The Student Body, UNC, Chapel Hill
Juila Balk, Designer
The Student Body monument originally stood outside of Davis Library but the subject matter sparked immediate controversy. The monument contains seven small copper statues of students performing activities; an African American man spinning a basketball on his finger, an African American woman balancing a book on her head, an Asian American woman carrying a violin, and a white woman holding an apple and leaning on the shoulder of a man. The student body retaliated, branding the sculpture as stereotypical and controversial.
Image: Photograph of sculpture in front of Davis Libary
UNC Chapel Hill
October 23, 1990
35.911670 , -79.049050
"Campus Life: North Carolina; All Student Body Not Entirely Fond Of 'Student Body," The New York Times (New York, NY), October 28, 1990, (accessed May 14, 2012) Link
"Julia Balk Sculpture at University of N.C.," (accessed May 14, 2012) Link
"Student Body," The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History, (accessed May 15, 2012) Link
Meghan Williams, "'The Student Body' Public Art Controversy," For the Record (blog), November 19, 2012, (accessed January 14, 2013) Link
UNC Chapel Hill class of 1985
The monument was unveiled in 1990 and was met with immediate criticism from the student body, claiming that the monument helped to perpetuate stereotypes.
According to Julia Balk, the creator, the monument is supposed to represent the diversity of campus life at Carolina.
Despite the claims by Julia Balk, the student body said that the sculpture presented a series of stereotypes that should be fought, not displayed on campus. The UNC Community Against Offensive Statues was founded in order to create petitions lobbying for the removal of the monument. A few months after the monument was unveiled, it was vandalized; the figurines were covered with mud and red paint and the basketball was stolen. The University then decided to move the monument to a less prominent location. The basketball player and violin player were later removed without explanation.
The monument sits behind Hamilton Hall and Manning Hall in an enclosed garden.
Located behind Hamilton Hall, the monument is in an enclosed garden.
Outside of Davis Library