UNB law students call for Ludlow Hall name change because of slavery link
Building was named for Loyalist with connections to slavery, residential schools
Law students at the University of New Brunswick are officially asking that George Duncan Ludlow's name be removed from the law faculty building.
The UNB Law Students' Society passed a resolution asking the name be removed "without delay" from Ludlow Hall on the Fredericton campus.
Molly Murphy, president of the society, said law students drafted a document that laid out why the name is problematic, and the resolution passed at the annual general meeting.
"The feedback at the forum was unanimous in support of removal of the name," said Murphy.
Karen McGill, who graduates in October from the law school, has been vocal in her opposition to the building's name.
"I'm really, truly proud of the Law Students' Society for first, listening to the concerns of students such as myself and secondly, transforming those concerns into action through their advocacy," McGill said.
"I think that's tremendous that the law student body did that collectively."
Ludlow was the province's first chief justice and was instrumental in crafting some of the colony's first statutes.
However, he was also alleged to have owned slaves. He ruled in favour of slavery in New Brunswick and participated in a precursor to residential schools for Indigenous children.
Writing in a 1995 issue of the UNB Law Journal, historian Barry Cahill called Ludlow "the leading judicial partisan of slavery in New Brunswick."
Murphy said she has not received a university response to the resolution.
In an emailed statement to CBC News, UNB president and vice-chancellor Paul Mazerolle confirmed the university has received the society's request.
UNB to look at naming conventions
"As a post-secondary institution committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, I and other members of UNB administration are considering our next steps in relation to naming conventions for UNB buildings," said Mazerolle.
Murphy said the society is not suggesting an alternative name for Ludlow Hall because it doesn't want to complicate its request.
"We are not going to muddy the conversation with suggestions for new names at this time because we want the university to know that we are serious about removing this name … there should be nothing that slows this process," she said.
McGill, who is a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation, has an idea. She is suggesting naming the building after the Wolastoqey name for the St. John River, Wolastoq.
"The river is a source of knowledge and has informed our entire history throughout time," she said.
"You know it's our lifeblood, it's who we are, it's all of us. And a very powerful symbol of our collective heritage and focal point for reclamation and reconciliation."