When Texas A&M regents considered a plan to rename the 100-year-old Academic Building on campus for Governor Rick Perry who, as the student newspaper The Battalion put it, “is the most visible Aggie in the world not named Johnny Manziel,” there was an immediate response from current and past students decrying the idea.
Perry may be a well-known Aggie, but he was not a shining example where academics are concerned, with a GPA of 2.5 (some sources say it was more like 2.2) and the students did not think it proper to name the Academic Building for him.
The Battalion wrote an editorial calling on the regents to reconsider, saying in part:
“The Board of Regents chose not to seek student opinion before scheduling a Thursday meeting to consider honoring Gov. Rick Perry by renaming the Academic Building after him.
If they had, here’s a sampling of the voices they would have found in opposition: More than 330 comments on The Battalion‘s Facebook page, a rapid-fire Student Senate resolution and a petition with more than 7,000 signatures and counting. All this in less than two days during finals week, the busiest time of the year for many students.
More often than not, comments have mirrored this one: Perry might deserve campus recognition, but give him something — anything — other than the Academic Building.”
As the editorial notes, it is rare for conversations on social media to agree on anything — but this subject is apparently an exception. The response was overwhelmingly against renaming the building for Perry. The agreement was even more telling in that the student body of A&M is famously conservative politically, and even though Perry is a staunch conservative they do not feel that it is right to name a building dedicated to academics after a man for whom academics was clearly not a priority.
Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of The Association of Former Students issued a statement saying:
“Former student opinion on campus matters will often be as diverse as our 386,000 living former students. On this matter, many have expressed their opinions through social media channels and some have reached out directly to The Association to share their thoughts. We have received around 50 emails and phone calls on this topic, with all of these voicing their preference that the Academic Building remain the Academic Building. We have been and will continue to share all feedback we receive with the Board of Regents.”
Reacting to the outcry against the proposal, on Thursday the Board of Regents cancelled the meeting scheduled to vote on the proposal, theeagle.com reported.
Perry has not commented on the controversy.
h/t: Liberal America