CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - UNC Charlotte is looking into an incident where a figure hanging from a noose was spotted on campus.
School staff says the figure, now removed, was part of a final project for one of the art department’s classes. But that wasn’t clear to students when the figure was briefly hanging outside Rowe Arts building without explanation.
“We’ve come so far yet we still have so far to go,” Sophomore Camille Barfield says. “And just, I don’t know how someone can have it in their heart to put that up.”
“It could be a sign to someone else’s culture and I don’t think that’s right,” Senior Alexandria Stone says. “We don’t want to offend someone’s culture and we’re a multicultural university.”
A photo of the figure, hanging by a noose, was posted by a student on social media, but taken down soon after, once the dean responded and had the figure removed from the tree.
The chair of the art department tells WBTV this is part of an “installation” project for a foundation class, submitted by a student of color, and wasn’t meant to stay up beyond the student’s final critique.
“It’s within the context of the class," Lydia Thompson says. "It’s not really there for public consumption, but it’s really to share ideas and also have conversations and explanations and ask questions among the classmates and the faculty member.”
In a statement, the school said in part, “The representation of a figure being lynched is hurtful, threatening, and offensive. The project was immediately removed.”
The facilities manager at the art building tells WBTV he has a specific policy – no nooses to be displayed beyond class critique. But he says he didn’t know about this one being up until later.