Crews waste no time changing names of buildings on UNC’s campus named after white supremacists

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Big changes are underway on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

This comes after the UNC Board of Trustees voted to change the names of four buildings named after historical figures with racist pasts.

After Wednesday’s 11-2 vote, crews at UNC got to work to change the signage at the buildings.

The buildings are named after Julian Carr, Charles Aycock, Josephus Daniels, and Thomas Ruffin Sr. All four are known to have had ties to white supremacy and other harmful acts.

Due to their histories, the board of trustees determined they should no longer honor them on campus. A few trustees said forgiving the men and moving forward would be better than renaming the buildings, but the majority decided they don’t want to honor them.

Some students said the decision was the right move.

“I don’t want to go to a school that associates with any idea of white supremacy and I want to be at a place that celebrates the diversity and inclusion of others,” said Hannah Ratcliff, a rising junior at the university.

Until they choose new names, Charles B. Aycock’s building will be called Residence Hall One, Julian S. Carr’s building will be called Student Affairs Building, Josephus Daniels’ will be Student Stores Building and Thomas Ruffin Senior’s will stay in the Ruffin name for now — but only for Thomas Ruffin Jr.

“This is a step in the right direction, but I am not impressed yet. There’s definitely a lot more improvements UNC can make regarding white supremacy on this campus,” said UNC senior Diamond Jones.

Jones said she wants to see more Black and brown voices amplified and heard on campus, as every student deserves to feel supported.

“This college campus was built on white supremacy and slavery, and having that representation signifies and signals that students of color are heard and supported,” Jones said.

The trustees also discussed a day of forgiveness on campus in the future, but that motion was tabled for the time being.

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