When These Students Run the World, We’ll All Be Better Off
On May 19th, MSU students drove to Havre to speak to the Board of Regents against renaming the computer science department the Greg Gianforte School of
Computer Science Computing as a condition of his $8 million donation.
Citing his contributions to an anti-gay hate groups and his work against non-discrimination ordinances, the students pointed out Gianforte’s values conflict with those of the university and amounted to an institutional level of acceptance of discrimination and hatred.
As MSU Queer-Straight Alliance Secretary Anna Stone pointed out in the Bozeman Chronicle, this isn’t about his political views, its about his intensive focus on discrimination against people he sees as different:
It’s important to defend Montana student values, and Gianforte’s values do not go hand in hand with MSU’s and are not in support of LGBQT students.
The regents’ decision to allow Gianforte to demand a building and department be named after him is puzzling, given that the rest of the world is actively changing the names of college buildings that are named after people who supported discrimination or segregation, or who owned slaves when slavery was legal 200 years ago, or were responsible for other atrocities, or were racists, or otherwise did not reflect 21st century values, even if they were otherwise considered some kind of big shot in their day.
One wonders whether the regents would have consider whether they would name David Duke School of Political Science. Whether there is a line for them, and where that line is drawn, or whether to them is a question of whether the price is right. Would we have a David Duke School for the price of $20 million? $40 million? What do the regents think the difference is, exactly, between one kind of discrimination and another?
This video, which now has over 16,000 views, is worth watching. (Hint, that’s a lot. For comparison, note that videos posted by the Cascade County GOP cavalcade of crazy get an average of 8 views each.)
These movements to update the names of these buildings to reject 21st century values at colleges have all been led by students. Perhaps it’s time the regents start paying attention.