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FSU Panel to Review Campus Monuments and Naming Policies

Florida State University President John Thrasher has ordered an upcoming evaluation of the statues, markers and other recognitions throughout campus. A panel comprised of FSU students, faculty and alumni will review and potentially suggest revisions for campus policies concerning such namesakes.

The announcement comes just weeks after the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which Thrasher harshly condemned as, “A clear display of racism and intimidation.” In a message to the campus community, Thrasher reiterated FSU’s celebration of diversity and inclusiveness, and vowed to do everything in his power to “ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

The south has seen an increasing eruption of controversy surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments that has directly impacted Florida State’s campus. Last October, 71.7 percent of students voted “no” on a referendum requesting the removal of a statue of Francis Eppes from campus. Eppes, one of the university’s founders, was a slave owner and Confederate supporter. Believing that his presence on campus is, “honoring slave owners and those that enforced slavery,” the "Students for a Democratic Society" sought to remove the statue, as well as Eppes’ name from an academic building. 

Courtesy: FSU Legacy Walk

To assess the criteria for appropriate naming policies, the panel will also seek input from university organizations. Together, if they deem necessary, they will initiate a new process for renaming campus recognitions.

Of the new panel, Thrasher stated, “As we seek to become a more inclusive campus for all, it is essential that we continue to engage in dialogue and inquiry with the entire university community. We must continue to examine our history in order to collectively build our future.”

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