JMU has always been loud and proud about its history, but here’s the thing about staying rooted in the past– things can get real racist, real fast. Regrettably, Maury, Ashby, and Jackson were not named for lovable TV personalities– they were named for Confederate heroes. However, as those who had the chance to visit the “Ames Adison Niversity” dining hall this week will know, all you really need to change a building’s name is a little disrespect for authority. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
5.) Alger’s Ears Hall:
Why not start off big? As the only objects on campus visible from space, these Madison icons really scream JMU! But we better act quick! You just know one of these days our dear old Pres is gonna start flapping those things and fly off into the Shenandoah sunset. We still love you though, Bryan Schor Sr.
4.) What’s That Smell? Hall:
Wouldn’t it be ironic to name something on campus after the number one reason to visit the Friendly City (although the whole “championship football team” thing is a close second)? Some say it’s got something to do with a poultry farm, other say it’s just what happens when Duke Dog takes a shit. Whatever it is, we should be so bold as to wear our smell with pride, emblazoned on the front of our halls.
3.) Lobster Hall:
Oh, how we students love our unlikely hero. Although our true allegiance may lie with Duke Dog, do we ever have a soft spot for that nasty lil crustacean. Since it seems he’ll never win the mascot race, the unveiling of Lobster Hall is the least we can do to honor the people’s champion.
2.) Povich Hall:
Why not celebrate the Maury we all know to be a true American hero? This rename seems appropriate, especially with the original Maury Hall being just a short stroll away from the kissing rock. We’re sure some JMU gentleman would greatly appreciate quick and easy access to the news that they are “NOT the father!”
1.) Literally Anything that ISN’T Racist Hall:
We Dukes love to brag. Whether it’s about our campus, our food, our teams, even the ground we walk on and air we breathe– you name it, and a true Duke won’t shut up until they’ve explained how JMU does it best. But Confederate ties are NEVER something to brag about (that’s right, we’re talking to you Confederate-flag-bumper-sticker guy.)
It’s easy to see that even these names are a much better fit for our inclusive, modern campus today. Honoring our past should not include the celebration of those who honored division and hate (*cough cough* racists *cough cough*). What we need instead is acknowledgement and reflection as we move forward. Well, that, and also some way to harness the communicative radar potential we’ve got on the sides of President Alger’s head. Extraterrestrial contact is just an ear’s length away, Dukes!