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This is just the first step of a long-term process for UCL to make-amends for its deeply troubling ties to eugenics and institutional racism. Thank you to all the students, activists and staff, whose tireless efforts over many years made this a reality. Now let’s sustain and channel this energy into our education, into our research, into our hiring practices and into all of our decision making at UCL.

Eugenics is far from being a dead ideology. This crisis has shown the disregard for human life that isn’t deemed worthy. We cannot accept eugenics by neglect, herd immunity by stealth or death by austerity. We cannot afford to be numb.

We’re sad that protests, countless petitions and a year-long inquiry was needed to change the names of a building, a lecture theatre and a lab. It’s about time that this was recognised as an important change necessary for our community. Although changing a name appears to be a trivial matter, keeping the names for so long upholds the very values that we want to dismantle. Names of buildings, statues etc. are physical manifestations of these values. We have seen from the tearing down of the Edward Colston statue, that this is how we learn and make history.

We will no longer accept having to recount traumatising experiences for fruitless consultations that lead to empty promises and no action. We will stand for change as long as harmful injustices prevail. Let this be our encouragement as student activists to continue!

Sandy, BME Officer, Students’ Union UCL

You can read UCL’s statement here.

Watch our explainer video to learn about how we got here

Listen to the Bricks + Mortals podcast

Read our analysis of the Eugenics Inquiry report