One of the questions that several people have asked is what do the people at Washington & Lee feel about the recent decision to remove replicas of Confederate flags from the Lee Chapel (while displaying actual Confederate flags in the museum downstairs near the Lee crypt).
After all, it should seem important to find out what the people who graduated from or attend W&L think about how their president responded to a set of demands offered by a group of students calling themselves The Committee.
Well, we now have some idea of what alumni and students think of the situation, thanks to this poll undertaken by a student-run campus magazine.
As one might expect, both groups are divided, although one could raise reservations about the way the questions are worded. After all, some students and alumni may think the president did not go far enough (as in remove all Confederate flags, period) while others may say that removing the flags was not a good idea … but both groups would be counted as opposed to the president’s decision.
That said, slight majorities of both groups disagree with the president’s decision; by substantial margins, they believe he was responding to pressure to act; and, by fairly significant margins (more so with the students), they agree that the president’s response was appropriate.
Make of this what you will, but this survey offers us a point of departure for understanding what students and alumni believe.