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Chancellor’s committee discusses removing names of Vance and Hamilton Hall buildings

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The Chancellor’s committee reviewing the History and Race Commission’s resolution met on Wednesday to discuss the status of its draft proposal, which will recommend the removal of 10 building names from the campus.

The committee will send its proposal to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz by July 1, so he can review it before the board meeting in July.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the committee focused on Vance Hall and Hamilton Hall.

What’s new?

  • The committee discussed where in the proposal they wanted to include the opinions of family members on the removal of names.
    • The committee considered whether support or opposition to the removal of family members’ names made the case for removal stronger or weaker.
    • The committee said it was not a deciding factor for its recommendations, but wanted to include it in its proposal so people understand that there is support from family members.
    • The Vance family has supported the removal of honors for Zebulon Baird Vance from a monument in Asheville in the past. His name was also recently removed from the Charlotte and Asheville public schools.
    • Mike Smith, committee chair and dean of the School of Government, said while they haven’t directly addressed the removal of Vance’s name at the University, there is a general feeling that the family supports the removal. honors for him.
  • The committee then discussed the section of its proposal concerning the deletion of the name Hamilton Hall, named after Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton.
    • Hamilton was a white supremacist, college professor, and founding director of the Southern Historical Collection.
    • The University Commission on History, Race, and the Way Forward, which provided the committee with a record of each person whose name it wanted removed, took a holistic view of each person’s life, examining the good and the evil. However, his general position was that the good of individuals cannot outweigh the bad things they have done in these cases.
    • Committee member Maria Estorino said that while Hamilton had softened his stance as he got older to become more in step with the times, she wondered if it took away the impact of his negative actions.
    • The committee voted unanimously to recommend removing Hamilton’s name from its proposal.
  • The committee then discussed a line that was added to Smith’s proposal, which said “this will make it more difficult to recruit and retain certain faculty, staff and students, especially after other very serious incidents.” publicized involving a race at Carolina”.
    • “When I think about how people will react if admins don’t remove some of these names, especially if we recommend them, there’s almost a sort of compounding effect,” Smith said.
    • Ralph W. Meekins Sr., a UNC administrator, said the addition could undermine the committee’s purpose.
  • The committee then discussed the section of their proposal that calls for the name Vance Hall to be deleted.
    • Vance was a Confederate soldier, governor of North Carolina, congressman, and U.S. senator.
    • Committee member Elliana Alexander said the Confederate statue of Silent Sam was placed in front of the building a few months after its name.
    • “The filing explains how the structures created a kind of Confederate memorial space at the front of campus as an entrance,” Alexander said. “And I think it’s just important that when we talk about these three buildings, we talk about them in the context of being named at the same time for a similar purpose, which was white supremacy and black intimidation.”
    • The committee discussed where they wanted to include this in their proposal.
    • The committee voted unanimously to recommend removing the name Vance from its proposal.

And after?

  • Smith said he would write his recommendation for Pettigrew Hall before the next meeting.
  • The committee will meet on Tuesday, May 31 to discuss removing the Morrison Residence Hall and Pettigrew Hall names at the next meeting.

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