Op-ed Questions if UVA Library Should be Renamed
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
A University of Virginia student is pushing for more equity, through a name change of a building everyone on grounds will need to visit at least once. Alderman Library -- the main library on grounds -- is named after the first president of the university.
Aldona Dye is a doctoral candidate at UVA, who published an op-ed in Virginia Mercury pointing out why a name change should be in the works.
Edwin Alderman believed in eugenics, and Alderman library, at UVA, is named after him.
“If it continues to be oppressive because there's a building that you have to go into regularly that has a history that might continue to traumatize people as they go in,” said Charlene Green, of the Office of Human Rights in Charlottesville.
“In thinking about renaming things, you want to be sure that you have a process in place so that perhaps 20 or 30 or 50 years from now, you won’t have a group of people wanting to do the same thing,” Green said.
UVA representatives said no one was available to speak about this subject at the time of publication, but the university has renamed other buildings in the past. Pinn Hall was previously named Jordan Hall, after another believer in eugenics.
“The University of Virginia would have their own policies, they would have to take into consideration possibly what the state has in place. There also would be any agreement that they might have had, for instance, if someone donated a large amount of money,” Green said.
Green and her team at the Office of Human Rights are working on a policy recommendation for the city about renaming public spaces, buildings, and sidewalks.
“There are a couple of questions that our Human Rights Commission has come up with that they think would be important for people to think about.”
Some of those questions include:
- Is renaming a building necessary for the health and well-being of those who use it?
- Does the name have a history that could traumatize people?
- And is there is a financial impact to renaming the space?