Group petitions to rename buildings at USC

Group petitions to rename buildings at USC
June 15 15:34 2020 Print This Article

A group calling itself Repeal The South Carolina Heritage Act has petitioned University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen and the school’s Board of Trustees, asking that the Strom Thurmond Center, a fitness facility, and Sims Hall, an all-female dormitory, be renamed. The group claims to have 70,000 supporters.

Thurmond, who died in 2003 at the age of 100, was a South Carolina Governor and eight-term United States Senator and ran for President as a “Dixiecrat” in 1948 in defense of segregationist policies in Southern states. J. Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, was a Lancaster County physician who developed pioneering childbirth techniques. He is criticized by the petitioning group for performing deliveries for slave women. Most childbirths by slave women were performed by midwives with no medical training or equipment. Sims endowed the J Marion Sims Foundation, which provides education, community health and mentoring services in Lancaster and Chester counties.

The South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000 was a bipartisan measure to remove the Confederate battle flag from the capitol dome in Columbia and move it the Statehouse grounds. It also protected statues, monuments, and buildings of historical significance, requiring a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly for their removal. In 2015, the General Assembly voted to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, following the murder of nine members of the Emanuel AME church in Charleston.