Home News UPD investigating after controversial Confederate marker vandalized

UPD investigating after controversial Confederate marker vandalized

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Photo courtesy of May Olvera Herz
-Photo courtesy of May Olvera

This article has been updated with new information.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ name has been spray-painted out of the highway marker located across the street from Sewell Park.

The University Police Department is currently investigating and Campus Facilities officials have confirmed that the marker was vandalized, said Jayme Blaschke, director of University News Service, in the afternoon Wednesday.

Blaschke said that the marker, that was erected in 1931 by the Daughters of the Confederacy under a permit issued by the Texas Legislature, is not technically under the jurisdiction of the university. He said that when it was erected, it was on federal land because the area in front of J.C. Kellam and Sewell Park was part of the fish hatchery. But once the university took over that property, the highway marker transferred with it. Now, the marker is under TxDOT.

“The university is in ongoing discussions with TxDOT and the Daughters of the Confederacy to have the monument removed and relocated to some other location in Hays County where the history would be preserved,” Blaschke said. “The university is committed to having the marker relocated.”

 

The marker became the center of controversy last fall after a statue of Jefferson Davis was removed from the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. During the week following UT’s relocation of the statue, Faculty Senate members discussed the future of Texas State’s Confederate highway marker.

“I don’t think someone who tries to secede from the country should be honored,” said Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor, in September.

In February, Faculty Senate sent a letter to the Texas Department of Transportation officially requesting that the monument be moved.

“While the university has told us that this memorial will eventually be taken down, it has been a much too long and drawn out process,” said May Olvera, former College Democrats Vice President.

Olvera’s friends texted her a photo of the vandalized marker after they noticed the damage while driving last night.

“It is completely understandable that students and the community become frustrated with this lack of expediency and choose to take matters into their own hands,” she said. “When the system fails, people act.”

The Hays County Historical Commission requested earlier this year that the marker be relocated rather than disposed of.

“At this point, the commission has not been able to find a place to relocate the marker, but I have been informed that it won’t be at the courthouse,” said Luanne Cullen, secretary to Kate Johnson, HCHC chairman, in February. “We do know that the marker will likely be removed from campus this spring.”

While waiting to hear back from TXDOT, university officials are working on an in-depth legal analysis of who has the proper authority to actually move the marker, said Eric Algoe, Finance and Support Services president, in February.

“For the most part, the university is indifferent as to which party actually makes the move,” Algoe said. “Whoever has the appropriate authority to do so will do so. But the university is 100 percent on board with removing the monument from our campus, regardless of which institution has to pay for its removal.”

Moving the marker would not be “tremendously expensive” to do, Algoe said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. (“I don’t think someone who tries to secede from the country should be honored,” said Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor, in September.)

    The professor is obviously ill-informed. If we look at the facts, Mr Davis was against succession by the South. How does a professor not know this? Beyond me. He stated the day he was sworn into power in the south was the worst day of his life. While Jefferson is not excused for his horrific participation in the confederacy, why do people who are in positions of influence see the right to make false statements based on PC principal thought processes? Its the nature of America today.

    Take it from an article by a U.S. government bureau…

    ( Simultaneously, while comparing his party to the revolutionaries of the previous generation, he stated the United States, unlike Britain and the colonies, needed to stay together. “…[Y]ou see agitation, tending slowly and steadily to that separation of the states, which, if you have any hope connected with the liberty of mankind… if you have any sacred regard for the obligation which the acts of your fathers entailed upon you,–by each and all of these motives you are prompted to united an earnest effort to promote the success of that great experiment which your fathers left it to you to conclude.”)
    https://www.nps.gov/bost/the-anti-secessionist-jefferson-davis.htm

    What really confuses me is the fact our federal government recognizes Jefferson Davis as a notable enough individual to pay some 4 million to rebuild his presidential library after Katrina. Yes, as a president of the confederacy, the guy still has his own federally funded presidential library. FEMA, to be exact paid for this reconstruction. 90% of it.

    I agree with the University’s assessment to remove it from our beautiful campus, its outdated, offensive, and not representative of our student body. But lets first do our research before we state things as if they are fact.

    The staff who wrote this will probably remove this post, go for it, keep the power of the media censorship intact. But honest to god how are you going to publish things like this without fact checking the things you quote. If you argue you are just reporting, then why not add that the statement by the professor is actually false? Because you represent the PC agenda of your constituency without focusing on fact. Laughable.

  2. (“I don’t think someone who tries to secede from the country should be honored,” said Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor, in September.)

    While I am not very surprised that Professor Bell-Metereau is not well versed in Civil War history, I am somewhat surprised by her poor use of the English language. Jefferson Davis was one of a group of men and women who – in fact – did secede from the Union. Granted, short term and unsuccessful, but secession did occur. Secession was not “tried” it was “done”.

    Also, I am terribly offended by the statue of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Please have this removed ASAP. Not only was he a crook and shyster, he led the fascist right wing military-industrial complex through the height of the Vietnam War – Shame Shame on Texas State University – “remove it from our beautiful campus, its outdated, offensive, and not representative of our student body.”

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