FLORENCE — A University of North Alabama student's quest to remove the name of former Alabama Gov. David Bibb Graves from the building bearing his name must first be approved by the Student Government Association and the university's board of trustees.
Peyton Barrow, a student majoring in political science, said Monday he met Friday with Tate Gooch, 2020-21 Student Government Association president, and Ron Patterson, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UNA.
Barrow said he learned that seeking the removal of a name from a campus building involves a three-step process.
First, he said, the request must be approved by the SGA.
Then it must go before the board of trustees.
"They have to approve it," Barrow said. "That's the one we're not so confident about."
If those two bodies approve the request, it will go before the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection in Montgomery.
The process of changing the names of memorial buildings is covered in the Memorial Preservation Act and is subject to the same restrictions as monuments.
Barrow said Graves, who served as governor of Alabama from 1927 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1939, was a grand cyclops in the Montgomery Chapter of the KKK. Several colleges and universities around the state are mounting similar efforts.
Barrow said students will likely make a request to remove the names of former Alabama Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace, the wife of Gov. George C. Wallace, and Richard H. Rivers, who served as president of LaGrange College from 1854 to 1861.
Rivers was the author of "Elements of Moral Philosophy," a college textbook used throughout the South in the 1850s justifying slavery on theological grounds.
Barrow said they're concentrating on Bibb Graves Hall and will likely address other buildings in the future.
Patterson said the SGA has not voted on whether to support changing the name of Bibb Graves Hall.
"The SGA plans to meet Thursday," Patterson said.
Barrow said the university plans on conducting an independent study of the individuals whose names appear on various buildings on the UNA campus.