Your letters, June 23

June 22, 2013 

Understanding Sam

The effort to increase awareness of the historical meaning of Silent Sam elicited four interesting letters in last Sunday’s CHN.

Ariana Mangum believes that “Silent Sam should stay,” apparently unaware that the Real Silent Sam organization agrees with her!

Yelena Francis remembers how communist dictators tore down statues of Russian czars and seems to think that the Real Silent Sam movement wants to tear down the statue of Silent Sam. (She’s mistaken.) I wonder if she worried about “rewriting history” when the statues of communist leaders were torn down? OK, I don’t really wonder.

Sybil Austin Skakle wants us to understand exactly what Silent Sam “was meant to be.” She seems to believe that the statue was erected purely to commemorate UNC’s war dead, paying no attention to the fact that it was erected over 40 years after the war. If she’s interested in knowing why it was build at that time, I urge her to read the commemorative speech by James Carr, who raised the money to build the monument: his words will reveal some of the “real” motives behind the statue. Those poor kids who were used to fight the war were being used once again when that statue was built.

Give credit to James Ward for at least realizing that the Real Silent Sam movement wants to add a plaque to the statue, not remove it. He heard someone say the word “evil” and concludes that there are plans to write that on the plaque. I don’t know what the wording will be on the plaque any more than he does, but I’m pretty sure that a plaque will improve our understanding of our history.

George Entenman

Chapel Hill

Ancestries

The meaning of the Silent Sam statute on the UNC campus has elicited much heated debate. One letter writer complained about a description of the statue as “an altar to evil.” He writes, “As almost of the students at UNC are North Carolinians, they are probably descendants of Confederate great-great-grandfathers and uncles. ... It is hoped that these students realize that comments like the above ... are direct, blatant insults to them and their families ... who have confederate ancestors.”

Perhaps the writer does not realize that many of the students on the Chapel Hill campus are African-Americans who are also descendants of ancestors who had a vital but different part in the war and the campus – in fact, their ancestors built many of the buildings on the campus those other descendants walk on today.

Eleanor G. Kinnaird

Chapel Hill

Successful conclusion

Over the past year, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has been reviewing the University’s compliance with accreditation requirements in light of past academic irregularities in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

Earlier today (Thursday), I was notified that the SACSCOC Board of Trustees has decided not to sanction the University. The University remains fully accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC. We will be asked to provide a monitoring report by next June on continued progress with our academic procedures in the department.

We are very pleased with this decision. Throughout this process, the University has been treated fairly by SACSCOC. We have provided information, responded to all questions, taken necessary actions, and documented the comprehensive reforms that we have put in place over the past two years because of issues related to the unprofessional and unethical actions of two former department employees.

We are confident the sweeping changes we have made, based on the results of seven internal and independent, outside reviews or investigations, will prevent any recurrence of these irregularities.

For more information about SACSCOC and this issue, visit the University’s accreditation website.

As a founding member of SACSCOC, we are committed to an accreditation process, led by colleagues from our peer campuses in the region, that ensures accountability and strong academic standards. Under Chancellor Folt’s leadership, I’m confident that Carolina will bring our response to SACSCOC to a successful conclusion.

Holden Thorp

Chancellor

In your recent article regarding the UNC Board of Governors and their discussion about whether to increase the number of out-of-state students at our public universities you explained that one of the reasons for this is that some campuses are having trouble attracting enough qualified North Carolina students.

However, since North Carolina ranks 48th in the nation in both per-pupil spending and teacher salaries, perhaps the better solution would be to spend more on educating North Carolina children - all of them, not just the ones from privileged communities - so that the taxpayers who fund our UNC system can send their children to the universities they pay for every day.

It’s sad that the Board would lament the declining numbers of qualified NC students without mentioning the continued cuts in primary education our current legislators are undertaking.

Dana Carvalho

Chapel Hill

Protect SNAP Today

As chefs and restaurateurs, our lives revolve around food. Yet in the United States, 16 million kids struggle with hunger and more than 615,000 of those kids are from North Carolina. We joined the fight against childhood hunger for them.

Fortunately, families can rely on programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). SNAP fights childhood hunger. The program makes it possible for families to put food on their tables, even when times are tough. In fact, SNAP is the most powerful and effective anti-hunger program for kids, providing benefits to approximately 23 million children nationwide each month.

Congress is looking to slash funding for SNAP and that could kick more than 2 million people off of the program entirely and reduce benefits for another 400,000 households by approximately $90 a month. Cutting SNAP would be devastating to millions of kids in this nation and many children right here in North Carolina, leaving them at risk for long-term hunger, health and educational problems.

Congress is also considering huge cuts to SNAP Nutrition Education (SNAP Ed). SNAP Ed empowers families with the skills to get the most nutrition from their limited dollars. We should be investing more in education, not slashing it.

We have to make sure we’re investing in programs that strengthen the economy, create jobs, and make our country a great place to raise a family. SNAP does all that and beside, feeding our children isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.

We’re in this fight to speak up for the millions of kids across the country who can’t speak up for themselves and say Protect SNAP Today!

Andrea Reusing

Lantern

Ashley Christensen

Poole’s Downtown Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar

Chapel Hill News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service