Author: Bridget Manley
Halloween in Harrisonburg — normally a bustle of costumed kids and Skeleton Fest — is starting to feel more like one of those abandoned houses that might be haunted.
For many student activists at James Madison University, changing the names of three buildings once named for Confederate officers represented progress toward a more inclusive campus, after their hard work lobbying the administration for years finally paid off. Many of them say, however, that renaming the buildings is only the tip of the iceberg of what they’d like to see happen.
Following a unanimous vote by the James Madison University Board of Visitors, the names of three confederate officers – Stonewall Jackson, Matthew Fontaine Maury, and Turner Ashby – no longer grace buildings on campus. The decision was made Tuesday during a virtual meeting of the board.
JMU students created a podcast series. One parent is keeping an illustrated journal. The pandemic has inspired an 8-year-old to be his neighborhood’s reporter. And middle school students are crafting poetry to capture the moment. While the long-term effects of the current crisis are still unclear, these creators are curating a kind of time capsule for themselves, their friends and family and future generations who might inevitably ask, “Grandma, what was Coronavirus like?”
In a public ceremony in the fall of 1917, six buildings on Bluestone Hill — the center of campus for what was then the State Normal and Industrial School for Women — were renamed. And for the last 103 years, four of the six have borne the monikers of men who were slaveowners or confederates.
Reed says she’s ‘still in this race’ after missing filing deadline; Democrats file extension request
Mayor Deanna Reed, the top vote getter in the last month’s Harrisonburg City Council Democratic primary, said she still plans to run for re-election and for her name to be on the Nov. 3 election ballot even though her election paperwork wasn’t submitted by Virginia’s June 9 deadline. And the state Democratic Party has stepped in to ask the state for a filing extension in the wake of other election-related postponements this spring.
With three city council seats and city three city school board seats up for election in Harrisonburg this November, the candidates are having to altering their campaign styles — and even how their process for filing to run — in the wake of COVID-19.