This is an update on the status of the Confederate Monument, better known on campus as Silent Sam.
Despite how it is being interpreted in the media, the University has not been given the clear legal authority to act unilaterally. Governor Cooper cites a provision where removal would be permitted if a “building inspector” concludes that physical disrepair of a statue threatens public safety, a situation not present here. The University is now caught between conflicting legal interpretations of the statute from the Governor and other legal experts.
Based on law enforcement agencies’ assessments, we continue to believe that removing the Confederate Monument is in the best interest of the safety of our campus, but the University can act only in accordance with the laws of the state of North Carolina. As we continue to seek clear guidance and legal authority to act, we ask for your patience and cooperation to help us maintain as safe an environment as we possibly can. Your safety and the safety of our community will always be our first priority.