Dear UNC alumni, students would like to remind you where your money goes when you donate to the school.

On Thursday, UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and town residents gathered at the site where Silent Sam once stood to protest the university’s decision to give the monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as well as $2.5 million to take care of it.

The protest was organized by UNC’s Black Student Movement and Black Congress. Black Congress asked alums and residents to stop donating to the school unless the money specifically goes to “a cause that is fostered by and dedicated to the advancement of marginalized students and people on campus.”

More than a hundred protesters were on hand, carrying signs that said, “$2.5 million reparations to black students & faculty” and “UNC admin are KKKowards” to South Building, which houses Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz’s office.

Various representatives from the student groups spoke at the event, during both the initial talk at the site and the speeches at South Building.

“I’m extremely disheartened,” Black Student Movement co-president Chris Suggs said in front of the crowd on Thursday afternoon. “I love UNC, I love North Carolina. But time after time, UNC and North Carolina have shown that they don’t necessarily love students like me.”

During the protest in front of South Building, Suggs pointed out UNC Police Chief David Perry, who was on the fringes of the event on his Segway. He mentioned that police officers tend to make him uncomfortable—despite the fact that he has family members on the force. 

“I believe it’s necessary if you’re a leader and you know the issues that are going on on campus for you to interact with us, talk with us, and try to resolve some of our concerns,” Suggs said. “Make sure we’re not uncomfortable.”

Suggs recalled an incident from last week, where the police chief showed up at a Black Student Movement meeting intended for black men to have a safe discussion of campus events. He said Perry, who was invited by the group’s adviser, talked over a student who criticized the university’s response to student activism.

“He interrupted the student, didn’t allow the student to finish … and started defending his police department from before he was even the police chief,” Suggs said.

After the rally ended, Suggs and Perry had a tense moment. Standing on his Segway in the crowd of student protesters, Perry spoke over students when confronting Suggs about his description of the incident at BSM. Perry only stepped off his vehicle after repeated requests from students. The confrontation ended with Suggs telling Perry they would speak in the future.

A recent poll by Elon University found that two-thirds of North Carolinians understand that black people may find Confederate monuments offensive. Still, however, the lack of white student protesters on Thursday was obvious—and is common during Silent Sam protests. Tamia Sanders, co-chair of UNC’s Black Congress, says that there is usually a group of white graduate students at protests, but white students tend to be the minority. Worth noting: Almost 60 percent of UNC students are white.

“Before we started, I saw a bunch of guys playing frisbee. It would be nice to play frisbee—it’s a pretty day, try to destress,” Sanders said. “I just think about the differences of experiences here are so starkly different.”

Undergraduate students start their final exams Friday—Sanders said she has one Friday and another Saturday. 

“We must love and support each other,” the crowd chanted at the foot of South Building. “We have nothing to lose but our chains.“

The final chant. Hope you’re listening, Kevin G.— sara pequeño (@sara__pequeno) December 5, 2019

Contact digital content manager Sara Pequeño at 

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One reply on “UNC Students Say Alumni Should Stop Donating to the University Over the Shady Silent Sam Deal”

  1. You are obviously full of unfair venom for what you do NOT understand. Are you a North Carolina native? Did your family come here in 1740? Were your sons drafted to serve at war here? Did they did on the battlefield? When men serve at war, they die—whether they support the cause or not. My relatives actually were imprisoned and died in the war and one of my ancestors was at Chapel Hill in 1841–documented. You are not even from North Carolina yet you presume to know what you are talking about in your commentary. Not even the students who protest understand. It took me until I was 50 years old to learn the suffering that my own ancestors did–and the great things they accomplished also. North Carolina did NOT want to join in the war BUT when Lincoln asked them to kill their brothers to the north and to the south in Virginia and South Carolina, they chose not to help him but to draft their own sons to oppose his will. The vast majority of all citizens did not own slaves here, not did they support the cause of slavery. However, would you have had them fight a war on two fronts: to the north–Virginia–and to the south–South Carolina. Believe me, friend, at least 100 men both North and South died for EVERY SINGLE SLAVE WHO EVER DIED UNDER SLAVERY. The price was paid in the Civil War and its awful aftermath for the South. I personally paid a price in 1973 when I graduated as a top ten student in Charlotte NC public schools and was DENIED any funds from Chapel Hill because the U.S. Supreme Court had required them that year to balance race ratios in the school. I found a job there when I finally got to school and I typed requisitions for checks for thousands of students of color who were being brought to the school with money from the university’s fund free of charge to attend. GROW UP, PEOPLE! QUIT BELLY-ACHING ABOUT ALLEGED INJUSTICES TO YOUR PERSONS. THE PRICE HAS BEEN PAID OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR WHATEVER INJUSTICES YOU BELIEVE WERE DONE TO YOU. I support leaving Silent Sam in its very place and was there when the mob tore it down. It nauseated me and I had to walk away while being called a “RACIST, NAZI, SLAVE-SUPPORTER, KKK MEMBER” ALL OF WHICH WAS TOTALLY FALSE. I am a human being, too, and I am tired of being treated as sub-class by a bunch of idiots who work from misinformation and a desire to hurt and over power whoever they think they can. I wish they would throw the money back in the faces of UNCCH myself as the law actually states that NO HISTORICAL MONUMENTS CAN BE REMOVED FROM PUBLIC PLACES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would rather the statue remain where the law says it should be. I do not even think their taking money is acceptable to me, a citizen and native of this state and an alumna of the institution. Reaching a deal is unacceptable to me. Keep the money. Put the statue back where it rightfully belongs. Control the crying babies. Make them live like other members of society.

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