CHALRESTON, S.C. (AP) — Faculty members at a college in South Carolina want their president to repudiate a Confederate flag event planned at the school in October.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the history department faculty at the College of Charleston has asked school president Glenn McConnell to ban events planned by the South Carolina Secessionist Party on campus.

McConnell is a former state Senate leader and lieutenant governor who formerly owned a Confederate memorabilia shop.

The South Carolina Secessionist Party plans to display Confederate battle flags on campus Oct. 28.

McConnell has mostly avoided discussing the Civil War since becoming college president in 2014. A college spokesman said McConnell had no comment. He did support the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse after the shooting death of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

"We believe this is not a commemoration of a moment in American history but an attempt to intimidate our students, staff, and faculty in a way that violates the core values of the institution," the faculty said in its statement, calling on McConnell to ban such events to protect the campus from any dangerous situation, given recent events at the University of Virginia.

South Carolina Secessionist Party founder James Bessenger denied any attempt to intimidate students.

Bessenger and black nationalist activist Johnathan Thrower, who goes by Shakem Amen Akhet, said Thursday the flag event will Confederate flags and black nationalist flags.

"The purpose is to force Glenn McConnell to own up to his position regarding Confederate imagery, flags, monuments, because in my opinion and Shakem's he's been riding the fence," Bessenger said.

McConnell sent a campus-wide email Thursday condemning "the horrible acts of violence and anger carried out by white supremacists and neo-Nazi hate groups" at the University of Virginia campus last weekend.


Information from: The Post and Courier,