NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A protest in the heart of Yale University brought out hundreds of students late Friday afternoon. Organizers called the event a ceremony to rename Calhoun College. Calhoun College is one of 12 residential colleges at Yale.
Calhoun College is named after John C. Calhoun, a former Vice President and U.S. Senator who graduated from the Ivy League institution in 1804. He was also a defender of slavery and once labeled it as a “positive good.”
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There’s been an outcry in recent years from many on campus to have the space renamed, but on Thursday school administrators officially refused, saying the name is here to stay and will be used to confront, teach, and learn from history.
“I think that our concern here is that there are students living within this space,” said protester, Katie McCleary. “By keeping a name like this, it puts the students in jeopardy of mental and emotional harm.”
Haylee Kushi is one of those that participated in the protest.
“There’s way to recognize that history without honoring the people that started this legacy of oppression,” said Kushi.
Kushi says from now on students like her will call Calhoun College, “the college formerly known as Calhoun.”
News 8 reached out to officials with Yale University for comment on the protest and we’re still waiting to hear back at this time.