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patricia.graham@nyu.edu

Resolution on the Removal of Hateful Legacies from NYU

WHEREAS, Elmer Holmes Bobst publicly expressed his staunchly anti-semitic beliefs, having once written in a letter to Nixon, “Jews have troubled the world from the very beginning. If this beloved country of ours ever falls apart, the blame rightly should be attributed to the malicious action of Jews in complete control of our communications.”[1]

WHEREAS, there is an ongoing national push to remove legacies of hate from all university institutions, even those universities that once belonged to the Confederacy.

WHEREAS, NYU’s 3,500 undergraduate Jewish identified students are now bearing witness once more to a terrifying rise of public anti-semitism and mobilization of organizations self-affiliating with Nazis.

WHEREAS, we recognize the unquestionable financial assistance the Bobst family provided to New York University, generations having also served as Trustees for many years.

WHEREAS, there may be other names on buildings, rooms, spaces, programs and scholarships tied to equally as hateful individuals.

WHEREAS, the Morse Academic Plan had Samuel Morse removed from the namesake for similar reasons, for his anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant Nativist leadership during his life.

WHEREAS, the University changed the October break from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

WHEREAS, an NYU film program for high school students was named after Bill Cosby but has been removed since 2015;[2]

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library should be stripped of its anti-semitic name and also any representation, language, or imagery of its namesake that is celebratory in nature.

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, a committee will be created to rename the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library and review all named buildings, rooms, spaces, programs, and scholarships of New York University of any hateful legacy.


[1] http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/opinions/nixon-pal-slur-won-passover-article-1.757118

[2]https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/nyregion/nyu-removes-bill-cosbys-name-from-film-workshop-joining-other-schools.html