Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt surprised the state by simultaneously announcing her resignation and ordering that Silent Sam’s vacated pedestal be carted away in the middle of the night. The brazen gesture, done under the auspices of public safety, was probably illegal under the state’s objects of remembrance statute.

But with the move, Folt effectively outplayed the UNC Board of Governors and likely brought the saga of Silent Sam to a long-overdue conclusion. While the BOG condemned Folt’s move and expedited her departure, even its most conservative members have to know that re-erecting the Confederate monument would, at best, embarrass the university and, at worst, cause a riot. (Well, yeah, Thom Goolsby doesn’t realize that, but the rest of them do, right?)

As the board ponders its next move, perhaps it should consult with the campus’s faculty. Conveniently, it turns out, UNC’s professors have already offered a bunch of ideas for Sam’s disposition. 

In a series of workshops last fall, the UNC Office of Faculty Governance collected more than 150 suggestions from faculty members on what should be done with the statue and recorded the responses in a document now made public. Among them were some interesting ideas, some creative ideas, and a whole lot of Olenna Tyrell-level sarcasm.

There were plenty of suggestions to bury the damn thing. These ideas ranged from the straightforward (“in a cemetery”) to the arcane (“in a process that never ends”). Others proposed drowning the statue in a swamp or replacing Sam with an uncontroversial symbol of Southern heritage by erecting a marble bust of a biscuit in the middle of the quad.

Still other ideas involved destroying Sam. These were dutifully recorded by a workshop facilitator under the prosaic subcategory “Change the Form of the Statue.” Many of these ideas involved melting the statue to create, for instance, “commemorative medallions” or a lump of metal to let Elon Musk “do something with.” One faculty member proposed selling tickets for a chance to bash the statue with a sledgehammer and then selling the “resulting bits” to raise money for repatriation scholarships for black students.

But it was the prospect of Silent Sam returning to campus that stimulated the most creative suggestions. Presented with such an absurd situation, faculty responded with absurdity. If Sam must come back, why not set him in front of the Carolina Inn and let him spend the rest of his days serving cookies? Or reinstall him on the quad positioned lying down where he fell, entombed in a coffin with the epitaph “here lies racism”? Or why not just toss him in an open hole in the ground? One faculty member even advocated for bolting the statue to the center of the Dean Dome and having the basketball players dribble around it “until everyone gets sick of it.”

Of course, there were some serious responses. A whole category of them outlined thoughtful ways to recontextualize the statue—for example, by donating it to a traveling exhibit of similar monuments that explores and confronts the Jim Crow era.

Notably absent from all 150 suggestions was a single proposal to return the statue to its original location.