The University celebrated its 225th birthday on Friday. Amidst all the happy, optimistic talk, some took the occasion to discuss the dark issue at the front of everyone's minds: Silent Sam.
UNC's Faculty Council passed a resolution calling for the permanent removal of the statue from campus, stating that Silent Sam is "inherently opposed to the principles of light and liberty that guide the educational mission of UNC-Chapel Hill.”
Professor James Leloudis, one of the leaders of the Chancellor's Task Force on UNC History, discussed new installations planned for McCorkle Place, which he said will focus on the histories of Native Americans and African Americans at UNC.
Chancellor Carol Folt also made a statement regarding UNC's dark history with slavery. Folt apologized for the University's use of slaves during its early days. "Our apology must lead to purposeful action and it has to build upon the great efforts and sacrifices of so many across the years who fought so hard for much of what we value about Carolina today," she said.
The University administration has a history of words without action, but with the Board of Trustee's deadline for a plan for regarding Silent Sam in one month Folt will have a chance to change that.