Los Angeles Times

College may strip name of big benefactor

- By Gary Robbins Robbins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Cal State San Marcos votes to remove references to late Sen. Craven over remarks on immigrants.

MARCOS, Calif. — Cal State San Marcos is considerin­g removing the name of one of its biggest benefactor­s from a campus building, road and traffic circle because of controvers­ial remarks he made nearly 30 years ago about immigrants.

In a move that reflects the change occurring at many U.S. campuses, the school’s Academic Senate last week voted 56 to 2, with two abstention­s, to remove the references to the late William Craven, a moderate Republican who served northern San Diego County in many capacities, including as a member of the state Senate.

The faculty also is seeking to remove a bust of Craven that is on campus.

Cal State San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt says she will appoint a group to examine Craven’s legacy, which includes the pivotal role he played in persuading the California State University system to establish a campus in San Marcos in 1989.

The group will ensure “that many voices can be heard from our campus and external community,” said Margaret Chantung, the school’s communicat­ions chief. “Consultati­on is taking place now on the overall charge of the group and their timeline for moving forward, but that should be firmed up by the end of the semester, which is quickly approachin­g.”

Craven was well known in the state Assembly and, later, state Senate, for bipartisan­ship. He supported Democrats on an array of issues, including the Equal Rights Amendment for gender equality and the property tax measure Propositio­n 13. That helped him build the influence he needed to help create Cal State San Marcos.

But Craven upset many

people during a 1993 Senate hearing when he referred to workers who were in the United States illegally as “perhaps on the low scale of humanity, for one reason or another.” He later said he was referring to the “lower rung of humanity, economiSAN cally speaking.”

He caused more controvers­y the following year when he said it might be possible to pressure employers not to hire unauthoriz­ed immigrants by issuing ID cards to citizens of Latino ancestry. Craven said he thought the process might be clumsy and demeaning, but he didn’t know of an alternativ­e.

In 1994, activists tried and failed to get Cal State trustees to remove his name from campus memorials.

Craven died of congestive heart failure in 1999.

It has become fairly common over the last two years for colleges and universiti­es to remove the names of people who have made controvers­ial remarks. Those schools include UC Berkeley, which last year renamed three buildings because their namesakes had made racist statements.

 ?? Howard Lipin San Diego Union-Tribune ?? CAL STATE San Marcos voted to remove references on campus to the late William Craven, a big benefactor.
Howard Lipin San Diego Union-Tribune CAL STATE San Marcos voted to remove references on campus to the late William Craven, a big benefactor.
 ?? California State Legislatur­e C R AV E N ?? was a member of the state Senate.
California State Legislatur­e C R AV E N was a member of the state Senate.

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