Story by Anna Dollar, News Reporter
The Student Government Association passed a bill titled “The Renaming of Residential Halls Act of 2017” on Feb. 20 to change the name of two residence halls, Lovill and Hoey, on Appalachian State’s campus that were named after white supremacists.
Four students on SGA have been working on this bill. On the east side of Appalachian State University’s campus, there are two residence halls named Lovill and Hoey, named after Edward F. Lovill, who served in the Confederate States Army according to NCPedia, and Clyde R. Hoey, a North Carolina governor who served from 1937 to 1941 who was for racial segregation according to North Carolina History.
Alan Lee, senior political science major and the student body vice president of SGA, decided to get senators to work on this bill because he said he believes that having buildings that serve as memorials to two men that did not stand for diversity goes against Appalachian State University’s mission statement’s focus on embracing diversity.
The four freshmen senators that passed this bill were Mildred Louis, pre-nursing major; Christina Nealy, middle grades education major; Travian Smith, political science major and Lauren Moody, political science major.
“The reasons we wrote this bill…is because Appalachian’s mission statement says they want to foster diversity and inclusivity on their campus and having two buildings named after segregationists does not promote that,” Louis said.
The senators had to conduct a survey to see what other students thought about this issue.
According to Nealy, 76.5 percent of people surveyed were unaware of the fact the Hoey and Lovill were named after two men who did not advocate for diversity, and 31.4 percent did not support renaming of the halls.
In the process of renaming these buildings, the student body president of SGA Anderson Clayton, a junior double major in journalism and political science, said that the naming committee will take into consideration a variety of things.
According to the SGA, they will look to not only rename the buildings after people that donated a certain amount of money, but also make sure that they are not prejudiced towards a certain group. Clayton said they want to make sure that the namesakes of our buildings represent what Appalachian stands for today and not 50 years ago.
“I want to make sure that every voice is being heard and that every student feels welcome here and that this is a space for them,” Clayton said.
Lee wanted the four senators to pass this because he believes that the name of these two residence halls does not help make the marginalized students feel welcomed. Lee came to this conclusion when he stayed in Lovill this past summer.
“There is literally a plaque that says that he is a confederate soldier, so being an African-American, that made me feel a little weird,” Lee said. “I just care about Appalachian and I care [about] the experiences that I had feeling awkward and I would not want any other student to feel like that. You shouldn’t be thinking about that, you should be thinking about your next test.”
*CORRECTION: This article was corrected on May 10, 2018. The article previously stated that the names of residence halls would be changed in the next few years.