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College Will Tear Down Mural Of White People To 'Improve Diversity' On Campus

Jeff Katz
July 03, 2019 - 4:01 pm

Tufts University announced last week it will remove a mural depicting important figures in the school's history in an effort to "increase diversity," according to a report from Campus Reform. Students reportedly said the mural made them uncomfortable because it portrayed white men.

The university announced in a press release the decision to remove the mural that covers the wall in the Alumnae Lounge after students complained that it only features white men. In the release, the university argued that removing the mural actually helps to tell the proper story of the school's founding:

As a matter of historical record, however, the murals tell an incomplete story about the origins and growth of Tufts. There is not a single image of a person of color, for example, despite the fact that black students were enrolled at Tufts as early as the late nineteenth century, according to university archives. And as faculty and students shared at two public forums, the murals do not reflect the diversity of the Tufts community, both past and present.

That missing narrative has, in turn, made the space of Alumnae Lounge feel unwelcoming to many members of today’s university community. In an open forum last year, students spoke about feeling alienated by the murals and questioned the university’s support for imagery that undermines its values of diversity and inclusion—a response especially important because Alumnae Lounge is a frequent gathering space for awards ceremonies and other events.