The Department of Geography faculty calls for the removal of Silent Sam from McCorkle Place. As geographers we challenge our students to consider the importance of cultural landscapes and built environments in reflecting and shaping our identities, social relations, and communities. We study symbolic landscapes as contested settings in which the politics of inclusion and exclusion have taken form, and as places that have served as staging grounds for political movements. We believe that Silent Sam’s prominent presence on campus contradicts values of diversity, social justice and anti-violence that our discipline embraces, and the values of lux libertas, and guarantee of inclusion, mandated as the nation’s first public university. We argue that the continued presence of the monument is damaging to all of us who share this campus, but disproportionately jeopardizes the wellbeing of students with marginalized identities. Its removal is long overdue. In light of recent events in Charlottesville, we believe that the monument’s presence on campus also raises legitimate concerns of student and staff safety and security. We join the call for the immediate removal of the monument from McCorkle Place.

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