UNCW to take down Black Lives Matters banners from campus buildings, move them to art exhibit

Posted September 20, 2020 11:50 a.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2020 11:56 a.m. EDT

Credit: Facebook

— University of North Carolina at Wilmington is removing Black Lives Matters banners that have been placed on buildings around campus into an art exhibit. This move comes as a part of new university changes and rules regulating free expression on campus.

Chancellor Jose Sartarelli said that until recently, the university did not have a "specific policy designated to manage the time, date and place for expressive activities, such as banner placement by faculty and staff."

The change applies to all messages on campus, the university said. But the statement made on Saturday specifically refers to Black Lives Matter banners that were placed over the summer.

Over the next couple of days, the university will collect the banners and "store them in a locked warehouse for eventual inclusion in the exhibit," WECT reports.

Back in June, WECT reported that Sartarelli was against painting Black Lives Matter somewhere on campus. Sartarelli essentially declined and said “All lives matter."

He later wrote that “the Black experience unequivocally must be the focus of efforts to increase the safety and well-being of our students and community."

Connor Willis, the chair of UNCW's young democratic socialist of America's group, made a statement on Facebook about the university's decision.

"This is yet another move by the Chancellor and administration to push aside the concerns of students and faculty of color," Willis wrote. "The placement of banners in an art exhibit turns protest into merely spectacle."

The post was made in a Facebook group, "Justice and Equity for UNCW."

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