The University of Florida has dropped Karl Marx’s name from a library study room in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Orlando Weekly reported.
The Karl Marx Group Study Room was the largest of multiple spaces in UF’s Library West named for historical figures, Campus Reform, a conservative news site, noted earlier this month. Other rooms are named for Jane Austen, Benjamin Franklin, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr.
The University of Florida dropped Marx—a German-born economist and philosopher who authored The Communist Manifesto—from the study room because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to an emailed statement. A plaque outside the room, which included a photo and brief biography of Marx, was also removed.
“Given current events in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world, we have removed the name of Karl Marx that was placed on a group study room at the University of Florida in 2014,” the university told Inside Higher Ed. “To many people around the world, the Russian invasion of Ukraine invokes strong and painful memories of Soviet domination and oppression, which had an indisputable link to Marxist ideology. For that reason, some people were troubled by the idea of having a room on the University of Florida campus with Marx’s name on it, and so the decision was made to remove the name.”
The library website now lists the space as “Group Study Room 229.”
A UF chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America has pushed back on the change, accusing the university of censoring leftist viewpoints and demanding that officials reinstate Marx’s name.