Law school approves name change following woke bill

The University of California Hastings College of Law Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the school’s name to the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco.

The name was approved following a June meeting where tribal leaders opposed naming the school after the city because it reflected 'death and destruction.'

On July 27, the University of California Hastings College of Law (UC Hastings) Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the school’s name to the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF). 

The move came despite tribal leaders of the Yuki and Round Valley tribes having earlier opposed keeping “San Francisco” in the name. 

Discussions to change UC Hastings’s name took place on June 3 of this year between school board members and representatives of the Yuki and Round Valley tribes. 

Yuki councilman Steve Brown took issue with the proposed “UC Law SF” name, claiming that the location of the university represented the same “death and destruction as the name Hastings.”

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Serranus Hastings, founder of the university, as well as a California rancher and Justice of the California Supreme Court, purportedly aided mass killings against native peoples in the area in the mid 19th-century.

The name “San Francisco,” on the other hand, was objected to due to crimes against Native Americans allegedly perpetrated by Catholic missions in the state.

“We don’t feel restorative justice would be accomplished by substituting one name with a horrific history for another with an equally horrific history,” Brown said in the June 3 meeting.

Of stakeholders who reached out to the university regarding the name change, 78% supported renaming efforts. Of the supporters, a majority approved using the school’s geographic location to rebrand.

Following the board’s vote, the new name will be considered by state lawmakers before being sent to the governor’s desk for final approval. The new name could be finalized by January 2023. 

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Chancellor and Dean David Faigman wrote in a statement that the new name “comes at an exciting time” in the school’s history and will retain “the heart, the spirit, and the excellence” of the college. However, he confirmed that additional efforts will be made to restore “justice” to the tribes.

Campus Reform emailed UC Hastings and the Round Valley tribe, and called the Yuki tribe for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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