‘DUC’ name change ruffles feathers

Marla Highbaugh

Ella Burnside

When word got out on Tuesday that WKU would be renaming the Downing University Center, better known as DUC, the announcement ruffled the feathers of some students while others felt indifferent and unaffected by the change.

WKU’s Student Affairs team announced that the building, which has been under construction for the past year, will now be known as the Downing Student Union, or DSU for short.

Louisville sophomore Katelyn McHenry was not happy when she learned that the name of the building was changing and didn’t think that the change made sense.

“Everyone calls it DUC,” McHenry said. “Why change it now?”

Lexus Miller, a sophomore from Lexington, was also upset by the change.

“I’m still going to call it DUC,” she said.

But Marla Highbaugh, a Louisville resident from the class of ’88, was not bothered by the change. Highbaugh worked in the building for two years when she was a student and said that when she was at WKU, students referred to the building as the “student center.”

“The only people who called it ‘DUC’ were the people giving campus tours to prospective students,” she said.

Highbaugh thought the change from “student center” to the current acronym and nickname ‘DUC’ was simply a natural part of the campus’ evolution over the last 30 years.

According to Highbaugh, the name is not the only thing about the building to have changed since she was a student. The DUC auditorium used to be a full-fledged movie theater that showed newly released movies like “Top Gun,” “Flash Dance” and “Risky Business.”

Travis Taylor, a Beaver Dam graduate student,  said in an email that he didn’t really care what the building was called.

However, he found it interesting that students felt so strongly about the name change, while they had no reaction to the newly instated student fee, a change which financially affects every WKU student.

“I just think it’s sad that people are more worked up about this than the $70 student fee that was tacked on to every semester for the next 20 years,” Taylor said.