CHAPEL HILL, NC - University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt sent students and staff a letter urging them to stay away from McCorkle Place Thursday night, alerting them of more possible rallies around Silent Sam, CBS Affiliate WNCN is reporting.
McCorkle Place is the site where the University's Confederate monument known as Silent Sam stood until Aug. 20 when protesters tore it down. Last Saturday, demonstrations at McCorkle Place got violent leading to arrests.
Folt said "several demonstrations" are planned in a post on the university website.
"We know from past experience that when groups with opposing views come together in a highly charged environment, there is a real possibility for demonstrations to escalate to violence," Folt said. "Your safety is always our highest priority."
The town of Chapel Hill also said there's a possible demonstration planned for downtown.
"I was kind of shocked because I'm a first year on the campus and, as an African American student, I just feel like that's kind of scary to have to see an email talking about radicals coming on campus," said UNC freshman Francis Amponsah.
The town said that starting at 5 p.m., traffic restrictions will be placed at parking and loading zones on Henderson Street and at the 100 and 200 blocks of East Franklin Street.
Since the statue was torn down, there's been a debate on campus as to whether or not it should be replaced.
"Oh, it's definitely been a polarizing issue on campus. Everyone is talking about it," said UNC sophomore Micheal Withfield.
UNC issued a similar notice before Saturday's protests. On campus Wednesday, students said they plan to listen to the Chancellor's warning.
"It's important to stay safe. I'm a first year, I know I got a lot ahead of me. I don't think it's my place right now to be out there putting my life on the line," said UNC student Oshan Iyamu.
When asked if the UNC's police planned to keep the opposing groups separate Thursday night, a University spokesperson couldn't comment on specifics, but has studied recent events to make sure their tactics and resources keep people safe.