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Yale University Changes College Names After Slavery Issue


Yale University wants to change a name of a building on campus.

Yale University President Peter Salovey created an advisory panel committee to change the name of its Calhoun residential college.

Calhoun is named after a former United States vice president who was a fervent supporter of slavery in the 1800's, cites ABC News. John C. Calhoun, who was a member of the 1804 Yale Class did not only become vice president but also was a senator from South Carolina. He was one of the men responsible in opposing to the termination of slavery in the country and several states.

Salovey wrote a letter to the university community to explain the process. He said that the panelists in the advisory committee will oversee the recommendations of a name change by using guidelines that follows the change of building names. This is Salovey's response to the community's need to change the name. Yale has been under pressure because of this.

But changing names is not an easy task. The university has to consider that by removing the name, it will not "erase history" and keeping it should not "distort history." Which means Yale must caution in making such changes. Yale is considering creating museum like exhibits that will put the name in a historical context.

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming says that changing names at any Ivy League School should be an exceptional event. And this usually happens when a person is honored for leaving a legacy that is connected with the university's mission.

The Calhoun College has created controversy in and outside Yale University for several decades. But recently, after protesters in schools around the United States pushing colleges to address these legacies have prompted Yale to act. Yale needed to address the issue quickly after one of their dining services workers, who is African American, smashed a window at the Calhoun College. The window featured slaves as its design.

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