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Education

Dozens Of UNC Faculty, Graduate Students Threaten To Withhold Grades In Silent Sam Protest

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer
/
For WUNC
A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.

Dozens of faculty and graduate students at UNC Chapel Hill are threatening to withhold student grades and exam scores. It’s part of a protest over the university’s proposal to build a new, $5.3 million facility to house the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam.University administrators met with a large group of faculty and teaching assistants this morning. They outlined possible legal ramifications, including student lawsuits. Withholding grades could also cause issues for students graduating later this month.

Later this afternoon, student protestors interrupted the UNC Faculty Council meeting. Faculty came out overwhelmingly against the University's plan for the statue.

“I respectfully suggest that the statue go to the General Administration building down the hill,” said Sue Estroff, a professor of social medicine. “It is state property and the Board of Governors seems very enamored of the statue and I hope they would enjoy having it in their front yard.”

The personnel leading the grade strike are demanding that the Silent Sam proposal be withdrawn, and that the statue not return anywhere on campus. They say they are taking their stance, in part, as a way to protect undergraduate student safety.

The UNC Board of Governors is expected to discuss and vote on the Silent Sam plan next week.  
 

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