The UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees’ decision to repeal $2.3 million from all DEI initiatives and reallocate that money to the UNC police department is a betrayal of my university’s professed values. Just two weeks following the reprehensible display of police brutality against peaceful student protesters, this decision demonstrates a callous disregard for the well-being and dignity of the very community the board claims to serve.

This decision follows a pattern of systemic neglect and discrimination against marginalized groups, notably evidenced in the mistreatment of Palestinian students and sanctioning of campus organizations. By diverting funds away from initiatives meant to support the well-being of all students and using that funding to reward the very body responsible for escalating unrest and suppressing peaceful dissent, the Board of Trustees is using the “power of the purse” to send a clear message: diversity of identity and thought are not truly valued in Chapel Hill.

This move neglects the needs of our community and actively undermines the very principles upon which my institution stands. DEI is not about indoctrination or exclusion, it is a commitment to a better Carolina, and a critical tool for guiding the university through contentious and divisive times.

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Nigel Parker is a Morehead-Cain scholar and rising senior majoring in Management & Society with minors in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel...