Durham’s newest College could be named after ‘the highest bidder’
Other suggestions for the new College include ‘Klute’ and ‘College McBoaty face’
Durham's SU president has said that the 17th College, currently being developed on the Mount Oswald site, will be named after a donor to the university, and the Students' Union have started a petition urging students not to "let the uni sell the 17th college name to the highest bidder".
However, the university have stressed that the naming of buildings could be an important part of a new fundraising campaign, and that no firm decision has been made on the name of the new college.
The Durham SU’s Assembly had suggested that students and academic staff would be able to have an input into the decision and would vote on the name of the new college in a Town Hall meeting.
A previous University motion surrounding the naming of the 17th College included a shortlist of four women and said that the Assembly would "embrace student participation in the naming of the new college by following a process that seeks student input". Since then, however, the University Council has recognised the opportunity to boost the funds by naming the college after a financial donor.
The decision has been met with criticism – a petition recognising that 13 out of Durham's 16 colleges are named after men is proposing that the newest college should be named a after notable woman and has gained over 1,000 signatures.
The President of the Students' Union, Megan Croll, told the Tab Durham that she finds it "hugely disappointing that the University is willing to commercialise students’ homes in this way. Not only that but naming the college after a donor is a million miles from the spirit of community collaborate that we were promised when it was publicised that staff and students would be able to vote on the name".
In a statement, Durham University did not rule out the new college being named after a donor, but said: "One of the ways the University is looking to fund its new ten-year Strategy is through a fundraising Campaign for Durham.
"The naming of new buildings, and the 17th college, could be an important part of this Campaign.
"In February, the University’s governing Council agreed that until a permanent name for the 17th college is chosen, an interim name should be adopted.
"Proposals for an interim name will be considered by University Council in March."