Lafayette Lives

To the Editor: After a long time, I have finally summoned up the courage to draw attention to a particular matter. A specific matter the majority of our community will undoubtedly find just slightly esoteric. On our University Green reside two statues of dead, white, male revolutionaries: Ira Allen and the Marquis de Lafayette. Surprisingly, a vast amount of UVM students are ignorant of the fact that we have this statue. This priceless statue, at that. This statue of Lafayette, hanging out at the southern end of the green. This often forgotten UVM artifact predates that of Ira Allen by some years. Lafayette was set on the main green in 1883 and Ira in 1921. Prior to Ira Allen’s arrival, Lafayette reigned supreme in the middle of our green. His residence was made possible by the donations of a lunatic New York millionaire who was obsessed with the failed businessman (I’m speaking of Ira Allen) and bequeathed a great deal of cash to UVM, His current residence, however, is attributable perhaps to a Yankee melange of French and Catholic biases. Biases that may have pushed old Lafayette to the southern extremities of campus. Then again, perhaps his relocation was just convenient and pleased the man donating Ira Allen’s statue. It really does not matter anymore. What does matter is that today we push for a change in the placement of Lafayette’s statue. Regarding Lafayette’s statue, we are talking about a foreigner who fought for American independence and placed the cornerstone for the original Old Mill here. Therefore, it should be put someplace where people can see him and know he exists. Right now the statue might as well be melted down. I doubt many would notice the difference. Let’s do something about it. Let’s give the statue a position of importance. A position where students, prospective students, parents and the community can see this excellent display of late nineteenth-century craftsmanship. Now, it is obviously impossible to put Lafayette back at the heart of the green. I’m not asking that. But can’t we find someplace better? Can’t we designate a location more visible for this important part of UVM history? Michael Mulvey Class of 2003