MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Robert Morris University is changing the name of its student ID cards from “Freedom Cards” to simply “RMU ID.”
The change comes after a student, Melanie Hall, started a Change.org petition calling the name “Freedom Cards” dehumanizing.
“Our student IDs are currently named, “Freedom Cards.” This poorly named form of identification has made minority students (black students in particular) feel like we are being dehumanized,” the petition read. “Gifting us with IDs that grant us our “freedom” is of extremely poor taste. Especially coming from a University that is named after a slave owner.”
A spokesperson from Robert Morris University confirmed that they are planning to change the name of the ID cards and had been planning to change them even before the petition.
“We had already been planning to redesign and rename our student, faculty, and staff identification cards to make them more widely recognized on campus and more easily communicate their purpose,” the university said in a statement. “The card will now be called the “RMU ID.” While this change had been in the works before the petition was circulated, we nonetheless saw fit to communicate it to the students for whom it was a concern.”
According to a report in the Pittsburgh City Paper, once the petition crossed 130 signatures, the university reached out to Hall to let her know that the IDs were already in the process of being renamed.
“This morning I received a message from our Dean of Students stating that the name AND design of our ID cards will be changed! Thank you to everyone who signed and shared,” Hall said in an update on the petition.