Local News

UNC chancellor asks advisor of activist group to step down

Posted September 19, 2009 8:33 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2009 8:58 p.m. EDT

— A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student group adviser is stepping down at the request of the chancellor.

Chancellor Holden Thorp said Professor Emeritus Elliot Cramer sent an inappropriate e-mail stating he has a gun and knows how to use it.

The e-mail was in response to a warning about fliers on campus that included Cramer's home address.

“Today, he (Cramer) sent an e-mail that was highly inappropriate and not consistent with the civil discourse we are trying to achieve. I asked him to step down from his role as adviser, and he will do so,” Thorp said in a statement released Saturday.

Cramer, who has been retired from the university for 15 years, was working with the Youth for Western Civilization student group.

Speeches sponsored by the group have drawn recent criticism.

The group invited  Tom Tancredo, former Colorado congressmen and Republican presidential candidate, and Virgil Goode, a former independent Virginia state representative, to speak on the campus in April.

The group opposes what it calls mass immigration and radical multiculturalism and asked the men to talk in opposition to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Protesters disrupted Tancredo's speech by shouting profanities and unfurling banners as he tried to address an audience about his opposition to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Campus police eventually halted his speech and had to use pepper spray after demonstrators broke a window.

The protest was smaller a week later for Goode's speech, "Hate Speech, Free Speech and the Multiculturalism." Police arrested six people on charges of disorderly conduct and removed them and took a noise-making device from the venue.

Protesters called Goode's message hate speech that should not be tolerated.