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The Daily Tar Heel

Letter: More than 500 students demand attendance of UNC administrators at forum


We, the undersigned students of UNC, formally request the presence of the UNC Board of Governors, the UNC Board of Trustees and UNC's chancellor search advisory committee at the Forum on University Governance at the Anne Queen Lounge on April 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This forum, hosted by various student groups represented by the below student leaders, will serve as the missing platform for constructive dialogue between students and University leaders regarding the search for our next chancellor. 

The presence of these officials at the forum is critical. It is our right that the chancellor search process be accessible to us, and it is your responsibility to be available to us. As the individuals responsible for guiding our University's future, you must engage directly with those whom your decisions will impact the most. 

The chancellor search listening sessions were a gross disregard to our right to voice our considerations to the search advisory committee. At the first session, two of the 13 search committee members showed up, one of whom was then-Student Body President Chris Everett, and it was held at a time inconvenient to most students. The second session, held for graduate students who have no representation on the search advisory committee, interrupted a senate Graduate and Professional Student Government meeting, started half an hour late, and the only committee member in attendance remained Everett.

Furthermore, the BOG's decision to consolidate power to appoint the permanent chancellor under UNC System President Peter Hans underscores a need to reevaluate the dynamics between University leadership and the broader community. Given the interconnectedness of the BOG, BOT, Hans and the chancellor, their presence is also requested. It is vital that individuals serving on these boards, entrusted with the duty to advise the chancellor and ensure accountability to their constituents' needs, directly engage with the University community. 

It is your responsibility as the appointed leaders of our University to represent and adhere to the wishes of those within our community. As previous methods of communication made available to students have been rendered performative, we are providing you with the opportunity to begin intentionally advocating for students with awareness. 

The selection of our next chancellor is a decision of profound significance, one that will shape the future of our institution, and by extension, the lives of every member of our community. As such, the next chancellor must represent and adhere to the wishes of the University's constituents: students, faculty and staff.

Over 500 students signed this letter in one day. We expect your presence on April 24.

— Alexander Denza and Jaeda Wagner, representing The Southern Student Action Coalition
— Toby Posel and Christina Huang, representing TransparUNCy
— Laura Saavedra Forero, representing The Southern Student Action Coalition and Crips in College
— Samuel Scarborough, representing The Southern Student Action Coalition and March for Our Lives UNC
— Kyle Lumsden, representing Students Demand Action at UNC
— Sam Williams, representing the Black Student Movement


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