TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Poll results have revealed that Florida State students have voted to keep the statue of founder Frances Eppes.
The referendum to remove the statue and rename Eppes Hall failed to get enough votes, with just under 72 percent of the student body voting no.
The decision comes after the referendum appeared on the Fall 2016 Student Government Association (SGA) ballot and it asked students to vote on the following:
"We, the students of Florida State University, do not believe in honoring slave owners and those that enforced slavery. Therefore, we demand President John Thrasher, and the FSU Board of Trustees, remove the Francis Eppes Monument in front of the Westcott Building and rename Eppes Hall to remove Francis Eppes’ name. Do you agree?"
FSU SGA confirmed that 28.3% students voted yes, and 71.7% voted no.
The FSU Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) said in a emailed statement that they were disappointed by the results. They said that Eppes was a slave owner who owned 91 slaves on his plantation in Tallahassee.
"He built the night watches that worked to enforce racist laws and catch slaves. Francis Eppes was a firm believer in the confederate cause, selling his land to fund the confederate army.
"As someone who worked his whole life to enforce and maintain slavery, Francis Eppes does not deserve to be honored at FSU," the group asserted, "SDS is committed to continuing the fight against racism on campus. We want a campus where diversity and inclusion are our reality, not simply rhetoric."