Colonel San­ders and cock­roaches

Austin American-Statesman - - OPINION -

As a for­mer res­i­dent as­sis­tant at Simkins Hall, 1979-1981, we were not aware of Wil­liam Ste­wart Simkins’ in­volve­ment with the KKK — or his ac­com­plish­ments. We thought he looked like a skinny Colonel San­ders. The dorm mas­cot was the cock­roach (as they were abun­dant), and we had events rec­og­niz­ing them: the Roach Olympics, the Miss Roach con­test, Roach Casino Night and cock­roach races.

The cock­roach, not Simkins, was cel­e­brated. The dorm name was mean­ing­less ex­cept for the crit­i­cal fact that our mem­o­ries are at­tached to it. Chang­ing the name par­tially voids these pleas­ant times at the uni­ver­sity.

There are no fault­less in­di­vid­u­als. The Found­ing Fa­thers, civil rights lead­ers, even foot­ball coaches were flawed … just like the rest of us. Do we now re­name all build­ings? Per­haps we should be less judg­men­tal or name build­ings af­ter un­flawed non-hu­mans. I rec­om­mend re­nam­ing it Cock­roach Hall. Louis Lux austin

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