University Council discusses C.C. Little renaming, response to racist events

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 11:01pm

University Council, the body comprising representatives from each student government on campus, convened its biweekly meeting Monday evening in the Michigan Union. Council members heard from guest speaker Efe Edevbie, Kinesiology junior and Central Student Government Kinesiology representative, on recent racist incidents on campus.

“All of you are probably very well aware of some of the things that have been happening on campus in the last couple weeks, and I think that shows more than anything our responsibility as student leaders to take initiative and work on ways to remedy these situations,” he said.

He proposed a “Day of Discussion” hosted by CSG, during which participants can discuss social issues and concerns. With a long-term goal of creating a more centralized campus, Edevbie encouraged the council to lead the initiative.

CSG Vice President Nadine Jawad, a Public Policy senior, expressed her interest in the initiative. She explained the importance of bridging the gap between undergraduate and graduate students on campus.

“I think that in all programs, whether undergraduate or graduate, there’s something that I think we can benefit from from dialogue within our community or program,” she said.

Jawad gave voice to many students’ frustrations with racism and crime on campus, encouraging council members to facilitate conversation on possible solutions. Council members further discussed issues with the publicity of these incidents, examining how the University of Michigan goes about making students aware of the details of such incidents.

Public Policy Rep. Samuel Lawrence, a Public Policy senior, expressed concerns with University officials not releasing information or alerts to students, specifically in regard to the issue of vandalism on the Rock.

“I would imagine that there are people higher up that don’t want that information being spread for a number of reasons, but I do think we as students have the right to know when things are defaced,” Lawrence said. “I wouldn’t have known about any of this (vandalism) had I not been at the right place at the right time, and I don’t think luck should determine how much you know about what’s going on on campus.”

Pharmacy Rep. Kiran Vangipuram, a Pharmacy junior, expressed his hesitation with "politicizing events."

“My dean at the College of Pharmacy did send out an email to the entire school,” he said. “I think at least from my school one problem we’ve been seeing is when it gets too political … there is that fine line, especially when you go higher up, of catering to one side over another.”

The council also discussed renaming the C.C. Little Science Building, with LSA Student Government President Nicholas Fadanelli, an LSA senior, outlining the controversy surrounding the issue of the building’s name. LSA faculty members and LSA SG, he said, put forth a 20-page proposal to encourage the University to change the building’s name.

“Currently we’re not proposing a new name,” he said. “After (the proposal), a different name would be proposed, and I know some people have some different ideas.”

LSA SG will be hosting a town hall Tuesday afternoon from 6 to 8 p.m. to allow students to discuss and increase conversation regarding the controversy.