Naming Committee reconvening

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Rob Le Cates

Eastern Illinois University President Davis Glassman speaks during the Sept. 10, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting held at the Grand Ballroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. He announced his intention to reconvene the Naming Comittee during the meeting.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Collecting a list of name recommendations will be the task of the Naming Committee Thursday morning as they meet to continue the conversation on the renaming of Douglas Hall.

The last time the committee met to discuss the topic, a vote was made in favor of recommending a name change to University President David Glassman.

Now the committee must come up with anywhere from a single name to a list of names to offer to University President David Glassman and the Board of Trustees.

Name suggestions can be made via a link in an email sent to the campus community.

When Glassman called the committee together on Sept. 11, 2020, some members of the Board shared they were in favor of a name change.

Audrey Edwards, the secretary of the Board of Trustees, said the name could show consideration to Black students and members of the community.

“What seemed less important at that time is certainly at the forefront of people’s minds now,” Edwards said during the meeting. “I strongly believe that renaming the hall would be an expression of respect for the Black community that is very much needed at this point.”

Phillip Thompson, the vice chair of the board, shared his experiences with the situation and his thoughts.

“This is something that when I was a student, students on campus protested about,” Thompson said during the meeting. “There’s not many opportunities we have to correct things that happened hundreds of years ago, so I think this is a great way for EIU to say we respect people of color, not just African American students but all people of color, and that we respect that the world is changing and we want to be on board with that.”

In forums held by the committee, many shared support for a name change. Some even offered up their own recommendations.

Some suggestions included Frederick Douglass Hall, Martin Luther King Jr. Hall, Lincoln-Douglas Debate Hall, Harriet Tubman Hall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall, among other recommendations.

This year the members of the committee are Steven Scher (Faculty Senate), Angie Campbell (Staff Senate), Diane Burns (Council of Chairs), Rick Wilkinson (Council on Academic Affairs), Billie Frazier (Student Senate), Suzie Park (presidential appointee) and Mona Davenport (presidential appointee).

The committee will select a committee chair, find times and frequency that work for the committee to meet and discuss meeting formats.

The meeting is on Friday set for 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Neal Welcome Center.

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]