30 Nov 2005

Political Correctness at University of the South

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The New York Times reports that at the University of the South (recently renamed as “Sewanee: The University of the South”), as at numerous other Southern colleges and universities these days, traditions and symbols pertaining to history and Southern regionalism, especially those associated with the Lost Confederate Cause, are being bowdlerized out of existence.

Submission to contemporary prejudice and political correctness is seen by many college executives as necessary for achieving so-called “diverse” enrollments, i.e. student bodies featuring significant percentages of members of designated victims’ groups, and national reputation.

The flags from Southern states disappeared from the chapel. The ceremonial baton dedicated to a Confederate general who helped found the Ku Klux Klan vanished. The very name of the University of the South was tweaked, becoming Sewanee: The University of the South, with decided emphasis on Sewanee…

Across the country, colleges are trying to reposition themselves to attract more high-quality students and raise their national profiles. But perhaps nowhere is this more challenging than in the South, where university officials often find themselves struggling to temper Confederate imagery without alienating alumni and donors determined to uphold their heritage.

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