The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 6th

Silent Sam Monument


Jerry Wilson wipes sweat from his face while wearing a noose around his neck at an Aug. 20 protest against Silent Sam, a Confederate monument on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus. His friend, Cortland Gilliam, joined him in this gesture. They both vowed to wear these nooses whenever they were on campus until the statue was taken down. This was intended to represent the oppression and white supremacy they feel the statue represents. The pair did not have to wear the nooses long, as protestors forcefully tore down the statue only a few hours later at 9:20 p.m. on August 20, 2018. 
Wilson and Gilliam put the nooses back on following Chancellor Carol Folt and the Board of Trustees' Dec. 3 proposal to establish a University History and Education center to house Silent Sam.  

Why are graduate students often at the center of campus protests?

Graduate students have been at the helm of campus protests at UNC since the 1960s, from George Vlasits, an anti-Vietnam War protester in the 1960s, to Maya Little, a current UNC graduate student of history who faced Honor Court and criminal charges for staining Silent Sam with red ink and her own blood last April. We took a closer look at why that is.

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Solomea Asfaw, a senior biology major, says she has no problem with the use of quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., by non-people of color as long as they understand the context and sympathize. "If you don't understand it, then it is kind of a problem," Asfaw says.

When is it OK to quote Martin Luther King Jr.?

Student activists protesting a recent Faculty Executive Council meeting told Chancellor Carol Folt that she was a disgrace, and that she should "never utter MLK's words again." This sentiment shared by student activists sparks the question of how acceptable it is to quote Martin Luther King Jr., especially relating to politics — and a question of whether or not it is admissible for white people to use his words. We talked to UNC students to see where they stand on the issue.

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Chancellor Carol Folt smiles as she walks in the University Day procession from South Building to Memorial Hall on October 11, 2016.

With 15 days left as UNC's chancellor, Folt looks back at her controversial tenure

After replacing former UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp in 2013, Chancellor Folt has outlasted numerous scandals and gained respect among faculty, staff and students alike. From her first day on campus as the first female chancellor, Folt and the position she occupied has been inundated by firsts and lasts.  Folt’s accelerated departure has been met with letters of support and criticism. As students look with uncertainty at the new vacancy and the state of the University in the coming semester, one thing is certain: Folt's tenure will be remembered, for better or worse. 

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