CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A group called Strike Down Sam, made up of graduate students from UNC-Chapel Hill, says they are withholding final grades until the school agrees to kill a proposal that would keep the Silent Sam statue on campus.
- A group of teaching assistants from UNC-Chapel Hill, says it's withholding final grades until the university agrees not to return Silent Sam to campus.
- They have released a full list of demands.
The university announced last week that it plans to not to return the statue to its previous location on campus and, instead, build a $5 million facility that would house and contextualize it.
The group says they are upset, not only at the hefty price tag of the facility, but also that the proposal would allow the statue to remain on campus at all.
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They claim to already have 1,833 final grades withheld, which will remain withheld until their list of demands are met. The university has not confirmed this to be true.
Their demands in order to release the grades are:
- The Board of Trustees withdraw their proposal to build a facility to house Silent Sam.
- The Silent Sam statue remain off campus.
- The Board of Governors holds listening sessions in good faith with the campus community.
In addition, the group is also demanding the Board of Trustees disclose what they mean by proposed “necessary changes” to campus policing and be transparent about changes that they’ve claimed have already been made. The also demand that the university withdraw its plan to increase student fees and use the money for the facility, instead, to fund projects they say the university has put off due to lack of funding.
Chancellor Carol Folt said Monday that it would be the board's preference that the statue be taken somewhere off campus, but that state law would not allow them to do that.
When asked about the matter on Friday, the university declined to comment.
This is a developing story. This article will be updated as information comes in.