UNC graduate student Maya Little wrote on Thursday that she is facing a charge from the UNC Honor Court of “stealing, destroying, or misusing property.” The charge, Little said, could lead to her expulsion.
Little, in late April, poured a mixture of what she said was her own blood and red paint on the Silent Sam statute on McCorkle Place on the Chapel Hill campus. The Confederate monument has been a place of frequent protests over the decades. Those protests were consistent over the most-recent academic year, calling for the statue’s removal.
There have also been several occasions in recent years where the statue was spray painted, leading UNC Police to install security cameras near the site.
Little wrote in a statement accompanying an online petition that the “Honor Court will determine whether my protest against Confederate monuments is conduct unbecoming of a UNC affiliate.”
Little added that she “can find no record of the Honor Court charging students for painting Silent Sam Carolina blue in 1982.” She also said that The Daily Tar Heel reported “that NC State students who painted Sam in 1974 were released by campus police without charges.”
Little is facing criminal charges related to defacing the statue, in addition to the Honor Court proceedings.
She wrote “dousing the monument in paint in the name of basketball is deemed a pastime while doing the same to contextualize and fight racism is a crime.”
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt has maintained that she would order the statue be removed, if she had the authority to do so. But she has repeatedly said she is barred by a law passed by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2015 preventing the movement of “objects of remembrance.”
UNC said on Thursday that, “For privacy reasons, the University can’t comment about any student’s specific case before the student-run Honor Court. We don’t have any further updates about the April incident.”
Little’s criminal trial is schedule for an August 20 court date.
Thursday’s petition calling on the student-run Honor Court to drop the charges had more than 1,000 signatures as of Friday morning.