UMN undergraduate student government reaffirms its push to rename campus buildings

The Minnesota Student Association released a letter Wednesday showing its continued support for four renaming campus buildings.

Regent Abdul Omari listens in on the Board of Regents' special session on Friday, April 26. The board voted against the renaming of four buildings on campus after more than a year of community discussion on the issue.

Jack Rodgers

Regent Abdul Omari listens in on the Board of Regents’ special session on Friday, April 26. The board voted against the renaming of four buildings on campus after more than a year of community discussion on the issue.

Michelle Griffith

The Minnesota Student Association will continue to push for renaming four University of Minnesota campus buildings, according to a letter released Wednesday.

The names four buildings — Coffman Union, Coffey Hall, Nicholson Hall and Middlebrook Hall — have been subject to debate after a task force report found their namesakes to have exhibited racist and anti-Semitic actions.

“We strongly believe that renaming is the first step of reckoning with our University’s racist and anti-Semitic history. That is why, to us, renaming is a when, not an if,” the letter reads. 

In the next few weeks, MSA plans to meet with the current Board of Regents, as well as new regents once they are appointed, which is expected to occur May 9, to discuss renaming.

The letter states MSA will also communicate with University President-designate Joan Gabel to discuss the best ways to continue conversations about renaming.

Many MSA members attended the contentious April 25 Board special session, when regents voted 10-1 not to rename the buildings. Although signs and posters were banned from the meeting, many protesters still snuck in paper posters bearing statements such as, “Unname Coffman,” “Unname Middlebrook” and “Fund the archives.” 

“The fight to rename, whether on campus or outside of campus, is far from over,” the letter reads.