The March 20, 2019 vote (read the news release here) followed 19 months of research and inclusive dialogue involving students, faculty, staff, alumni, the College Council, the Diversity & Inclusion Council and New Paltz community stakeholders, including Historic Huguenot Street representatives and Huguenot descendants.
The new names (Shawangunk Hall, Awosting Hall, Minnewaska Hall, Mohonk Hall, Ashokan Hall and Peregrine Dining Hall) carry local meaning and were approved by the College Council on March 6, 2019. The names were recommended by a study group of College Council members, faculty, staff, students, alumni and a Historic Huguenot Street Board member. The study group chose the names from the results of a campuswide survey to solicit new names from students, employees, alumni and Historic Huguenot descendants. More than 3,000 individuals responded to the survey.
The new names will be effective at the start of the fall 2019 semester.
Preparations for the renaming are already underway and will continue through the coming months. There are a number of logistical and infrastructural issues that need to be managed before the new names can be implemented, including fire and other safety systems; room inventories and other databases; web directories and content; issues related to mailing addresses, signage, maps, campus tours and other Residence Life processes; and many more.
“This is the right move for our campus at this time, as we strive to be a leader in meeting the educational needs of all New Yorkers. Indeed, I regard this as a historic moment for the College, and I am grateful to the College Council for their support.”
President Donald P. Christian
“As Student Association President, my job is to give voice to every student on campus, but I didn’t realize how much this decision meant to students until after the resolution passed. The fact that we took this step shows students that we listen to how they feel and that we’re not afraid of change.”
N’della Seque ’19 (Sociology)
“As a community, we engaged in conversations that questioned our assumptions about what we know and the values we hold. We have re-imagined a SUNY New Paltz that not only accounts for its complex history but also invites the next generation of students to add to the story.”
Tanhena Pacheco Dunn, chief diversity officer, Title IX coordinator, associate vice president for Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion and Diversity & Inclusion Council co-chair
View all related College Council webcasts here.
“The name of SUNY New Paltz has changed five times as its nature and purpose changed over its almost 200-year history. The very essence of history is revision. As we learn new facts, as we deepen our understanding of the world, as we find better ways to create a vibrant community, we must ensure that our campus in every way reflects the diverse interests of our students, faculty, administration and staff.”
Reynolds Scott-Childress, assistant professor of history and Diversity & Inclusion Council co-chair
“It was hard and difficult with a lot of bumps in the road, but I think the ultimate product is going to be better for the campus community, better for the students and, I think, better going forward as an institution, because it will welcome diversity, it will help with a comfort level in the students and, by the same token, give respect to the history of where we are.”
Eli Basch, SUNY New Paltz College Council interim chairperson