Dear Campus Community:
We are writing to let you know we are aware of a possible rally at the Confederate Monument, better known as Silent Sam, tomorrow evening, Tuesday, Aug. 22. The rally is being promoted by groups not affiliated with Carolina but we realize this event may garner interest among those on our campus.
Following the tragic and horrific events in Charlottesville, as well as other demonstrations around the country including in Durham, we understand the strong desire of some members of our community to participate in a protest calling for the removal of the Confederate Monument. That is as it should be. Carolina aspires to be a place where we can discuss and express our differences and still come together in a peaceful manner.
We also know that many in our community have expressed concerns about their safety on and around the campus during such events. And we know that the outside groups who may attend such a rally may be more interested in promoting discord and violence to advance their own agendas than engaging in a constructive and peaceful protest.
We are always concerned about safety on the campus and if we had the ability to immediately move the statue in the interest of public safety, we would. However, while we will continue to explore all options, the University currently does not have that unilateral authority or legal ability to do so. And the University must obey the law.
We are working closely with the UNC General Administration and the State of North Carolina to look for solutions. In the meantime, as we have done in the past, UNC Police, augmented by other law enforcement agencies, will take strong measures to help ensure that events such as the one planned for Tuesday evening take place in a safe environment.
Our concern is always for your safety and so considering the potential for a highly charged atmosphere and the very real possibility for confrontation with outside groups, we would encourage you not to attend the rally on Tuesday. However, if you do choose to attend, we ask you to stay alert and vigilant. Campus police will be present to help address safety concerns. If you are not attending this event, please avoid McCorkle Place and the area around the Confederate Monument.
We will continue to monitor plans for this rally. If you learn of information related to the event that you would like to share, please contact University Police at 919-962-8100.
Carol L. Folt
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Chief of Police