In a Wednesday press release Salovey said the decision to retain Calhoun's name was made "to encourage the campus community to confront the history of slavery, and to teach that history and its legacy."
That reasoning, however, drew harsh responses from students who said their painful history should not be made into an educational experience, according to the YDN.Wait what? You will never learn about the painful history of something if you don't turn it into an educational experience. If these Yale students said "you know what, lets forget about the Holocaust because we don't want it made into an educational experience" that would make them a kind of Holocaust Denier.
Not learning about slavery and its history is a disservice to all of the people that lived through it and had to deal with its legacy. It does the worst thing you can do to people who lived through a tragedy which is to forget about them. All those Africans kidnapped from their homes, survived the middle passage, and worked those 18 hour or more days would be wiped from history by these Yalies. They will be forgotten simply because these students don't want them turned into an "educational experience." How do you learn about a tragedy unless you are educated about it?
However that said, why don't they just name the school after a prominent Yale abolitionist instead? Cassius Clay College or Samuel Hopkins College would do much of the work of teaching about slavery that John C. Calhoun College would. I can kind of see the Yalies point because something awful like the Adolf Eichmann School of Holocaust Studies would be grotesque. It is nice to see some College Presidents with a little backbone for a change. Salovey likes John C. Calhoun and he's sticking with him to the bitter end.