WUFT News

Students vote on referendum to change name of Reitz Union

By on October 3rd, 2012

University of Florida students continue to vote on a referendum suggesting a change in the name of the J. Reitz Student Union in the student government elections Wednesday, the last day to vote in the fall election.

Voting, which also includes elections for student senate, started Monday and will run through 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the UF Student Government website.

Though the Reitz Union building expansion will not be completed until 2015, a name change could happen in the near future.

Students are voting to either keep the current name, after the fifth president of UF, or change it to honor Vigil Hawkins, an African American whose legal battle ended segregation at UF.

John Parady, senior at UF majoring in finance, said, “The students had named the union after [Reitz] because he was such a transformational leader during an incredible time in our history – during the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the height of the Cold War. Yet, he was still able to produce and develop over 300 buildings on our university’s campus and work actively with the students.”

The issue surrounding Reitz’s reputation is due to his involvement with the Johns Committee, which dismissed homosexuals from UF in the late 1950s.

“Hawkins’ name, on the other hand, stands for equality, in my mind,” said second-year journalism Ph.D. student Dan Axelrod.

Axelrod said Reitz supported the actions of a Florida legislative committee that was hateful, while Hawkins led the University of Florida to integrate its law school.

Heather Garvison, a student at UF, said the Reitz Union is a place of gathering that all UF students can recognize rather than a political statement.

“To everyone it’s the Reitz and I don’t feel like the name change really has an effect,” she said. “It really shouldn’t be changed because it’s the building we think of when we think of the Reitz, not the person and things that he did.”

Results will be announced Wednesday night. While the collective student opinion is informative, the ultimate decision is up to the Board of Trustees, according to The Gainesville Sun.


This entry was posted in University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in University of Florida

Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

UF Zeta Beta Tau Members Speak Out After Conduct Hearings

The UF chapter of Zeta Beta Tau was suspended indefinitely after they were accused of disrespecting veterans while on a retreat in Panama City Beach this April. In student conduct hearings held July 6, the university found the fraternity in violation of at least three different sections of the Student Conduct Code.


ShanksGooden

Shots Fired Near UF Dorm: Two People In Custody

One person who was carrying a firearm is in police custody after shots were fired at a Murphree Hall parking lot, according to an alert sent out by the university. Police continue to look for two witnesses in a blue Mazda truck last seen heading north away from campus.


Faculty Negotiator: Administration’s Newest Salary Offer Not Enough To Keep UF Competitive

University of Florida faculty representatives are not satisfied with the Board of Trustees’ most recent pay-raise offer of 2.5 percent. The two sides will meet again on July 30, said John Biro, lead faculty negotiator and UF philosophy professor.


Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

Investigation Clears UF ZBT Members

Investigations found no evidence that UF’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter mistreated wounded veterans in Panama City Beach, according to a UF report released Thursday. A hearing later this summer will determine whether the chapter will be eligible to reopen, according to UF spokesperson Janine Sikes.


UF PaCE Complicates Applications To Professional Schools

The UF Pathway to Campus Enrollment program offers students admission to in-person classes after they complete UF Online courses and earn a total of 60 credits. Out of the 3,118 students who were admitted to PaCE, only 272 have accepted so far.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments