It’s no secret that most American universities today are hotbeds of liberal thought, home to hordes of students eager to join the latest progressive movement on campus. One such campaign, which has been making headlines at various institutions throughout the past several months, promotes renaming campus buildings.
On Thursday, May 28, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the latest institution to succumb to student activists upset with a university building’s name as the Board of Trustees issued an official recommendation to change Saunders Hall. The building honors William Saunders, who was, among other things, a Confederate war veteran and a known leader of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina during the years after the Civil War.
UNC’s decision follows hot on the heels of several other high-profile renaming campaigns at major academic institutions. Last year, Duke University gave in to student demands to rename Aycock Hall, a dormitory building honoring Charles Brantley Aycock, a governor of North Carolina who was involved in Southern white supremacy campaigns in the early twentieth century. Shortly after a coalition of Clemson students marched through campus boasting a list of grievances earlier this year, that university’s administration deliberated over a resolution to rename the campus’s most iconic building, Tillman Hall, which was named for South Carolina governor, U.S. senator, and known white supremacist Benjamin Tillman. And most recently, in March the Black Student Union at the University of California, Berkeley demanded that the school rename a building to honor former Black Panther member Assata Shakur, whom you may also know as a convicted cop-killer and the first woman on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists.
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