University of North Carolina reallocates $2.3m budget for diversity, equity, and inclusion towards safety and policing initiatives

The University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill made an announcement on Monday that it will allocate its entire $2.3m diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) budget towards public safety and policing.

Some board of trustees members, who voted in favor of the divestment, mentioned the recent anti-war demonstrations by students as a motive for reallocating funds to the campus police.

UNC Chapel Hill’s diversity funding is facing a potential setback following a unanimous board vote on Monday. This decision could have far-reaching consequences, including the possibility of department closure and job losses. On the other hand, there is good news for the public safety and policing departments, as they will receive a boost to their $14 million budget.

Duke students protest Jerry Seinfeld’s graduation speech in Gaza demonstration

Two weeks ago, a group of students staged a protest at the school campus to show their support for Palestine and to condemn Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza. During this demonstration, an encampment was set up by the protesters. As a result, law enforcement detained a total of thirty-six individuals who refused to leave the campus premises. Out of the detained individuals, twenty-seven were issued citations for trespassing and subsequently released. Additionally, six individuals were arrested and charged with trespassing.

The UNC campus police received support from various law enforcement agencies during the incident. The Chapel Hill Police were not involved, but they were assisted by the police from North Carolina State University, UNC Wilmington, and Appalachian State University. In addition, state patrol officers and sheriff deputies, who were dressed in what appeared to be riot gear, also provided support. This information was reported by the Daily Tarheel.

Chapel Hill council members, students, and faculty expressed concern over the response of campus police to students’ protests. They condemned what they perceived as an escalation of force, specifically highlighting the use of pepper spray against students.

Board members, on the other hand, stood up for the campus police. Just before the vote on Monday, Kotis expressed his strong views in an op-ed published in the North State Journal. He criticized the students’ protests and the apparent lack of action from the local law enforcement.

“The General Assembly should take decisive action in response to Cooper’s and Chapel Hill’s failure to uphold law and order,” he expressed. “It should explore the possibility of reallocating funds from municipalities that refuse to support law enforcement and provide the UNC system with additional resources to effectively address emergencies like the one that occurred at UNC Chapel Hill last week.”

As stated on the school’s official website, the mission of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is to establish and maintain a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and alumni.

During the meeting, Marty Kotis, the vice-chair of the board’s budget and finance committee, expressed his belief that the DEI programs were not conducive to a harmonious campus atmosphere. According to Kotis, many people perceive DEI as promoting division, exclusion, and indoctrination. Instead, he emphasized the importance of unity, togetherness, open dialogue, and a diverse range of perspectives.

During a March interview with the assembly, board member Woody White expressed his concerns about the DEI regime, stating that it is often used as a tool to promote radical ideology rather than supporting student success. He further emphasized that under the guise of rectifying historical injustices, the DEI regime has been weaponized to foster discrimination and create divisions among different races and genders.

The day before Monday’s DEI announcement, UNC Chapel Hill held its commencement. During the ceremony, a message was displayed on the screens of the football stadium. The message warned attendees that anyone who refused to leave or put down signs when asked would be removed and arrested. The organizers thanked everyone for their cooperation.

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