Whether you realize it or not, history is in the making right now at MTSU. This spring, a 16-person task force made up of students, faculty and community members created by president Sidney A. McPhee will help decide the fate of Forrest Hall, a military science building named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
To preface this special edition of Sidelines, the task force has been asked to recommend whether the building should be renamed, retain the name but with added historical perspective or recommend no action or change is warranted. With that in mind, the Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Historical Commission will have to approve any recommended name change.
Sidelines isn’t taking an editorial stance, but we believe it’s our job to provide the MTSU community with everything we know about the issue as of March 21. For the past month, we’ve researched Forrest and his presence on campus in the past, interviewed students and faculty and sifted through the archives for old stories and photos.
While Sidelines is remaining neutral, I want to stress the importance of exercising your First Amendment right, especially during a critical time like now. Last summer, students in support of renaming Forrest Hall made their requests known by more than just a select few on social media, and both sides have expressed concerns during protests and public meetings.
If you have a concern regarding Forrest Hall or any other issue in the MTSU community, I urge you make your voice heard, whether it’s through a Letter to the Editor, on social media or during a public forum as many have over the past year.
Dylan Skye Aycock, Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.