FSU town hall series discusses controversial landmark names

FSU town hall series discusses controversial landmark names
Posted at 5:30 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 18:26:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Some Florida State University landmarks with controversial names are the subject of a series of town hall meetings that start this week.

FSU officials are asking students, alumni and residents to chime in about the university's current policies for campus names and markers.

In October 2016, there was a push to rename Eppes Hall and to get rid of the Francis Eppes statue by Legacy Walk and the iconic Westcott Fountain.

However, more than 70 percent of students who participated in a referendum voted "no" to a motion to do so.

FSU president John Thrasher created an advisory panel on university namings and recognitions after the racially charged incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.

Thrasher has listed three campus landmarks as priorities for the panel: Eppes Hall, the Francis Eppes statue and B.K. Roberts Hall, which is the main academic building of the FSU Law School.

The "Students for a Democratic Society at FSU" organization wants the name and image of Eppes removed from campus.

"FSU honoring him as the founder erases all of the terrible things that he has done," said Katherine Draken, president of the organization. "The fact that he owned slaves, the fact that he supported the Confederacy and repressed abolitionist literature is an important part of the history of Tallahassee, and we shouldn't gloss over those things."

B.K. Roberts was a Florida Supreme Court justice who helped create a law school at FSU, but he was also known for defying U.S. Supreme Court orders to admit a black law student at the University of Florida.

The first of five town hall meetings is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the FSU Alumni Center.

Here is the full schedule:

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: FSU Alumni Center, Grand Ballroom
1030 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Roberts Hall, Room 102
425 West Jefferson Street, Tallahassee

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Black Student Union House, Multipurpose Room
921 West Jefferson Street, Tallahassee

Date: Monday, March 5, 2018
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Askew Student Life Center, Room 101A-D
942 Learning Way, Tallahassee

Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Florida State Conference Center
(Turnbull Center), Room 103
555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee