By Raul Andrei Dimitriu & Viktoria Marinova
The Grahamstown Name Change Debate, held at Eden Grove on 16 April, resulted in deadlock. It was hoped that the debate would promote student and local community awareness and to allow the public to express their opinion on the proposed change from Grahamstown to eRhini.
The debate was attended by Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat, lecturers, Makana Municipality officials, Rhodes students as well as many high school students.
The topic – “This house believes that the name of Grahamstown should be changed to eRhini” – raised conflicting views.
Discussion became quite animated. A high school pupil, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “They should keep the name because of its positive connotations, and it is a piece of history, whether we like it or not.” Samantha Setlaelo, a second year student, considered the debate “condescending in the way it said that we don’t know about Graham, but people from Grahamstown
know who he is”.