Yale reconsiders controversial building names
- NPR spoke with Yale University Dean Jonathan Holloway, who offered insight into the university's new system of reconsidering building names which honor controversial figures or movements.
- Holloway says that while broad, the plan of action includes applying extensive research into a person's activity and values and if they were protested during that time, or during the time of the original memorializing by the college.
- Yale has also moved to add memorials on its campus to offer counter-narratives on slavery, slaveholding and oppressive histories of some building namesakes.
Many campuses appear to take a very surface-level view against student and public concerns about monuments to racists and separatists, but there is some operational merit to campuses doing better even outside of the context of history. If they wish to send a message to students that hateful language or ostracism should not be tolerated, then it could be argued that removing symbols of the same would be a bold step in that direction.
Students are becoming adept at identifying unsafe or antagonistic space on campus, and while there is legitimate claim that it could be hyper-sensitivity in individual cases, it is a far cry from the alternative view of students asking for campuses to divest from endowment holdings tied to slave labor, or asking for campus gifts to be returned to families with ties to slavery.