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

"Walk Safe" volunteers discuss the safest routes to use when walking students on campus.

New program helps UF students “Walk Safe” at night

A week ago, making a trek across the University of Florida campus wasn’t much of an issue for most UF students. But after a recent string of similar assaults on and near the UF campus, many students are left on [...]


gogata

Risque Photo of University of Florida Sorority Makes Rounds on Twitter

A risqué picture attributed as picturing some members of the University of Florida Alpha Omicron Pi sorority surfaced on Twitter this week. UF officials have not confirmed the image pictures members of the sorority, but they believe it does.


University of Florida President Delivers State of the University Address

University of Florida President Bernie Machen delivered the State of the University address earlier today, highlighting some of 2013-2014 accomplishments and listing some of the university’s goals for the upcoming year.


University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


GALLERY: UF Graduates Collect Photos in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

UF graduates turn out for celebratory photos come rain or shine at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Thursday.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments