Letter to the Editor: Community Hall a ‘vanilla-flavored name’

General Opinion Graphic

Michael Collen, OSU Emeritus Professor of Music

I recently stopped by the building, formerly named Benton Hall, where I taught for 32 years. I looked at the big new sign and immediately started laughing. “Community Hall? “ I thought. I wonder what night will be Bingo night, and if the 4H club will meet once a month or twice. “Will there be a monthly potluck meeting of the Grange followed by square dancing?” I said to nobody in particular. There was much to laugh about. Mostly, however, I laughed at the irony that the administration had replaced the name of one racist (Benton) with that of the larger community of racists who felt exactly the same way. I laughed hardest at the thought that one or more people had been paid to come up with this vanilla-flavored name, changing it after fall term classes had already been posted as to when and where. My suggestion would have been to recognize that the building has the first cornerstone on campus, was the cornerstone of the university that built up around it, and would have been more appropriately renamed as “Cornerstone Hall” or “The Cornerstone.” I doubt the administration will admit that the name demonstrates an extraordinary mastery of the art of knuckleheadedness. Given that, can I suggest Room 202 as the best place for the Marysville Cloggers to meet once a week? Good view, large space, nice ventilation and a nice sound system.

Michael Coolen

Emeritus Professor of Music, OSU

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