Diversity and Name in College

Everyone has a name. We give names when we want to provide the meaning and keep the memory even it is not a person. Therefore, naming is not just assigned to call but kept the meaning of something for people.

During my reading of Virginia Tech’s article on August 13, 2020 [1], I could remind it of the famous proverb in Korea. There is a saying that “When die, tigers leave their leathers and people leave their names.” Virginia Tech has changed two building names as African American’s. In the article, “The Hoge name represents the broad array of people who, in so many roles throughout the years and untold ways, provided essential support for our first Black students,” said President Sands. “By naming this residence hall for William and Janie Hoge, it also acknowledges the many important connections between campus and community.

Even though they already pass away before naming the building, the meaning and spirit of what they did can be remained and delivered by the buildings’ name. For instance, if there was no change in the name and there are no decisions of University committees, I might not think of the meaning of black students’ life and challenges in the past at Virginia Tech. And I would not care about the building’s name except when I find the buildings. I believe the change in the building’s name allows us to change awareness and accept diversity a little more widely.

As the other example of the importance of a name, I once watched one experimental documentary before. There was a surprising outcome. The experiment was to submit a resume and see the result of the resume review pass – the two resumes were seme except for the name. One was submitted in an ordinary white man’s name, and the other resume was submitted in an ordinary Black man’s name. Even though the other contents were identical, the pass rate was different depending on their names. Through this example, we can see how much our names are important and impact our lives even while we did not realize. Therefore, we should realize and consciously change our bias to accept various or minority groups’ names without discrimination.

This year 2020 especially, we had many social issues ever, including “Black Live Matters.” Diversity is not meaning or considering only African Americans’ rights or supports. Especially in education, we should learn and teach various perceptions and sources. It should be considered and established different types of supports according to their needs, such as ethnic culture, body conditions, race, religion, etc. The acceptance of various names could be a small start for the change.


[1] Board of Visitors Executive Committee approves new names for residence halls.

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