Dedication plaques in new buildings will be changed
The UCSU legislative council passed a bill Thursday night that will change the language on dedication plaques around campus, with supporters saying the present wording takes an unfair jab at the state.
A second reading of a bill proposing to change the language on the dedication plaques placed in the ATLAS, Wolf Law and new business buildings was passed after recent discussion and publicity.
The bill focuses on a certain phrase on the plaque that was in the previous resolution passed by a former legislative council in April 2005. The plaques currently read, “The State of Colorado would not fund capital projects in higher education.” The authors of the new bill said the plaque could eventually cause a rift between the state legislature and UCSU.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to take the risk of animosity,” said Andy Aitchison, a tri-executive and senior anthropology major. “This is 2007. . Past legislation has made mistakes. It’s our job to fix it. The plaque throws a snide remark to the state.”
The authors of the bill proposed that the building plaques be changed to read “The University of Colorado Student Union made this building possible by going above and beyond its duties to support a capital construction fee when traditional sources of funding were limited.”
“I don’t think it should be changed. We have to respect the sponsors of the first bill. These plaques preserve a moment in history,” said Hadley Brown, UCSU’s director of capital construction and a senior English major.
Members of the community were encouraged to speak during the open forum. CU alumnus and legislative council member Eugene Pearson spoke on behalf of the signers of the original bill.
“We feel we’ve been shut out. The language passed was accurate at the time. We don’t feel the plaques are offensive. They stand as a testament to what was going on in that point in history,” Pearson said. “The language on that plaque was ironed out after thousands of student responses. The buildings are here because of this amendment and this plaque.”
When some council members voiced distress over the added cost of replacing existing plaques if the bill passed, an amendment was added to include that UCSU would pull money from its extra funds to replace the plaques.
After more an hour of heated discussion, the resolution was eventually brought to a vote. The initial vote was 8-7 in favor of the bill, but that fell to 7-7 after one voter abstained. In order for a resolution to pass, there must be a majority. Since the vote was even, legislation protocol left the deciding vote to the chairman. He cast the deciding vote in favor of the bill.
However, Pearson remained unsatisfied.
“Are we solving an issue or playing games with words?” he asked.