The Whitewater Student Government (WSG) was joined by the Black Student Union (BSU) Nov. 30 to vote on a proposed bill to rename Laurentide and Starin Hall. The two bills were brought to WSG in hopes of making the Black community on campus feel more at home. Of all the buildings on campus, not one is named after a person of color, which could make students feel excluded or not welcomed.
“I would like to remind everybody of the importance of symbols. Just a name on a hall can go a long way to make everyone feel like this place is their home, and we have an obligation to make sure that this place is all students’ home,” said Speaker of the Senate Davin Stavroplos.
The first bill asked to change Laurentide Hall to Roger Pulliam Hall, after Dr. Roger Pulliam. The second bill was to rename Starin Hall to Fannie Hicklin Hall, after Dr. Fannie Hicklin.
Pulliam served in many roles during his time at UW-Whitewater, one of which included Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Support Services. He was also a founder of BSU.
Hicklin was the first African American professor at UW-W in 1964, just after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.
“It is similar to Dr. Pulliam’s legacy, however, being a woman of color amplifies the impact she had. For myself, I don’t know too many Black women faculty members on Whitewater’s campus. I only know Dr. Wesley,” said Black Student Union President Rahenya Anderson.
Both bills passed unanimously through the Whitewater Student Government. Director of Academic Affairs Justin Weslock will be taking this bill to other governance groups for input.
Also on the agenda was a request for approval by the UW-Whitewater at Rock County Student Government Association, which asked WSG to approve the Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee (SUFAC) funding recommendation of $79,545 for Fiscal Year ’22. After they ratified SUFAC’s recommended budget, WSG unanimously agreed with them, which resulted in a 0 percent increase in SUFACT fees over the current year.
WSG also reviewed the 2021-2022 UW-Whitewater SUFAC approval budget. After covering the budgets of all student organizations on campus, there was a unanimous vote at the motion to find the Undergraduate Student Research Organization eligible to receive funding. WSG deferred the budget back to SUFAC to be presented later for approval from WSG once again.
The UW-W Spirit Program was also found eligible under the stipulation that they remove their GPA requirement to be more inclusive to all students.
Two organizations did not have that same fortune, however. The Forensics Team was denied a $5,000 budget increase and the Graduate Student Research remained ineligible for funding. They asked to be found eligible, but failed to get passed by a two-thirds majority vote.
The Whitewater Student Government Emeriti Recognition Act and the Whitewater Student Government Election Reform Act were also discussed during the meeting.
To view the meeting, as well as future and past meetings visit the WSG Facebook page.