Nine campus buildings get nature-related names

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Nine CSUN buildings have a new look this fall following an extensive renaming initiative that will also give a tenth structure, the Student Services Building, a new name next month.

The nine changes are the second phase of a project to rename campus buildings, said Jerry Luedders, interim executive assistant for the office of the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. The first phase began during the 2000-01 academic year, and included Sagebrush Hall, Manzanita Hall and Sequoia Hall, among others.

The estimated cost for the new changes is $20,000, Luedders said. Physical Plant Management began installing the new signs in early June.

“(There have been) lots of changes to the physical (campus) over the last few years because of the (1994 Northridge) earthquake,” said Ken Swisher, director of marketing and communications at CSUN. “Departments were moved many times, and the building names became inconsistent with their occupants and functions, causing confusion. It’s important to make the campus less confusing.”

Nahalia Samuels, a junior biology major who works in the old Science 2 building, expressed discontent over the renamed buildings this summer.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s horrible, it doesn’t make sense,” Samuels said. “The campus is confusing enough. Move the stuff that’s in the wrong place to the right building. Don’t create chaos by renaming buildings.”

The Building Renaming Implementation Working Group was created to decide what the new building names would be, Luedders said.

Luedders, who chaired the group, said the deans of various colleges in the nine buildings were given the task to rename them. Luedders also said the deans polled their respective faculty and staff to develop a list of possible names.

Once the lists had been compiled, the deans narrowed the names down to two choices for each building, which are then submitted to a review panel.

The review panel decided on each building’s name, and the names were submitted to CSUN President Jolene Koester and accepted, Luedders said, who added that each college got either its first or second choice.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed has the authority to rename facilities within the Board of Trustees’ guidelines, which stated that the name must reflect natural or geographic features of the San Fernando Valley or reflect a traditional theme of a university – for example, University Hall or Nordhoff Hall, Luedders said.

“Not surprisingly, there are only so many trees and geographic features (in our area),” Luedders said. “Multiple white oaks, multiple red oaks and multiple other kinds of oaks (were submitted).”

“The working group then reconvened to decide how to make it extraordinarily efficient so people aren’t stumbling around trying to find their buildings,” he said.

The CSU “temporary naming of university facilities and properties” policy states the Board of Trustees has the power to rename all CSU facilities, Luedders said. Building names are temporary and can change in honor of someone who donates a large sum of money to the university, Luedders said.

New campus maps, conversion charts and kiosk maps were printed, and updates were made to various parts of the CSUN website.

Additionally, the Student Services Building will be renamed Mary and Jack Bayramian Hall following a $7.3 million donation from the Bayramian estate in July. The Board of Trustees approved the renaming at their July meeting in Long Beach, and an official renaming ceremony is set for Sept. 13.

Kristen Prescott can be reached at city@sundial.csun.edu.