By Alexa Moutevelis
The students at the law school at my alma mater Washington and Lee University, named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee, find the portraits of the school’s namesakes to be so “controversial” and “offensive” that they want the option for them to be removed from the diplomas graduates receive.
In an online petition, the students note they “are not asking for a mandatory change” to all diplomas, but rather the “option” for students to choose to receive diplomas without the portraits.
The petition states:
The goal of establishing this option is to create a diploma that alumni are proud to prominently display in their homes and places of work. Given the aftermath of the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville and the heightened awareness of making Washington & Lee an inclusive and compassionate environment to all students, we believe this request provides alumni the ability to honor their alma mater without the presence of the portraits that some may find controversial or offensive.
As of the time of this writing, the petition has 201 signees, mostly current law students but including some law faculty and both law and undergrad alumni names. Read the rest HERE.