UNC proposes new building to house Confederate monument that protesters toppled

UNC proposes new building to house Confederate monument that protesters toppled
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Officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have proposed constructing a new building on campus to house “Silent Sam,” a Confederate monument.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt announced the recommendation after a closed meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees on Monday, according to the News & Observer.

Holt said that state law prohibits the statue, which protesters toppled in August, from being housed off-campus, though officials would have preferred to move the statue elsewhere.

“We do want to get this right, and we believe we have,” Folt said.

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Three individuals who are unaffiliated with the university were charged with misdemeanor rioting and defacing a public monument related to the toppling of Silent Sam. The statue was erected in 1913 to honor students who fought for the Confederacy.

A UNC Board of Governors member called for the statue, which has been defaced a number of times, to be reinstalled on campus, despite objections from students and faculty.

The university’s faculty council passed a resolution calling for the permanent removal of the statue, saying its reinstallation would “undermine the physical security of all members of our community,” according to the News & Observer.

“Returning the statue to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus would reaffirm the values of white supremacy that motivated its original installation,” the resolution said.

A 2015 North Carolina state law prohibits the removal of historic monuments from state property, but allows for limited relocation on the same property.

The recommendation will now go to the UNC Board of Governors, who are expected to address it at their December meeting.