Dear Campus Community:
Because of serious concerns about campus safety, I have declined a request from the National Policy Institute to rent space for Richard Spencer to speak on campus.
I made this decision after consultation with UNC Police and local and state law enforcement agencies who have thoroughly assessed the risks such an event could bring to Carolina. Our basis for this decision is the safety and security of the campus community—we are not willing to risk anyone’s safety in light of these known risks.
I am deeply saddened and disturbed that the violent and virulent rhetoric being espoused by extremist groups has jeopardized the ability of campuses to promote robust dialogue and debate about important issues while ensuring public safety.
One way to counter this is to promote and encourage our campus community to engage in constructive conversation. I hope as many of you as possible will help kick off this year’s Carolina Conversations on Wednesday, Sept. 6, with a program called “The First Amendment and Free Speech at UNC.” This discussion will explore topics including what the First Amendment protects at a public university. More details are available at the UNC Diversity and Inclusion website.
Thank you for your attention to this important update.
Carol L. Folt