University statement on events of Saturday, March 16

The University issued the following statement regarding the events on campus on Saturday, March 16.

The UNC Seal on a stone wall.
Fall scene of the seal of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill affixed to a stone pillar at the Cameron Avenue entrance. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

“On Saturday, March 16, members of a “Confederate heritage” group walked onto the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from the Town of Chapel Hill via Raleigh Street to Cameron Avenue. At least one individual was in possession of a handgun. They were approached by UNC Police officers on the sidewalk in front of Memorial Hall and were asked to leave campus, which they did.

“North Carolina’s Open Carry Law allows individuals to carry firearms in many public areas, unless otherwise prohibited. Firearms generally are prohibited on campuses in our state. Due to immediate uncertainty on Saturday about the application of these laws to the Cameron Avenue right of way, which is maintained by the Town of Chapel Hill, no arrest was made in this case.

“However, moving forward, possession of a firearm will not be tolerated within any boundary of the campus. Anyone with a firearm found in violation of NC General Statute 14-269.2 will be arrested and issued a warning of trespass for the campus.

“The University is committed to the safety of our campus community. As it regularly does, UNC Police continues to monitor for any information indicating a threat to the campus community from any group.

“If you ever feel your safety is threatened in person or online, contact police by dialing 911. We also have counseling services available for students, faculty and staff. During regular business hours, students are encouraged to call Counseling and Psychological Services at 919-966-3658. After hours, students may call 919-966-2281 for immediate assistance. Faculty and staff may contact our Employee Assistance Program 24 hours a day at 877-314-5841.”

Published March 18, 2019