Students, activists push for name change of Yale's Calhoun Colle - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Students, activists push for name change of Yale's Calhoun College

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Students protest Calhoun College in downtown New Haven. (WFSB) Students protest Calhoun College in downtown New Haven. (WFSB)

Named after a white supremacist, there's a new push to change the name of a Connecticut college that falls under Yale University. 

Protesters said they're planning to gather on New Haven's green Friday afternoon for a "change the name" rally.

For more than a year now student's have called for Calhoun College to be renamed; however, Yale University officials have stood their ground.

Calhoun College sits on the corner of Elm and College Streets in downtown New Haven. It's one of Yale's residential schools and is named after 19th century alumnus John Calhoun.

Calhoun was a U.S. vice president under President John Quincy Adams. Calhoun was also a supporter of slavery and a white supremacist. 

"We can have remembrance and remember the parts of our history, the good and the bad, without the symbols of oppression in our faces and in our lives everyday," said Yale freshman Marie Gaye.

An online petition last year gathered hundreds of signatures in support of a name change.

"Sitting in that dining hall and having to look up at every single meal I've eaten at this University, seeing black bodies used for capital gain has been ridiculous, a source of constant emotional struggle," said Yale senior Yonas Takele.

Yale University decided to keep it - saying they made the decision to "teach and confront the issue of slavery in the U.S." It also planned to name one of it's new residential halls after an African American civil rights activist. 

Still, Yale has announced it will revisit that decision to keep the name of Calhoun College. It said a committee is being put together to develop guidelines for proposals to remove historical names from university buildings or spaces.

"I'm not sure if the committee is something to ease into the transition or Salovey doesn't want to go back on his decision, I'm not sure, but I do feel confident that the name will be changed," said Gaye.

The rally began 3 p.m. on Friday.

Protesters met on the New Haven green and marched to President's office.

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