Students at Lebanon Valley College (LVC) in Pennsylvania are demanding Lynch Memorial Hall on campus be renamed, due to the potential traces of racism associated with the word “lynch.”
The demand comes as students have spent a week protesting and calling for diversity on campus.
According to PennLive, student demands were announced last Friday at a forum and immediately handed to LVC president Dr. Lewis Thayne. In addition to the demand that the name “Lynch” be removed or altered in Lynch Memorial Hall because of the word’s supposed association with racism, students also called for a more diverse curriculum and sensitivity training for faculty.
Demands for recognition of various gender identities and regular checks by administration on campus “racial climate,” were also made by students according to the news report.
Thayne said he was reviewing the list of demands and looked forward to discussing it further with students. He added that some of the demands are “in step with those already being discussed by the administration.”
The school’s president is also expected to address the demands at the college’s third annual Symposium on Inclusive Excellence on Jan. 21, 2016.
Student organizers at the forum Friday said the college must address “institutional injustices” which they claim have long affected minorities, women, the disabled, LGBTQ students and more.
“We are here to stop the marginalization by changing the institution,” student Cara Breslin said.
Tamara Baldwin, president of LVC’s Black Student Union, said her group hopes to “level the playing field, for all marginalized people on campus,” to “make sure their voices are heard and that all the things they are lacking on campus are acknowledged.”
Students reportedly discouraged photos and video of the forum Friday in order to create a “safe space” where participants could speak up without fear of repercussions.
Michael Schroeder, an associate professor of history, said about LVC, “We’re not an island but sometimes it feels like an island because it’s such a rural and bucolic setting. But we’re clearly caught up in the same currents that the rest of the country is.”
Schroeder added he supports the goals of the students making the demands.
“Students here tend to be relatively quiescent, but this year there’s a disproportionately large number of students of color and they’re feeling marginalized and silenced,” he said.