LSU students are pushing to change the name of the university’s library because of racial concerns.
“They have already taken our grandparents time, our parents time, and it’s our time now and we want change asap,” Calvin Morris said.
Calvin Morris and his friends created an online petition demanding the renaming of Middleton library to the Pinkie Gorgon Lane library. Lane was the first black woman to receive a PHD from LSU.
“Knowing that [the library] is an epicenter of campus where we need to go get resources and knowing that the very man that this building was named after does not want us to have resources, make us feel and makes us feel unwelcome,” Morris said.
Middleton was LSU’s president in the 1950s and 60s. The petition says he was against desegregation and actively worked to segregate students whenever possible.
“[Middleton] said that he would do anything in his power to get black people to be far away from the white people,” Kendall Diiulio said. “He said if a black person tried to go into our swimming pool he would shut down the swimming pool at all costs. He just did not want our black students to be with the white students and that just should not represent what LSU is today.”
Interim president Tom Galligan released a statement saying he’s open to talking to students about their concerns. This comes after speaking out in response to the death of George Floyd, saying he stands with the university’s black community.
“Black lives matter, to me thats a humanitarian statement.” Galligan said. “[African American students] want more representation in important searches and we’ll work towards that.”
Students say they want to see change sooner rather than later.
“It is important to me that LSU does everything it can to ensure that minority students are being taken care of,” Exquisite Williams said. “This support has to go beyond words and simple talk.”