Students react to the Davis statue during Gone to Texas

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The statue of Jefferson Davis stands on the Main Mall, next to the Gone to Texas celebration. Plans to relocate the statue have stalled after a restraining order was filed against the University.
Photo Credit: Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff

As the University welcomes a new class at Gone to Texas, the Jefferson Davis statue remains on the Main Mall, where it has been since 1933.

Since February, the Davis statue has been vandalized three separate times. UT President Gregory Fenves created a task force over the summer to assess options for the statuaries on campus and later decided to relocate the Davis statue to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. As the statue’s removal has been stalled because of a temporary restraining order by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the statue continues to be a topic of discussion on campus.

Rohit Mandalapu, Student Government vice president and economics and Plan II senior, said he thinks freshmen should recognize that the statue does not stand for core values of the University and can still be seen if it is relocated.

“I would say that, based on the University’s core values and integrity [new students] learned about at orientation, the Jefferson Davis statue does not line up with that,” Mandalupu said. “I would also stress that the statue is being relocated, and it can still be seen for education purposes.”

Jordan Curl, a freshman in the School of Undergraduate Studies, said that while Davis is part of history, the statue should not be on campus.

“My grandfather would say Jefferson Davis is part of our history, and I get that,” Curl said. “However, I still believe it should
be removed.”

Because so many people want the statue removed, Curl said she thinks the plan will eventually happen.

Computer science sophomore Nick Cobb said, while he thinks the other Confederate statues that line the South Mall should not be on campus, Fenves’ decision to relocate the statue was a good solution.

“Jefferson Davis is part of history, but he has nothing to do with UT,” Cobb said. “Honestly, the University should remove the other statues, but [removing Davis] is a good compromise.”  

Psychology freshman Ixchel Perez said she would hate to see the Davis statue removed because of its longevity on campus.  
“I remember coming on a tour and someone saying what it represents,” Perez said. “It means something because it is part of the University’s history and tradition. I hope it isn’t removed.”

The Davis and Woodrow Wilson statues were originally set to be removed on Aug. 15 until the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a temporary restraining order attempting to prevent the removal. A hearing will occur on Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Travis County Courthouse to determine whether the statues can be removed.