By: Meghan Hudson, Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
In an email sent to Towson University students on June 5, TU President Kim Schatzel announced that she is supporting student’s longstanding request to change the name of West Village dorms, Paca House and Caroll Hall.
According to the email, Towson’s SGA submitted a formal request to the University, asking them to form a committee tasked with changing the name of these dorms.
According to TU’s naming policy (06-04.00) established in 2017, the university should “ensure that Towson University facilities, buildings, and programs are named consistently with the University’s principles, ideals, and values.”
The residence halls were named, Paca House in 2008, and Carroll Hall in 2015, both prior to the implementation of TU’s naming policy. They are named after Maryland plantation and slave owners, William Paca and Charles Carroll.
According to the email, the naming policy requires that a committee be formed with representation from the faculty, staff and students.
“After considering these facts, I have determined to support this request by SGA and commence the review with a committee tasked to provide guidance and recommendations in alignment with the University System of Maryland policy and the 2017 TU Naming Policy,” said Shatzel in the email. “Members of that committee, including representatives of the Academic Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association, and the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, will be finalized and shared with all of you next week.”
One specific task of the committee is to determine whether any recommended names meet the six criteria points outlined in the policy:
- Facilities and programs should be named for scholars and other distinguished individuals who are/were prominent in their field or endeavor and/or have contributed meaningfully to Towson University or to the State of Maryland.
- One year must pass before the name of an individual who is formerly affiliated with the University, or held public office and/or has been employed by the USM or the State of Maryland may be considered for honorific naming.
- The legacy of the namesake should be aligned with the mission and values of the University.
- The individual’s work inspires effective, ethical leaders, and engaged citizens.
- The individual’s work crafts solutions that would enrich the culture, society, economy, and/or environment of Maryland, the region, and beyond.
- Facilities and programs can also be named for prominent geographic landmarks in the state of Maryland.
In February of this year, Tigers for Justice, a student organization, created a petition requesting that University change the name of these dorms. The petition now has over 7,000 signatures.
“I ask that everyone join me in supporting the committee as they begin their work deliberating this issue and preparing their recommendation,” said Schatzel in the email. “I can assure everyone that this process will be inclusive and transparent and that the recommendation of the committee will be made public when completed.”