Yale To Open Discussion On Naming Controversies In University Campuses


Several universities have faced backlash for naming controversies in the buildings of its campuses. Georgetown University is reportedly seeking to make amends for its historical ties to slavery. The school will be changing the names of two residence halls on campus and will be providing legacy admissions advantages to the descendants of the 272 slaves who were sold to Louisiana plantations in 1838 to fund the university.

Yale, too, made the headlines after a controversial decision of keeping the name of Calhoun College. There were protests about how John C. Calhoun, a 19th-century alumnus and with whom the building is named after, was an ardent supporter of slavery.

There has been a lot of controversy around the name of Calhoun College. It gained new attention last year, though, when protesters on various campuses across the country urged universities to address the legacies of historical figures. John C. Calhoun was a member of Yale's 1804 class. He was a U.S. vice president and senator from South Carolina.

The Wall Street Journal noted, though, that instead of focusing on Calhoun, Yale University should start at the top - with Elihu Yale. Apparently, the philanthropist who helped found the institution was notorious for slave trade.

In a post on its official website, Yale announced that there will be a discussion on naming controversies on Sep. 26, Monday, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Rm. 120 of Yale Law School, 127 Wall St. The event is entitled "What's in a Name? The Naming and Symbolism Controversy on University Campuses."

The school has also created the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming which consists of a select group of leading decision-makers and faculty from universities all over the country. The event will focus on a moderated conversation on naming and symbols on campuses.

Panelists will be from the University of Richmond, University of Texas-Austin, Harvard University, Georgetown University as well as Princeton University. The event will be moderated by John Fabian Witt, chair of the committee.

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