Rename Coffman Memorial Union
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Last semester, the “A Campus Divided” exhibit illuminated many aspects of the University’s history that students were unaware of. The exhibit revealed that numerous administrators, such as President Coffman, Dean of Student Affairs Edward Nicholson, Comptroller Middlebrook, and President Walter Coffey, created and enforced discriminatory policies. In particular, former President Coffman oversaw segregation of student housing and surveillance of Jewish and leftist students during the 1930’s. At this time, segregation was illegal in Minnesota and highly uncommon in northern higher education institutions.
The main student union, Coffman Memorial Union, is named after President Coffman for his support of student activities. However, Coffman deliberately excluded minority students from their full rights as University students. As Coffman is home to many of the cultural groups, housed on the second floor, it is antithetical to the University's stated values and commitment to inclusion to bear Coffman’s name on the building.
Many members of student government and multicultural organizations set out to raise awareness, remembrance, and acknowledgment of the University’s past and call for Coffman’s name to be removed from the student union. On Tuesday March 6th, 2018 in Fraser Hall 101 4-6pm the Minnesota Student Association forum body will vote on a resolution to rename Coffman Memorial Union and we need your support.
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