Home / Fall 2015 / Faculty senate to discuss Columbus Day Calendar complaint

Faculty senate to discuss Columbus Day Calendar complaint

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Jyrell Wynn, Staff Writer

Today, the Faculty Senate congregates in the University Center Magnolia Room at 3:30 p.m. for the September meeting. One item on the agenda will be how VSU refers to Fall Break

Fred Knowles, Chair of Native American Studies, wrote a letter to the Faculty Senate to express his displeasure with Fall Break being called Columbus Day on VSU’s Academic Calendar.

“Columbus represents colonialism and genocide to Native Americans, and the recognition a day to celebrate his deeds is falling in disfavor throughout the nation,” said Dr. Knowles.

VSU students support Dr. Knowles’s assessment of keeping the title.

Joshua Hardy, a freshman environmental science student, agrees with Dr. Knowles due to what Columbus represents.

“I don’t think we should change it and give into negative connation of history,” said Hardy.

“Columbus should not be celebrated as much as he is,” said Maya Newsome, a senior majoring in early childhood. Newsome believes it should remain Fall Break and sees Dr. Knowles’s point.

“It’s still fall break and still fall. Why celebrate anybody? It’s a break,” said Marlena Norman, a senior majoring in anthropology.

“I would not like our university to be identified as one that still holds Columbus as a national and cultural hero,” said Dr. Knowles.

The issue was sent to committee at the August faculty senate meeting.

Today’s meeting will include an appearance by VSU President Cecil Staton. The meeting is open to the public.

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