The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Friday rejected a plan to build a new history center on campus to house Silent Sam, a Confederate monument widely seen on the campus as a symbol of white supremacy.
Chapel Hill's campus board and its chancellor, Carol Folt, proposed spending $5 million on a history center that would house the monument and also tell the story of race at the university. Folt has said she would prefer for the statue to be moved off campus but that North Carolina law generally bars moving such monuments off campus. Protesters toppled the statue in August, and many fear that restoring it to its old location would simply lead to more attempts to bring it down. Student and faculty groups have demanded that the statue be kept off campus, and some teaching assistants have held a grading strike to protest the plan to bring the statue back, even in a history center. There were also protests outside Friday's meeting. Many have also questioned spending money to house and protect the statue.
But some politicians and at least one Board of Governors member have called for the statue to go back to its place on campus, outside.
The UNC system board, which acted Friday, appointed a committee to come up with a new plan for Silent Sam, to be considered by March 15. Here is a tweet from Chapel Hill: