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FSU task force recommends permanent removal of Eppes statue

Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:29:35-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida State University President's Task Force for Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion is now recommending a controversial statue be removed from the university's campus permanently.

For years, a statue commemorating Francis Eppes stood on the FSU campus. Eppes contributed land and money to help establish the university in the mid-1800s and held nearly 100 slaves.

Students like Valentina Beron have been advocating to have the statue removed.

"We started this campaign years ago, actually, we've been doing this for probably over two or three years now, the reason being particularly because just a lot of students don't feel comfortable having a statue of a slave owner on campus," said Beron.

The University had the statue relocated in 2017, but students like Beron kept pushing for its removal, leading to Tuesday's unanimous recommendation from the task force to remove it permanently.

By Friday, the task force will submit its recommendation to FSU President John Thrasher, who said he looks forward to making a decision that will best represent the university's ideals.

"I want everybody on the task force to know that I am committed to making long term changes to accelerate our diversity equity and inclusion goals to ensure that again make sure this FSU community is a place where every single person feels save and valued and is treated with respect and dignity," said Thrasher.

Thrasher said he plans to release his decision on the statue early in the spring semester.