posted on Nov. 27: Students make their choice for University Centre name


The votes have been cast and the winner is. . .The McMaster University Student Centre.

The Student Representative Assembly of the McMaster Students Union voted 17-14 yesterday in favour of naming the building that is now under construction the McMaster University Student Centre.

The list of possibilities had been narrowed to three finalists by the Ad Hoc Committee on University Centre Naming. They were: the B.F. Trotter Student Centre, the (McMaster) Student Legacy Centre and the eventual winner, the McMaster University Student Centre.

Members of the SRA, which represents undergraduate students, solicited feedback from students across campus prior to the vote.

The SRA will now forward the proposed name to the University's Board of Governors for ratification.

“I would have been happy with either choice,” said MSU president Marc Marzotto, who voted for the B.F. Trotter submission, “as long as students are recognized first and foremost because it is a building for them and students have contributed the majority of funding.”

During the three-hour meeting, assembly members listened to presentations, including some poetry, from three presenters who spoke on behalf of their choices.

The (McMaster) Student Legacy Centre submission by Alumni Advancement director Scott Koblyk, which was a personal choice, was eliminated from the final vote after an initial preferential vote.

Retired history professor Charles Johnston spoke on behalf of the B.F. Trotter submission and read some of Trotter's poetry. Trotter was the first McMaster student to die in a world war and his poetry was published posthumously in 1917.

Stephen Longo, the former MSU president who was in office in 1989 when the first student levy for the centre was initiated, represented the McMaster Students Union Alumni Association and the winning entry. Longo also presented the SRA with a document in support of the winning name that was signed by 17 former MSU presidents, including himself.

The original reasoning submitted for the winning name noted that the generic name University Centre has been adopted as the building's name since its inception.

The submission also noted that the impetus for the centre is largely student-driven and more than 70,000 undergraduate students will contribute the majority of funding during a 20- to 25-year period.

It argued that this unprecedented contribution by students deserved prominent recognition and incorporating both the words “university” and “student” in the name recognizes the contribution of all three founding partners: McMaster Students Union, McMaster Association of Part-time Students and McMaster University.