In collaboration with the Black Student Union at the school, University of Wisconsin-Madison leaders are discussing plans to remove a 70-ton boulder from campus grounds due to it once being called a racist name nearly a century ago.
The boulder had traveled to the region over 10,000 years ago, deposited by ancient pre-Cambrian bedrock drift from Canada, according to its plaque.
In 1925, workers pulled the rock out of the side of a hill on campus and named it â€œChamberlin Rockâ€ after Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin, a 19th century glaciologist and University of Wisconsin president. The rock was adorned with a plaque commemorating Chamberlin and placed at the universityâ€™s Washburn Observatory, where it remains today.
While Chamberlin Rock has been a campus fixture for 95 years, it recently came under fire due to once being described as a â€œn****rheadâ€ in 1925 as was common geological practice at the time to describe large dark rocks, Madison.com reports.
The Black Student Union at UW is now calling on the university to find an alternate way to represent Chamberlin on campus without the legacy implied by the rock.
â€œYou clearly see what the rock was called and you canâ€™t deny the history. Additionally you canâ€™t deny the way it makes some people feel,â€ Black Student Union president Nalah McWhorter told Madison.com. â€œIf youâ€™re not going to move the things that are disrespectful to us because other students love it, put something up that us Black and brown students can celebrate.â€
04 Sep 2020