The following comes from a May 16 news release from Stanford University:
The Stanford committee working to establish principles for reconsidering and renaming such campus landmarks as streets and buildings is inviting members of the university community to offer their suggestions about criteria that ought to be considered.
Feedback can be submitted to the committee through its webpage until Monday, June 6.
The eight-person committee, composed of faculty and students and chaired by historian David Kennedy, has already begun meeting and has made progress in refining the committee’s charge and reviewing case studies from other colleges and universities.
Kennedy said everyone asked to join the committee agreed, which, he said, “tells us something about the seriousness with which they take this issue and how conscientiously they will work on it.”
In studying other colleges and universities, committee members discovered how vital community outreach is to their proceedings, according to Laura Jones, university archeologist and director of heritage services, who staffs the group.
The committee was formed in March by President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy to establish principles for considering the renaming of campus streets and buildings in light of concerns raised by students about landmarks named for Junipero Serra. Serra was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest who founded the mission network in California. Although considered a saint by the Catholic Church, Serra’s treatment of Native Americans has come under scrutiny in recent years. Among the streets and buildings that bear the Serra name are Serra Mall, which fronts the Main Quadrangle; Serra House, home to the Clayman Institute for Gender Research; and Serra, an undergraduate residence within Stern Hall.