Many campuses have been embroiled in controversies surrounding the naming of its buildings; particularly when those names honour historic figures that have engaged in racism. At Yale University, students successfully lobbied to have Calhoun College, one of the school’s twelve undergraduate residential colleges, renamed based on John C. Calhoun’s legacy as a slaveowner and vocal opposition to the abolition movement of his time. At Harvard University, students successfully sought to end the traditional “House Master” title, and are further demanding that the school stop honouring slave-holding donor families from the university’s past.
The West Coast is no exception. The University of San Francisco recently renamed a building honouring James D. Phelan, who opposed Japanese immigration and who campaigned for the US Senate on the platform, “Keep California White”.
At UC Berkeley, law students have argued for years that the law school’s main classroom building, Boalt Hall, should be renamed.