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Task force refuses to consider Tillman name change

Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Task Force did not consider building name changes on campus, citing the South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000.

The Task Force on the History of Clemson set in place by the Board of Trustees did not consider name changes for Tillman Hall in their recommendations. 
The Task force set in place short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to try to tell the complete history of the university. The overarching recommendation was to update Clemson’s historical narrative.
Name changes to historical buildings on campus, most notably Tillman Hall, were not considered in the Task’s force recommendations. Chairman McKissick said, “The Board remains focused on what we can achieve. Since the South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000 states that the authority to rename historical buildings rests solely with the South Carolina General Assembly, name changes or resolutions relating to name changes were not part of the Task Force’s recommendations.”
Chairman McKissick said, “Tillman Hall is a key part of that history, and the task force believes that clear historical context should be provided around the Tillman Hall name. The same consideration will be afforded to a number of key buildings, markers and people that make up Clemson’s history.”
The decision of the Task Force regarding the preservation of the name has sparked outrage among members of the collective Clemson community. The Silence of the Trustees, an ad published by the Tiger signed by faculty and staff, claims the Board’s inaction is “a refusal to confront the racial history of Clemson in one of its most violent figures [Tillman].”
See the Stripes said, “The Task Force’s response is consistent with what has been perceived and understood as the intuition’s tone deafness regarding this and many other issues.”
Regarding the decision, Dr. James A. McCubbin said, “I do understand that the Board must operate effectively within a complex political environment.  Nevertheless, the recommendations of the Board Task Force go far beyond the issue of one building’s name … moving forward, we have much more work to do to better develop a campus climate of inclusion and welcoming for all.”

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