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Washington and Lee U. Students Walkout to Demand School Change Name

Washington and Lee U. Students Walkout to Demand School Change Name

“you are holding onto a history that denigrated, enslaved, and committed an entire genocide of a lot of our ancestors”

These students do have another alternative. They could just go to a school that has a name they like.

The College Fix reports:

Washington and Lee U. students stage walkout to demand school name change

Approximately 400 students at Washington and Lee University walked out of classes last Tuesday to demand the school change its name.

Specifically, students want Robert E. Lee’s name to be dropped from the school moniker. Lee was a Confederate general during the Civil War, leading the Army of Northern Virginia. After the war, he served as the school’s president from 1865 to 1870. (W&L was known as Washington College at the time, not to be confused with this institution.)

According to WMRA, students wore t-shirts and masks which read “Change the Name,” and carried placards stating same.

W&L junior Enuma Anekwe said that by keeping Lee’s name, the university was “alienating” black students and making them “unsafe.”

“But most of all,” Anekwe told those assembled, “you are holding onto a history that denigrated, enslaved, and committed an entire genocide of a lot of our ancestors.”

Anekwe said W&L faculty “are generally supportive” of changing the name of the school. One of them, Journalism Professor Toni Locy, penned an op-ed in The Nation last year in which she complained the school’s Lee Chapel “reeks of the cruelty of slavery, of elitism and racism.” She said “until it frees itself of Lee, the university will never achieve its stated goals of diversity and inclusion.”

Last year, almost two-thirds of W&L faculty indicated they wanted Lee’s name removed from the school. Black faculty at the law school said they wanted George Washington’s name gone, too.


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The Friendly Grizzly | March 29, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Keep right on walking, kids. Oberlin is that way, Dartmouth over yonder, Evergreen is this-a-way, and for those down with the struggle, there’s Moehouse, Fisk, Grambling, and Meherry.

It’s not much a genocide if we can still hear you bitching.

American believes in second acts and redemption. General Lee did great service to the Union prior to 1860. In 1865, he wisely surrendered and did his best to end all hostilities when some were prepared to conduct a guerilla war for decades.

He then devoted his life to building what later became Washington & Lee University. His labor earned his place on the name of that college. There is no logical reason by a black student would feel “unsafe” based upon his actions as University President or his name on the institution.

goddessoftheclassroom | March 29, 2021 at 4:33 pm

My son is a W&L alumnus, and he is sickened that W&L is even considering changing the name.

Mr. Lee did not own any slaves while he was president of the college.

Core functions of a university include teachers teach and student attend classes and do their work.

Any staff member (tenured faculty, tenure track faculty, adjunct, administration, etc.) who finds the name of their employer unbearable is free to tender their resignation. There plenty to unemployed or underemployed Ph.D.s that will jump at the change to move to idyllic Lexington, VA.

Any student who cannot, or will not, attend class because of the name of their university is encouraged to transfer. There are plenty of students out there capable of doing the work willing to attend a selective school with a need-based financial aid program that will give you a free ride if your family makes less than seventy-five grand a year.

Any staff member or student engaging in activities which disrupt the activities of faculty who want to teach, and/or students who are trying to attend class, should separated from the University forthwith.

(I’m a W&L alum.)

    artichoke in reply to Old Soldier. | March 29, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Most of the protesters probably got that free ride, and also lowered standards for admission. What a kick in the teeth. W&L should be inclusive of the most qualified of its applicants going forward, rather than excluding some of them in favor of those less qualified.

    If that means they don’t “achieve” someone’s idea of diversity and inclusion, that will have to be OK.

    steve_gosney in reply to Old Soldier. | March 30, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I am also an W&L Alum (’99L) and agree completely. I would also ask if the Honor System is still in place for these children? Disrupting the University function seems to be fundamentally dishonorable. How could a CHILD (which is what these people are – and that includes the faculty who support name change) applied and accepted the University as it is when they came. If a leftist wants to go to University and study stupidity, they have endless choices. I hope and pray that there are sane minds at W&L who will preserve the institution that I loved for people who appreciate history with the humility required for adulthood.

It boggles the mind. If it bothered them that much, why did they apply?
The well to do (private school) virtue signaling.

    JOHN B in reply to lc. | March 31, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    And you know they are going to want us to cover their student loans while they refuse to attend school. And the faculty protestors still greedily grab their pay checks.

    These students (and faculty) are a disgrace..

If they walk away from their classes they can also walk away from their grades. A transcript full of Incompletes should be impressive to the admissions office at their next school.

It is far past time to rein in these “students” who mistakenly believe that they should be running the show. Tell them to settle down, do their class work and learn to think.

It is not complicated. Offended students and faculty should “belly up” and quit.