UNC trustees take public comments on Confederate statues

This Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, photo shows a Confederate monument honoring Henry Lawson Wyatt at the state Capitol in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed a state panel not to grant Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's request to relocate Confederate monuments from the old Capitol grounds, with one leader predicting that any such approval would be overturned in court. Wyatt is purported to be the first Confederate Soldier killed in action. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Trustees for North Carolina’s flagship public university are hearing from students who oppose a campus Confederate monument.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s board heard from more than 30 speakers Wednesday morning at a comment session during its bimonthly meeting.

The statue of an anonymous rebel known as “Silent Sam” has been the site of demonstrations during a nationwide debate on Confederate monuments.

Board Chair Haywood Cochrane opened the session by saying the board was committed to campus safety and telling the full story of university history.

Chancellor Carol Folt has previously said state law prevents the school from removing the statue.

The first speaker was graduate student Maya Little. She said that the statue is a symbol of oppression that continues to pose a safety hazard.