President Fenves announces committee to review Jefferson Davis statue

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Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Gregory Vincent speaks to media at a June press conference held in front of the Jefferson Davis statue. Vincent addressed vandalism of Confederate statues.
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Gregory Vincent speaks to media at a June press conference held in front of the Jefferson Davis statue. Vincent addressed vandalism of Confederate statues.

In a press release Tuesday, UT announced that Gregory Vincent, vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, will chair a committee of students, alumni and faculty to review the Jefferson Davis statue on campus.

While the statue received significant attention during the semester because of the Student Government campaigns of now-President Xavier Rotnofsky and now-Vice President Rohit Mandalapu. They included the removal of the statue as one of their main campaign points.

The debate around the statue died down as the semester progressed, though. Following the events in Charleston, South Carolina, this past week, in which a white man killed nine black churchgoers during a Bible study, national attention has focused on Confederate iconography and its role in society. 

This event brought renewed attention to the Davis statue, as Davis was the president of the Confederacy, and Rotnofsky and Mandalapu started a petition Sunday calling for its removal. The petition currently has more than 2,300 signees. 

Tuesday morning, the statue, along with two other statues of Confederate leaders, was vandalized.

Fenves tweeted Tuesday that he is aware of student opinion and is looking for solutions.