‘They’re putting their personal agendas ahead of the students…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) It’s been a banner semester at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill—but not necessarily in a good way.
Beginning with a mob-driven removal of the Silent Sam statue on the day before fall classes began, now a proposed agreement to rehouse the statue in a new facility has teaching assistants trying to make sure the semester never ends.
The school’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, reported that nearly 2,200 grades will be withheld as the TAs go on strike because they are unhappy with the Board of Trustees’ decision to house the iconic monument honoring the school’s Civil War veterans in a new facility on campus.
79 TAs/Instructors joined
*2,182 final grades withheld*
“Accepting evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” MLK Jr
Which side are you on? #StikeDownSam
— #StrikeDownSam (@strikedownsam) December 7, 2018
The board last week announced a plan to establish a new History and Education Center that would help to contextualize the statue, housed on the site of an apartment complex on the school’s southern end. The construction would be estimated at $5.3 million with $800,000 in annual operation costs, The Daily Tar Heel reported.
But the 79 graduate student–teachers participating in the protest countered with their own list of demands, which included not allowing the statue to be returned to campus in any context, and mandating that the board hold “listening sessions” for the students to voice their grievances.
Naturally, the group also called on the money to be re-allocated to better pay, dental insurance and the elimination of fees for teaching assistants.
Revised demands found on https://t.co/9riXcGTDuJ pic.twitter.com/dHBnHUhGxp
— #StrikeDownSam (@strikedownsam) December 6, 2018
After attempting to meet with the graduate students on Thursday to discuss the issue, university Provost Bob Bruin issued a campus-wide e-mail strongly condemning the students for holding grades hostage.
“Our students are entitled to receive their grades in a timely manner,” wrote Blouin. “It is especially critical for the students preparing to graduate next Sunday, as well as the thousands of students whose scholarships, grants, loans, visa status, school transfers, job opportunities and military commissions may be imperiled because lack of grades threaten their eligibility.”
Blouin invoked the First Amendment, calling the move a “coercion and an exploitation of the teacher-student relationship,” as well as a violation of federal law. He warned that those who neglected to “meet the legal, ethical and moral responsibilities for which they have been contracted” would face unspecified “serious consequences.”
Marty Kotis, a member of the UNC’s Board of Governors, also blasted the TAs for their selfish behavior.
“When people start saying you have to believe something or we’re not going to release your grades unless this is done, they’re putting their personal agendas ahead of the students,” Kotis told the Carolina Journal.
He called on swift action, which would include the dismissal of the TAs from their positions.
Amid nationwide uproar over college campus’s sudden transformation from bastions of free speech to safe-spaces for militant liberal dogma, UNC has garnered several other feathers in its progressive cap recently.
Among the highlights:
- An assistant Asian studies professor with Antifa connections was charged with assaulting a conservative blogger.
- Petitioners attempted to get the nearby town of Carrboro—named in honor of a slave-holder—renamed “Unicornboro.”
- Protestors forced the school to rename its William Kenan Sr. Memorial Stadium in honor of William Kenan Jr. due to the elder’s support of an 1898 race riot.
- An English professor proposed nominating Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford for a Distinguished Alumna award. Ford testified at her Senate hearing that she had been a poor student at UNC, blaming it on her allegedly having been assaulted by a drunken Kavanaugh at a party several years prior.
- The school’s chancellor formally apologized for slavery.
- A student found guilty of vandalizing the Silent Sam statue in the spring—costing more than $4,000 in damage—was given no punishment.