Students on the University of South Florida’s campus are petitioning for a name change of the ROTC building on campus. The building’s namesake is former senator Charles William Young. Young had a political career lasting more than fifty years.
He was a member of the Johns committee. The Johns committee’s aim was to remove radicals from the Florida Public University system during the 1960s. The Florida senate chose to seal over 50,000 pages of documents involving the committee until 1992 when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that they fell within the sunshine laws.
Bruce Wright, President of students for a democratic society, said the committee’s goal was less than appropriate.
“It was formed to investigate people’s lifestyles to see if they were compliant with what was perceived to be the way a professor should be,” Wright said.
Students gathered outside of the building with signs chanting “change the name stop the hate”, with the petition currently holding 400 signatures.
While students protest the name of the building there are other students such as Jesse Davidson, majoring in communications, who believe the university should take a different approach and inform students on the matter.
“I don’t think that we should look over all the good things that he did for our community and the reason he had a building named after him in the first place,”said Davidson.
The University of South Florida currently has no plans to change the buildings name.