Students at Chapman University have circulated a petition that calls on administrators to remove busts of President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The students claim that removing the busts would make the university a “safer and more inclusive environment.”
According to a report by Campus Reform, students at Chapman University in Orange, California, are calling for the removal of several campus tributes to conservative icons. A petition signed by over 700 students suggests that the statues make the campus dangerous and unwelcoming.
The petition targets busts of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand. The petition argues that the Reagan bust should be removed due to Reagan’s stance on LGBT rights and his participation in the “war on drugs.” The students argue that the busts should be replaced with busts of progressive figures like Malcolm X, Harvey Milk, John Lewis, and Cesar Chavez.
There are a handful of busts displayed around Chapman University’s campus that do not reflect the ideals of the University. In order to create a safer and more inclusive environment for Chapman’s marginalized students and community, we feel the busts of Ronald Reagan, Albert Schweitzer, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand need to be removed and replaced. During these times of reckoning with serious injustice in the U.S. we are asking for your support and for the Chapman Administration to hear our demands.
In a statement posted to Instagram, the Chapman University College Republicans argued that it is “willful ignorance” to suggest that President Reagan does not represent the values of the university.
This reckless removal of history is dangerous, especially for a University who’s job is to educate in attempt to better their students and their futures. For a school that has put so much effort in pushing for diversity, the removal of these statues would be proof that Chapman University takes no pride in intellectual diversity of their student body. Diversity comes in multiple forms, race, sex, religious beliefs, and of course diversity of thought. To claim that Ronald Reagan, one of the most pronounced modern day conservative voices in American history, does not represent the ideals of the students on campus is willful ignorance.
Breitbart News reported in July that students at Fresno State University had circulated a petition that calls on administrators to remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from campus. The students argued that the statue should be removed due to Gandhi’s alleged prejudices against minority groups.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.
Photo: AP Photo/Doug Mills