UNC Board votes 12-1 in favor of allowing university to change names of buildings linked to white supremacists

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees approved a policy Thursday to allow for the removal of building names on campus.

The move comes during a nationwide reckoning on racism, white supremacy and racial violence.

The Board of Trustees voted 12-1 to approve the final draft policy Thursday.

However, the new policy states that "removing a naming designation is a serious step" and "should occur only under exceptional and narrow circumstances."

Under that policy, the Chancellor or Board of Trustees can begin the process of reconsidering the name on a university building or other public space at their own initiative or in response to a written request to the Chancellor.

UNC's Commission on History, Race and Way Forward has previously recommended that four names to be removed from university buildings: Julian Carr, Charles Aycock, Josephus Daniels, Thomas Ruffin Sr. (Aycock and Ruffin buildings are currently residence halls)

UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said Thursday that he plans to take the commission's recommendation to the Board of Trustees, in order to begin the process of changing the names of those four buildings

Carr was a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1913, he delivered a speech littered with racism during a dedication ceremony for Silent Sam, a Confederate monument recently removed from campus.

Charles Aycock was a former North Carolina Governor who ran on a campaign of white supremacy, which led to the disenfranchisement of the African American vote in the early 1900s.

Josephus Daniels was a former publisher of the News & Observer. He used the paper to promote white supremacy. Daniels and the News & Observer were cited in a government report as being directly involved with the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.

Thomas Ruffin Sr. was a 19th century North Carolina Supreme Court Justice who was a slave owner and supported the abuse of slaves in his rulings.
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