Jefferson Davis Statue Controversy
Jefferson Davis Statue Causes Civil War With Words
Several of the University of Texas’ adornments are controversial for students and faculty on campus, but the Jefferson Davis statue, located on UT’s South Mall, has proven to be particularly inflammatory.
Jefferson Davis served as President of the Confederate States of America and ardently supported of slavery.
UT’s Student Government has been working to remove Davis’ statue because they claim it symbolizes Texas’ shameful and racist past.
“The University of Texas advocates for inclusion and diversity, and Jefferson Davis’ pro-slavery stance does not align with the University’s core values,” Liberal Arts Representative Sammy Minkowitz said. “Statues are meant to honor people, and I don’t think we should honor someone like Jefferson Davis.”
Led by newly-elected President Xavier Rotnofsky and Vice President Rohit Mandalapu, UT’s Student Government passed a resolution in March supporting the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue. The resolution recommends, but cannot ensure removal or guarantee action from the University. According to former Student Government representative Meredith Rotwein, UT’s Master Planning Committee ultimately controls the statue’s fate.
The statue has been defaced two times since January — once with chalk and once with spray paint. On the second occasion of vandalism, the statue had “Davis must fall” and “Emancipate UT” written on its base.
The Jefferson Davis statue was erected on campus at a time when white southerners wanted to revive the legacy of the Confederacy. The statue was originally funded by George W. Littlefield — a Confederate officer, UT regent and substantial benefactor to the University.