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The University of Alabama is the latest flash point in the national debate about renaming buildings and removing monuments on campuses that honor racist figures.

Morgan Hall, located on the university’s Tuscaloosa campus, honors Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader John Tyler Morgan. The university recognizes this former U.S. senator’s major contributions to rebuilding the school following the Civil War.

But an online petition says it’s time to break with the past. Many students want to rename Morgan Hall in honor of the author Harper Lee, the Washington Post reports.

White student Jessica Hauger started the petition. She makes the case for renaming the building that houses the English Department:

“…the University has an amazing chance to show our support for racial equality, as well as to honor the legacy generally of a woman who promoted kindness and empathy for all. [Harper] Lee was doubtless the University’s greatest contribution to literature, and it would be more than fitting for our English building to bear her name, which reflects so much more accurately the values of the University of Alabama, than that of white supremacist John Tyler Morgan.”

The petition garnered more than 2,300 digital signatures in just a few days after Hauger posted it online.

“I thought it would get some backlash,” she told the Post. “But people started signing way more quickly than I imagined they would.”

The history major added that the positive response surprised her.

SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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