- The board of trustees of the University of California Hastings College of the Law is seeking to change the name of the school.
- The college’s namesake is Serranus Hastings, a former attorney general who funded the indiscriminate killings of indigenous peoples.
- The school is known to have propelled several notable names into the limelight, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
A California law school named after a man who funded the murder of Indigenous people in the state is trying to change his name.
The board of trustees of the University of California Hastings College of the Law voted on Tuesday to orchestrate a name change with the California legislature and governor’s office, according to a press release. Release. The school itself is unable to change its name without the support of the state government.
The college is known to have propelled several notable names into the limelight, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
Its namesake, Serranus Hastings, was the former attorney general of California. Hastings funded the forcible displacement of the Yuki people, a move that resulted in the murder of several tribal members.
The killings were indiscriminate and brutal. A 10-year-old girl was killed for showing “stubbornness”, and some infants were killed for being “out of their misery”, documents reviewed by the New York Times noted.
For at least four years, the school has faced and scrutinized its own dark history, wondering whether to change its name.
“Four years ago, I launched a solid process to engage native Californians whose tribes have been affected by the murderous acts of Serranus Hastings,” Dean David Faigman said in the statement. âThe time has come to recognize that the College’s name change is an important step in this process. I am committed to working diligently to achieve this.
The school attempted to enact some form of reparation for the unrest and devastation caused by its namesake. A committee formed to “recommend steps towards restorative justice” announced a series of initiatives designed to honor indigenous peoples and preserve their culture and history.
The committee came up with the idea of ââerecting a public memorial dedicated to the Yuki people, the statement said. The school also recommended that the Yuki people have better access to their educational resources such as scholarships and the opportunity to be part of their advocacy team.
The bill can be presented to the state legislature as early as Jan. 3, according to CNN. It’s unclear what the new name might be, but potential nominees could include names of “geographic or California-specific designation,” Faigman told CNN.