MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s Student Government Association (SGA) is urging the university to rename the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences and Cancer Research Laboratory.
SGA takes issues with Byrd’s affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the 1940s and feels that his name does not promote diversity and inclusion on campus. Instead, they are offering a different name, the Patrice A. Harris Health Sciences and Cancer Research Laboratory, which honors a WVU alumna.
Harris was the first African American woman elected as president of the American Medical Association.
In a statement, WVU said the following regarding the desire to remove the Robert C. Byrd name:
“WVU is aware of the recent SGA recommendation. We always encourage our student leaders to come to us with their ideas and suggestions so we can talk about them. To our knowledge, that didn’t happen in this case but we look forward to the opportunity to discuss their proposal in more detail.”