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Classroom Building needs a better name

Weekly Columnist

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

Last semester UConn completed construction on campus of a new building with many classrooms, and they decided to officially name it the "Classroom Building." Are you kidding me? This from a university whose Creative Writing department has won awards! Yet the structure was named for nothing else than what it technically is, probably by the same guy who penned "Snakes on a Plane." Clearly, the Classroom Building must be retitled. This begs the question: retitled to what?

What we need is a building whose name represents a true unsung hero of UConn. For individuality's sake, it should not follow the repetitive pattern of virtually every existing structure on campus being named for one of three categories of people: former university presidents (see Beach Hall, Jorgensen Center, Babbidge Library), former Connecticut politicians (see Benton Museum, Wilbur Cross, McMahon Hall) or multimillionaire donors (see Gampel Pavillion, Ratcliffe Hicks Building, von der Mehden Recital Hall). With that in mind, I humbly present my proposal of the top five alternative names for the Classroom Building.

The Jay Hickey Monument to Knowledge. An employee serving as Labor Relations Specialist with the university Department of Human Resources, Hickey sends out the emails to all students and faculty whenever classes are canceled due to snowstorms. Current freshmen likely have never heard of this man, since a grand total of zero classes have been canceled this school year in what might be the mildest winter Connecticut has seen in ages. But believe me, there is almost nothing better than opening your inbox to read, "Due to inclement weather, all morning, afternoon and evening classes are canceled. Classes will resume tomorrow morning, as scheduled. Please drive safely. Jay Hickey."

The Lil' Brit Edifice of Education. At the Student Union late night karaoke every Friday and Saturday evening, one performer towers above the rest. Not literally, since she is perhaps the shortest person in the room. But Brittany Byram, who during the day is a student worker at Buckley Dining Hall, has become legendary for her angry yelling style of rap accompanied by highly unusual song choices. Particular favorites include "I'm On A Boat" by The Lonely Island with T-Pain, "Get Low" by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, and "Just Lose It" by Eminem. If she can't earn a Billboard No. 1 song, the least she should earn is a building.

The Bob Kaufman Tower of Wisdom. Yes, "Bob" – from the omnipresent Bob's Discount Furniture commercials – actually has a last name. What's more, he graduated UConn with a marketing degree from the School of Business in 1974. Upon suffering a serious injury after a 1976 motorcycle accident, he was placed on a waterbed. Soon thereafter, he began selling waterbeds and eventually furniture. His store now comprises 43 locations and counting in eight different states, and their intentionally-bad advertisements annoy potential future customers everywhere… but we love them anyway. Kind of. Anyway, Bob should have a 44th building named after him, only this time located here on campus.

The Great Hall Named After That Guy in the Library with the Awesome Moustache. You must who I am referring to, even if you do not know his name, as I myself surely do not. All I know is he works as a staff member in the library where he can frequently be seen walking around, and his moustache looks like it came straight out of a Civil War photograph. This moustache looks like if Mark Twain and Chester A. Arthur had a kid, or like Tom Selleck in "Magnum P.I. times 10. The man behind this glorious specimen deserves a building named in his honor, or at least a guest role in that upcoming Steven Spielberg film about Abraham Lincoln.

The Ryan Curry Fortification of Genius. Better known as "the shirtless dancing kid," this 12-year-old has proven one of the more entertaining aspects of men's basketball games the past few years. (Especially this season.) Basically, throughout the "Husky dance cam" that occurs during select timeouts, he jumps out of his seat, takes his shirt off and jumps up and down. I am not sure if you could call it dancing exactly, but thousands of eyes watch him do this almost every home game. Talk about bravery. He should get his own building, so long as he actually attends UConn six years from now. When asked in a recent interview about his current top choice college, his first response was Notre Dame. Don't push your luck, buddy.

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