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UNCP supports Chapel Hill at memorial

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

Universities across North Carolina paid their respects and offered support to UNC-Chapel Hill March 18 at the “Celebration of the Life of Eve Carson.”

Carson, former president of the student body at UNC-Chapel Hill, was shot to death March 5 half a mile from the Chapel Hill campus.

Former SGA President Dwight Humphrey and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Joshua T. Batchelor attended the memorial in support of Chapel Hill and out of respect for Carson, whom both Humphrey and Batchelor had worked with in student government.

“She was more than just another president. She was a friend,” Humphrey said. Humphrey said he and Carson had often traded emails due to Association of Student Government work.

Batchelor said he worked with her in ASG and knew her character and that she was a positive role model.

“Although [Carson’s parents] may not know me by face or name or race or gender, I think there is strength in numbers,” he said of his reason for attending.

According to 2005-2006 Chapel Hill student body President Seth Dearmin, Carson assembled the largest and most diverse student government in the history of Chapel Hill.

“Though she led her life fully, she did not lead a full life,” Dearmin said.

President of the N.C. Board of Governors Erskine Bowles remarked that he had a scheduled meeting with Carson on his calendar to discuss progress for the campus and UNC system. Bowles said that meeting will continue despite Carson’s absence.

“Try as I might, I haven’t gotten to the celebration part,” he said.

Friends and co-workers of Carson’s shared memories of her to an audience of thousands.

Chair of the Faculty Joseph Templeton shared his first experience of personally meeting Carson, which had been after sitting in several meetings with her. Upon crossing paths on campus, Carson remarked, “I love the stories and jokes you tell in the Board of Trustees meetings. Are those reports?”

Templeton read an excerpt of a Native American poem in memory of Carson, whom he said never slept: “Do not stand by my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep...Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there. I did not die.”

Other speakers included Carson’s Vice President, Mike Tarrant, boyfriend Tim Riley, who encouraged all to “have the courage to be excellent” as Carson chose to be, and a message from her father, read by a friend of the family. The family was quickly escorted from the service at the end.

A walk around UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus reveals a campus in mourning; tributes, messages and memories from students to Carson hang from ceilings and stand erect on sidewalks.

Bowles said we must work harder “so, collectively, we can make up the enormous good she did.”

Editor’s note: Hannah Simpson is the current SGA Vice President and attended in that capacity.

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Updated: Thursday, March 27, 2008
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