University in Former Confederate Capital City Will Remove all Confederate Names, Symbols From Campus

A university in Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, is to remove all symbols honoring Confederate supporters from its campus as such items nationwide face a mounting push against such monuments nationwide.

This move will see plaques taken down as well as the names of figures linked to the confederacy taken from the names of several buildings on campus.

Michael Rao, president of Virginia Commonwealth University, said in a statement: "Expert historical analyses reveal a more complete story of the meaning of all of these memorials and commemorations that we cannot ignore nor accept.

"We've learned a lot from this process, and it is clear that the values represented by these namings and symbols run counter to the values to which we are committed — inclusion, equity and diversity. The symbols of the Confederacy have come to impede our mission to serve all and that's why I have recommended we no longer honor those symbols."

Aashir Nasim, vice president for inclusive excellence at the university, said the removals could mark an opportunity for "reconciliation and restoration."

Nasim said: "Removing Confederate symbolism from our campuses, which still yields a de facto segregation in terms of how that historical era gave rise to the education and health disparities we see today, may also serve as an opportunity for reconciliation and restoration."

The move comes following a review which began in August 2017.

Newsweek has contacted Virginia Commonwealth University for further comment.

Amid protests across the nation, several Confederate statues have been pulled down, with officials being spurred into looking at taking down such monuments through formal measures.

Virginia last month voted to permanently relocate the Confederate monuments in the city. It comes after an emergency order was issued to remove such monuments in July. There was a push back against this, with the city's mayor requiring a bodyguard amid criticism over the move.

Virginia's state capitol building has also seen such monuments removed, in the wake of demonstrators having taken matters into their own hands, with protests having spread in the city in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

A proposal has been put forward in the House of Representatives, looking at pushing legislation to remove Confederate monuments nationwide.

The U.S. is not the only country to see controversial monuments thrown into question, with statues of figures whose past actions have been questioned being targeted worldwide.

President Donald Trump vowed action against those who took the matter of doing so into their own hands, threatening that people could potentially face up to 10 years in prison for such acts as toppling monuments under the Veterans' Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003.

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A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, on June 10. There has been a backlash against such monuments nationwide. Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images