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Some UNC Grad Students Ask Classmates To Boycott Meeting With University Dean

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer
/
For WUNC
A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Credit Alex Kolyer / For WUNC
/
A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.

Some UNC Chapel Hill graduate students are asking their classmates to boycott upcoming meetings with a university dean.

The students allege these meetings were designed to "divide and conquer" efforts to keep Silent Sam off campus.

An email sent Sunday was signed "Concerned Anti-Racist Graduate Students." It asks all grad students not to attend individual department meetings with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

According to the message, the meetings are an attempt to dissolve the power of "cross-departmental and cross-campus unity."

Last semester, teaching assistants from several departments organized an effort to withhold student grades as a way to protest a plan to build a new university history center to house Silent Sam. That's the Confederate monument protesters tore down last August.

The students behind the email cite a recent letter signed by more than 180 graduate students that requested an interdepartmental meeting with the dean, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, and the system's Board of Governors.

Officials have not yet responded to the request.

Copyright 2019 North Carolina Public Radio

Before joining WUNC in October as the station's new education reporter, Lisa Philip covered schools in Howard County, Maryland for the Baltimore Sun newspapers. She traveled from school playgrounds to the state legislature, writing about everything from a Girl Scout friendship bench project to a state investigation into local school officials' alleged hiding of public records.