U of M wants more time to consider renaming campus buildings

February 06, 2019 10:40 PM

A delay in reaching a decision on whether or not to change the names of some buildings on the University of Minnesota campus is raising concerns.

For more than a year now, the school has looked at what to do with four campus buildings named after those many consider controversial figures - including Coffman Memorial Union.


RELATED: Nearly 5K sign petition to change name of U of M Coffman Student Union

But the university said it needs more time to set renaming guidelines.

"It is a big decision, and for many people, it's an emotional decision," university spokesperson Chuck Tombarge said. "We want to make sure that we're very thoughtful and thorough about this, and (that we) are making decisions based on good foundations of research."

Changing names

Other landmarks and buildings named after controversial historical figures have already been changed in Minnesota.

Among them:

  • The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources formally changed the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska in 2018.
  • The Minneapolis Board of Education approved a change from Ramsey Middle School to Justice Page Middle School in 2017.

Student Chole Williams started a petition to rename the Memorial Union. 

"Naming a building after someone is honoring their legacy," Williams said. "We have to ask ourselves what legacy we want to hold as a university."

The school said it hopes to make a decision on whether to rename the buildings by next month.  


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Joe Mazan

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