UNC-CH students interrupt town hall meeting with list of demands

Posted November 19, 2015
Updated November 20, 2015

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— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill held a town hall meeting Thursday night to provide the campus community an opportunity to share perspectives on how to make the university more inclusive.

Shortly after the meeting began at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall, a large group of students interrupted the event, claiming the university did not include them in the planning process. A few students read a list of 50 demands, ranging from higher faculty pay to the termination of the new UNC system president. The demands also included mandatory racial history education and the removal of statues like "Silent Sam," a Confederate war memorial on campus.

Other demands included gender non-specific housing and bathrooms, an increase in minority faculty members, increased pay for workers and payment for athletes.

A group of students, some of them from the Silent Sam Coalition, drafted the demands and released them ahead of Thursday's forum.

Senior June Beshea, who is a part of the group, said students should have been included in the planning of the town hall.

"It seems very much on their terms," she said. "They wanted to have this conversation with black students, but they did not reach out to any black students to be a part of the town hall, which says a lot about how they are trying to placate the student body more than engage them."

Senior Zak Bolak says he did not plan to attend the meeting but agrees with Beshea.

"I think that that's really important, that the minority or black students get their feelings out and lead the discussion," he said.

Tyler Niles said she was interested to see what comes out of the forum but said she is skeptical of the timing.

The town hall comes about 12 days after a student-athlete protest of racial incidents at the University of Missouri led to the resignation of two top administrators there.

"This should have been an ongoing thing that we should have already been talking about," Niles said.

"They are very scared," Beshea said. "If we know anything, our basketball team is king on this campus."

The town hall meeting was facilitated by Clarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and senior member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board.

"This is something we want to talk with everybody about," said UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. "Having these conversations and trying to make real progress."


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  • Linzie Washington Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    As soon as #Mizzou gave in to demands, it was a given that students at campuses all around the country would follow suit.
    Seriously rethinking sending my kids to college at this point. Thousands of dollars to send them to a place that encourages spoiled brats to make more demands and encourages policing "offensive" speech over freedom of speech.

  • Michael Woods Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar


  • Sam Adams Nov 20, 2015
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    Perhaps these students should do their history and look up the Tytler cycle by Alexander Tytler. Its very telling to see where we are on the cycle right now.

  • David Herman Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    This is Obama's vision for America. Any of you Democrats had enough of his vision yet? Any at all? Crickets chirping......

  • El Conquistador Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    Let it go ya bunch of entitled spoiled brats.

  • Larry Wiandt Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    What a bunch of spoiled little children!! I love the part about not allowing white professors to teach some subjects and something about a dean of "Black Students". Is there already a dean of "white Students"? I think their racism is showing.

  • Teddy Fowler Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    I wonder if we were this vapid when were at this age......

  • Cathy Blackman Nov 20, 2015
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    Demanding....demand they pay for their own education or kick them out. Also, history is history. Some of it is good and some not so much! Let it be people and get on with the free education you are being given. Hopefully you will become a productive member of society. Spend your energies on your studies. Be assured, you will never make a name for yourself by making demands. It is a fact that preaching racism continues to hold you back. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Life is a mindset. Move forward, in the present and the future and refuse to let your history, your race, etc., keep you from achieving your goals.

  • John McCray Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Everyone has a right to voice their concerns. That doesn't spare anyone from being racist. However, I'm not sure what racism has to do with their right to assert a little consumer protection. I will say, if what some people are saying about the students demands regarding certain staff members is true, they may also be guilty of racism.

  • David Carter Nov 20, 2015
    user avatar

    Everyone is demanding "free" everything! Plus being paid more. One question, who pays? There is only so much money at the university, so much money in the state, so much money in the country. Middle class income has shrunk to the point to there there is almost no middle class anymore and the middle class are the primary tax payers. Heck I would love for someone to pay off my mortgage, would be good! Does UNC-CH require a basic Econ. 101 class for every incoming freshman? If not they need to. These students lack of financial and economic common sense defies logic. Want free tuition? Join the military, do your time and they will pay for your education.