Texas A&M to Leave Controversial Statue in Place
Texas A&M plans to leave a statue of Confederate General and former university president Lawrence Sullivan Ross in place.
According to a report in the Texas Tribune, Texas A&M leadership says the statue will stay where it is: Academic Plaza. This decision comes just days after Interim President John Junkins said the issue was unresolved.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents was asked to make recommendations on the statue and a redesign of the area around the statue, but removing the statue was off the table.
Of course, the decision to leave it where it is was not taken well by those advocating for its removal. Matthew Francis Jr., a junior who served on the commission as a representative of the TAMU chapter of the NAACP, told the Texas Tribune:
“You can’t say that you appreciate the report and, [say] ‘Yes, we do we have things we need to discuss,’ and in the same breath say ‘It’s not going anywhere.’ What’s the point in progress if those who have the power to make progress are just going to continue to double down on the very thing that we’re trying to make progress on?”
This is not the first time the statue has been the center of controversy. Students have wanted the statue removed for years.
Recent events have brought the issue up once again.Black Student Alliance Council member, Qynetta Caston, has been one of the students advocating for it's removal and questions the transparency of the schools decision.
"I’m really curious as to why they haven’t told the community their decision on the Sullivan Ross statue,” she said.
Although the statue will stay in place for now, there is a new task force that has until March 26 to submit new designs for Academic Plaza. The statue may be removed at that point, or it may not.
Meanwhile, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reports that the university's board of regents voted Monday to approve a roughly $25 million play to address diversity at the school, which includes $1 million to install displays portraying the university's history.
Under that plan, there could be more statues added to the campus. So, rather than removing one, they'll potentially be adding more in order to tell the story of Texas A&M.