From UnKoch My Campus:
George Mason University Must Rename Buchanan Hall to Begin Process of UnKoch-ing Entire Campus
UnKoch My Campus has launched a campaign to pressure George Mason University to rename Buchanan Hall in the hopes of beginning the process of eradicating the influence of the Koch network and its affiliates on campus.
By continuing to host a building with Buchanan as its namesake, Mason is glorifying a far-right ideology of politics and economics that posits the supremacy of a few wealthy elites over what Buchanan would describe as the “parasitic” masses. They tacitly endorse an ideology that sought to undermine the public’s ability to utilize democracy to preserve the common good, and sought to change the rules of the game in order to allow the 1% to subvert democracy to protect their own interests. George Mason University has become the hub of Charles Koch’s political network, continuing a long tradition of ultra-wealthy elites using Virginia’s residents and resources to bolster their wealth and further their agenda at the expense of the Commonwealth and those who reside there.
James Buchanan Hall stands as a constant reminder of the ways he and Charles Koch infiltrated the school to shape the political landscape of both Virginia and the United States.
“We’ve fought for years towards full divestment from Koch network donors and a new era of transparency and accountability at Mason, and that fight continues on. But we also stand against universities –bodies that should stand for the common good– honoring figures who would have gladly seen public universities and schools themselves cease to exist.” — Cassidy Pollard, UnKoch My Campus Student & Campus Organizer
In the first hour of the petition’s launch, over 100 folks signed on, and the moment continues to grow. While renaming buildings is no substitute for divestment and disaffiliation from Koch network donors, we believe that public entities have no business venerating figures who unequivocally believed in their destruction, and the destruction of the common good they are supposed to stand for. George Mason’s administration has postured for years about creating a Mason based in transparency and accountability, and this is the perfect opportunity for them to put their money where their mouth is.
UnKoch My Campus is a national nonprofit project that works to expose and prevent donors like Charles Koch and his network from being able to buy undue academic influence in an attempt to legitimize and bolster their political and corporate agendas. Our network includes grassroots campaigns made up of students, educators, alumni and community members who have seen firsthand the undue influence Koch money has on campus, in the form of undisclosed, quid-pro-quo arrangements that give them a say on curriculum, hiring decisions and research outcomes.