UPDATE: Charleston Southern University removes the name of Strom Thurmond after a petition to rename the building

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UPDATE: Charleston Southern University has removed the name of Strom Thurmond from it’s Student Center.

School officials say the name change has been part of a renovation plan for the building and is not a direct result of the petition that was started in May to remove the name of Strom Thurmond.

Per CSU’s 5-year strategic plan, a phased renovation of the Thurmond Center began this summer, including the relabeling of the building as Student Center. This change reflects the original intent of the building— a welcoming central gathering place for our Bucs.

Jenna Johnson, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing, CSU
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North Charleston, S.C. – WCBD – Across the state, schools are being challenged to remove names from buildings that are associated with racism.

Charleston Southern University is facing a petition to change the name of the Strom Thurmond Center on campus.

The Strom Thurmond Center at Charleston Southern University is named after former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond who was a founding donor of the school.

Thurmond is also known for voting against the 1957 civil rights act.

“Why’d you accept for me to come to this school and then have a building like that?”

Rashad Taylor, former CSU student

Rashad Taylor a former CSU student and football player says promoting a person who voted against civil rights does not align with the school’s mission.

“This is important. You have a lot of black or a lot of students of color here at your institution. I would think you would try and accommodate their feelings just a little bit,” said Taylor.

Other CSU students like 2020 grad Jonathan Hiott say the change should have come sooner, especially from a Christian university.

“When we make these kind of changes people notice and I think it’s more important for us as a Christian university to make these sort of changes and this act more so then almost anyone else,” Hiott said.

Taylor and Hiott both agreed more change needs to be made.

“Just call out what this is, what’s going on, acknowledge the situation. Let’s change the situation and let’s grow from the situation” said Taylor.

School officials say there have been preliminary conversations about renaming the building while the center is being renovated, which is set to be done by the fall. The president of the university has met one-on-one with students to address the name change.

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