WKU DUC name could soon be changed

Taylor Harrison

Downing University Center may undergo more than just physical changes in the upcoming months. It may get a name change as well.

DUC may soon be called the Downing Student Union.

Student Government Association members are currently working on this name change alongside WKU administrators. Campus Improvements Chairperson Keyana Boka said that when this process first started, SGA was visiting other schools in the region to get ideas on how WKU could be improved.

Boka said SGA discovered that most buildings similar to WKU’s university center were called “student unions.” She said student union is a stronger term that will “embody the renovation” of DUC.

Boka also said that the term “university center” implies offices rather than what DUC is — a place for student activities.

SGA also studied design aspects of the other buildings to see what ideas they liked best for DUC.

SGA President Billy Stephens said SGA wants to complete the name change before the renovations are done so that the new name will carry throughout the entire process. Stephens said the goal is to get it done before the building reopens.

“Therefore, when it reopens it will be branded the new name on the outside of the building,” Stephens said.

Stephens said the proposed change will be directed toward students.

“A student union represents that the building serves the students directly and will meet the needs of the students outright,” he said.

Stephens agreed with Boka and said after looking at other campuses, he saw that their versions of DUC are called student unions.

“I think that a university center does not justify what DUC truly is to the campus,” Stephens said. “A student union serves as the heart of the campus, and that’s what the proposed student union name will represent.”

Stephens said the name change is not finalized yet.

Charley Pride, director of Student Activities and Organizations, said the name change idea has been around for a couple of months, but hasn’t been a big deal until the last few weeks.

Pride also said he wasn’t sure if a name change would interfere with the tradition of DUC and that it would take a few years to see what students would call the building. Students might still call it DUC, or possibly The Union.

Pride said the Administrative Council would probably have to approve this name change.

Pride said he is not positive whether Downing Student Union will officially be the name or not.

“Whatever it is,” Pride said, “the Downing name will be attached to it.”