The SG’s resolution in favor of adding Indigenous Peoples Day to the university calendar along with Columbus Day signals a noble effort to recognize the trauma colonialism caused to native peoples.
The AU club Student Advocates for Native Communities supported the resolution, which asks the university to recognize both holidays on the second Monday of October. While the recommendation will not have an effect unless the university adopts the policy, the SG’s initiative is commendable.
Today, Columbus Day is a major point of contention. Despite the day off and the weekend sales, many are beginning to recognize that this holiday celebrates a low point in U.S. history, marking the genocide of countless native people and the imposition of foreign rule. With the rise of the indigenous rights movement, perhaps it’s time for Americans to give up the romanticized image of Columbus in favor of something truer to history.
However, the decision to combine Indigenous Peoples Day with Columbus Day also shows the SG’s cultural consideration. Among Italian-Americans, Columbus Day is a source of pride. Replacing the title would be insensitive to these Americans.
The university should adopt this resolution. Though a simple name change won’t erase the horrors committed generations ago, 500 years is too long to celebrate the arrival of a murderer.