A group of students marched onto the floor when interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz was introduced at Friday's Faculty Council meeting and chanted three demands: "Reparations, retract or resign."
The students were referring to the recently-announced settlement between the UNC System and the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans to give Silent Sam to SCV and set up a $2.5 million trust. The settlement was approved by the North Carolina Attorney General.
Opposition to the settlement has been ongoing. Black Congress and the Black Student Movement hosted a rally in response on Thursday, and Professor William Sturkey published an opinion piece against the settlement in The New York Times. Additionally, the Campus Safety Commission wrote a statement to express its disapproval.
The Faculty Council meeting began with remarks from Chairperson of the Faculty and history professor Lloyd Kramer.
He called Silent Sam a "zombie" of UNC’s past with slavery and racial tensions.
“The interim chancellor would not say that he thinks the decision to give $2.5 million to the SCV is immoral,” said professor emerita of sociology Sherryl Kleinman. “He hedged. That is a major problem.”
Faculty called for the University administration to make a public statement against the BOG decision.
“This money is going to embolden people with connections to paramilitary groups,” English and African American studies professor Sharon Holland said. “We know this. This is a fact. Am I not right about this? You are talking about people’s safety and this is unconscionable.”
Guskiewicz sent a campus-wide email when the decision was announced, expressing his appreciation to the BOG and emphasizing that Silent Sam will not return to campus. He followed up on Friday with a message saying that, while the settlement ensures that Silent Sam will not return to campus, "issues of racism and injustice persist, and the University must confront them."