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There are 13 comments on POV: Rename Myles Standish Hall—“A Symbol of Continued Oppression”

  1. If we are going to rename the hall, we should name it after one of our own alums. How about naming it Ohiye s’a, or Charles Eastman, who graduated from the BU School of Medicine in 1890 and was one of the very first Native American doctors? Eastman was a well known and important writer and cultural figure, and a complex individual whose struggles and hybrid identities represent much of the history we need to acknowledge. Here at BU we should acknowledge our pioneer leading graduates such as Dr. Eastman, Dr. J W E Bowen, Dr. Helen Magill White. There is a reason such great people came to BU in the 1800s.

  2. As a former student who lived there in the 1990’s, I am against renaming Myles Standish Hall because the building name represents much more than the man behind the name.

    Myles Standish Hall is part of a larger institution, a place where dreams were born, lifelong friendships were created, and its positive aura impacted so many through the past decades.

    By renaming the Hall, the school strips away part of the identity of each student who lived there. Please reconsider.

    1. AGREED! I was going to name my three future children Myles, Standish, and Hall, respectively. Alas – would be tragic and devastating to have their namesake stripped away. (insert heartbreak emoji)

  3. Great article. I appreciate the honesty, candor, and authors willingness to “name names”. I support the four suggestions made by the authors with one other suggestion. The building, as suggested by ‘Dana Robert’ should be named after Charles Eastman, a graduate of the BU School of Medicine in 1890, one of the first Native Americans to be certified as a European-style doctor.

    “So what’s the holdup? In short, President Robert Brown.”

    Keep in mind that in 2020 President Brown also delayed and deflected when it came to eliminating Columbus Day from the university’s calendar in favor of Indigenous People’s Day. He wanted to wait until the Commonwealth made the decision before making any changes. This was a craven and irresponsible action and response for several reasons. First, BU is a private institution and, unlike public or state institutions, not dependent on Massachusetts. Second, several institutions in New England made the change regardless of their respective state government’s stance. Finally, leadership matters. BU, and Pres. Brown, could have been leaders in this arena and served as the catalyst of change. Representation matters.

    I hope Pres. Brown makes the right decision about renaming the building.
    I hope that BU adds a Native Studies Program to the university. I hope that the new genocide program at BU includes coursework on the (still ongoing) genocide of indigenous persons. Leadership is hard. It takes courage.

  4. Ahh, college students focused on the ever-important things. What’s the end result, dissolve the USA as it was formed on the backs of the dead. Perhaps focus your efforts where they can have a REAL impact.

    1. that sounds like a lovely end result actually! :) unsure if you’re aware, but BU students are actually capable of focusing on several things at the same time & acknowledge the implications of positively memorializing someone who committed genocide. changing a name shouldn’t be too hard.

  5. In fact, isn’t it time to stop naming stuff after people, all of whom are flawed. No doubt, down the road scrupulous investigators will uncover some unspeakable horror perpetrated by Chief Wituwamat or for whomever the old hotel is renamed this time.

    How about something truly revolutionary: a campaign to start denaming all buildings and just use addresses or location names.

  6. Everyone who is suggesting renaming the hall after BU alumni are missing the point by a mile. The point isn’t just to remove a mass murderer’s name off of a building, a name that otherwise has zero real significances. But also to honor and respect the negative impact that the mass murderer and his unnecessary glorification has had on the descendants of the survivors of the genocide he perpetrated. It is not simply erasure. I understand wanting to move forward and honor a Native American BU alum, but that would be doing so in an ignorant and privileged manner, a privilege the Massachusett tribe will never have. The absolute least we could do is honor their wishes.

  7. No, they should not do this. It’s a part of the university’s history and nobody is actually being hurt by a plaque– I’m sorry, but that’s just a fact. Anyone offended is choosing to do so, because a name on a building affects nothing about your everyday life.

  8. I liked Travis Franks’ take on the same topic in Cognoscenti; I highly recommend reading his article if you’d like further context. I think just as one may make the argument that changing the name of the building won’t do much to redress old wrongs, changing the name of the building won’t do much to hurt anyone. I lived in Myles; I really don’t care what the name of the building is.

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