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Black ink : Black Student Movement, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. online resource ([Chapel Hill, N.C.]) 1969-current, October 28, 1991, Image 5

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Octobor 28, IWI News Stone Task Force Mobilizes BSM President Epps Harrassed for Involvement in Group By Scott Johnson Ink Staff Writer Black Student Movement Presi dent Amie Epps said recently he has been the victim of continual harassment fw his role in the honor ing of the late professor Sonja H. Stone. The BSM, trying to keep the legacy of the popular i»x)fessor of Afro-American Studies alive, has pursued three goals on her behalf: the naming of the Black Cultural Center after Stone, the establish ment of an endowed chair in her name, and achievement of depart mental status for the African/Afro- American Studies curriculum. But harassment of Epps began almost as soon as the S tone celebra tion kicked off on August 20th. During the two weeks of events, which were designed to celebrate the philosophies and ideals which Stone brought to Chapel Hill, Epps received several threatening phone calls. The caller told Epps his life would be in danger if he did not stop the BSM drive for the three objec tives. The phone calls consisted of profanity and repeated warnings threatening the BSMpresident’s life and safety. Beginning on August 29th and continuing into the latter part of September, Epps received phone calls in his Mangum Residence Hall room and the BSM office. The phone calls, occurring sometimes as soon as he stepped foot in the BSM office or dorm room, implied that someone was watching him, Epps said. On Aug. 31, Epps and his roomate were awakened at 6 a.m. by loud knocking on their room door that caused their message board on the door to fall. After a couple of minutes, Epp’s roommate went out and confronted the individuals who were responsible. He repeatedly asked them to leave the premises, and after a short while, they left the Mangum hallway. A few minutes later, Epps and his roommate were disturbed again by the pounding of rocks on their window. This time, Epps called the campus police, but the assailants had a chance to escape before po lice arrived. The harassing phone calls have diminished lately, Epps said. Epps’ case has not been the first involving Mangum Residence Hall. Last year, a Harvey Gantt cam paign poster was defaced with ra cial slurs prior to the Senatorial election between Gantt and Senator Jesse Helms. BCC Named for Stone; Task Force Realizes First Goal Task force members remove the first "stone" Friday By Tonika M. Tillman Ink Stcff Writer As 50 members of the Sonja Stone Task Force waited outside, the UNC Board of Trustees voted in a closed session Oct. 25 to rename the Black Cultural Center after late professor Sonja Haynes Stone. During the meeting, task force members held aloft posters with Stone’s picture on them and slo gans demanding the renaming of the Black Cultural Center. Before entering the Carolina Inn, task force demonstrators were charged by their leaders to “con duct themselves in dignity and in complete silence” in order to main tain peace and unity in the proceed ings. UNC Chancellor Paul Hardin spoke before the board and noted the dignity and determination of the student demonstrators. He ex pressed his “respect and apprecia tion” for the showing of the stu dents and the exemplary way in which they carried themselves. The Chancellor added: “They have my support.” During the first of two execu tive sessions, the task force demon strators quietly talked among them selves in an air of anticipation. Trish Merchant, a task force member, said the major implication behind the renaming of the BCC was that it would be the first build ing at the University to be named after an African American. She said it would become part of a “continu ing the legacy.” At the conclusion of the first executive session, task force mem bers filed quietly back into the full meeting where routine BOT mem bers conducted routine business. William Darity.oneoftwoblack members on the board and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, noted the repwt of UNC Student Body President Matt Heyd at the meeting. Heyd, a non-voting board member, gave a very in-depth re port strongly supporting the renam ing of the Black Cultural Center and the other goals of the task fwce. Shortly after the committee reports, the BOT held the second executive session and voted to re name the center, with only one member voting against the meas ure. Denise Matthewson and Scott Wilkens, co-chairs of the S tone Task Force, said realization of the first of the group’s three goals would give added momentum to the push for the other objectives, an endowed chair named for Stone and the con version of the African/Afro-Ameri can Studies curriculum into a de partment “We are in the jwocess of formu lating a nationwide committee to raise funds for the endowed chair and we are working with the faculty in the African/Afro-American Stud ies Curriculum to help achieve departmental status,” Wilkens said. ‘Trudier Harris, chair of the African/Afro-American Studies Curriculum is formulating a pro posal to submit to Stephen Birdsall, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for consideration.” Following announcement of the BOT decision, the demonstrators walked to South Building where they picked up one of the three Styrofoam “stones” which serve as a memorial and reminder to the school’s administration of the three demands. They then marched to the Dr. Sonja Haynes Stone Cultural Center for a victory reception. Friday. November 1st at 7p.m BRiNG YOUR PARENTS to the Union Cabaret's open dance floor and let Soul Expression sweep them off their feet! Sponsored by the Union Performing Arts Committee & the Biack Parents Alliance -r-

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