel Hill Mayor, Town Council reaffirm their support of Silent Sam relocation

silent sam unaffiliated voters

Silent Sam, a controversial monument on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, creates a divide between unaffiliated voters and those who have strong opinions about the decisions regarding this statue. 

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and the entire Chapel Hill Town Council sent a letter to UNC representatives Friday, reaffirming the Town's request for a permanent relocation of Silent Sam.

The mayor and the council said in a press release it hopes this letter will be its input in the community's dialogue and help Chancellor Carol Folt present her plan to the Board of Governors on Nov. 15.

The letter laid out four concerns the Town has, and was sent to Folt, members of the Board of Governors and members of the Board of Trustees.

The statue's prominent placement in McCorkle Place borders downtown Chapel Hill and makes the statue an offense to the entire community, the letter said.

"To them and to us, Silent Sam and its roots in pro-slavery, pro-segregation ideology represent the antithesis of the high value that UNC and the Town of Chapel Hill place on being a welcoming and inclusive place for all," it said.

The mayor and council also said the statue is a public safety concern given the demonstrations that have happened this year and in the past. These events have hurt businesses in Chapel Hill as well as the Town's reputation, the letter said.

Silent Sam also causes financial burdens for the Town because of the mutual aid agreement between the University and the Town, it said.

The mayor and the council said it believes its request falls in line with the Board of Governors' Aug. 28 resolution to deal with Silent Sam in a way that preserves the statue's history.


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Anna Pogarcic

Anna Pogarcic is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism and history major. 

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