DUC name change resolution defeated in SGA senate

Taylor Harrison

A resolution that would have changed Downing University Center’s name to Downing Student Union was voted down 19-8 at Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting.

One senator abstained from the vote.

There was a motion to table the resolution, but it was voted down.

Executive Vice President Kendrick Bryan suggested putting the item on the spring ballot so that all the students had a chance to vote — something that was done in 2006.

However, it was pointed out that architects would probably need an answer sooner than that, and the resolution was put to a vote. 

Although SGA voted down the DUC name change resolution, the matter could still come up again in the future.

Before the senate voted Tuesday, there was plenty to be said during the debate. The floor was open to senators and the non-senate members in attendance as well. While non-members can’t vote, SGA encouraged students to speak up and make their voice heard.

Campus Improvements Chairperson Keyana Boka, the author of the resolution, said names do not reflect tradition.

“Names reflect a turning of the page — a new chapter,” Boka said.

Boka also said growth is part of school spirit.

“We want to make our lasting influence — our lasting mark on this building,” she said.

Some non-senate members that spoke at the meeting favored the DUC name change, while others opposed it. 

La Grange freshman Matthew Lawson supported the name change. While some argued that changing the name would affect tradition, Lawson disagreed.

“Is the tradition in the name or is it in the building?” Lawson said. “I feel like we put way too much value on the name when the building is still going to be here.”

Bedford senior Ashleigh Miller opposes the name change. Miller said she doesn’t want DUC to change from a “university center” to a “student union” just because other schools have.

“Our university’s so great because it’s so different,” Miller said.

Poorvie Patel was one senator who didn’t support the name change. Patel said that DUC is an important tradition at WKU, not only for the students, but for alumni, faculty members and staff as well.

“As a Bowling Green and WKU local, everybody who is anybody knows what and where DUC is,” Patel said.

Another senator who opposed the resolution is Josh Rodriguez.

“DUC is the heart of this campus,” Rodriguez said.

Public relations director Jane Wood supported the resolution. Wood said that while she is from Bowling Green and has gone to DUC for as long as she can remember, she does not feel that the name is a tradition or something that sets WKU apart.

Wood also said because the building is going to be a center for students, it doesn’t make sense to continue to refer to it as a “university center.”

“It’s something new. It isn’t DUC. It’s not going to be DUC anymore,” Wood said.

Student Affairs Chairperson Natalie Broderick said she supported the resolution “110 percent.” 

Other items discussed at Tuesday’s meeting were upcoming events: the deadline for Scholar Development Grant applications on Nov. 11 and Dine with Decision Makers on Dec. 1. The bills regarding Scholar Development Grant Award Allocations and Study Abroad Scholarship Award Allocations were both passed.