Students at Washington & Lee University campaign to have Washington and Lee removed from diplomas over fear of offending
A petition calling on the administration of the Virginia law school to allow students to opt out of having the university’s namesakes on their diplomas has garnered hundreds of signatures from students, staff and alumni, as well as securing the backing of a number of student organizations.
It calls for an option to have the portraits removed so alumni can be “proud to prominently display” their diploma without the images of the men that “some may find controversial or offensive.”
The campus sits around 60 miles from Charlottesville and the infamous Unite the Right Rally in the town is cited among the reasons for jettisoning the giant historical figures.
“Given the aftermath of the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville and the heightened awareness of making Washington & Lee an inclusive and compassionate environment to all students, we believe this request provides alumni the ability to honor their alma mater without the presence of the portraits that some may find controversial or offensive,” the petition reads.
The petition does not give a specific reason as to why Washington should be removed but the fact that he was a slave owner has made him increasingly controversial in recent years.
A campus group called the Generals Redoubt has blasted the petition, issuing a statement labelling it “a symptom of strong undercurrents within the University to dismantle the traditions, values and history of Washington and Lee.”Also on rt.com Charlottesville’s Confederate statues protected by state as ‘war memorials’ - court ruling
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