The Ryan Hall dining facility has been opened, the retail space is in operation and the pub is in the works. The only thing left for Mercyhurst is to find names for these new spaces on campus.
Mercyhurst Student Government, along with Parkhurst, hosted a naming contest through its Facebook and Twitter accounts to give students an opportunity to name the new campus facilities.
The contest, which ran through Sept. 19, allowed students to have a voice in the new expansions. Submissions were to be proposed online through the @msglakers handle.
Junior Chemistry major Shawn Titus is excited to have a say. “Since so many of the other buildings have been named after somebody important in Mercyhurst history, it makes us feel like part of history to have a say in the naming,” Titus said.
Sophomore history major Ethan Wagner also appreciates the value being put on student involvement and was excited to enter the contest. “I think that it’s cool that they’re valuing the opinion of students, especially since we are the ones that will be utilizing the new facilities,” Wagner said.
Finalists of the contest have yet to be announced, although students will be given the opportunity to vote on submitted results in the near future.
While there is no physical prize for those who submit the chosen names, there is always the satisfaction of winning.
The name “Grotto Commons” for the Egan dining facility is still yet to stick with some students, as well as the newer addition of the name “Trinity Green,” the former Garvey Park, to campus.
Students were able to submit a name for all three new locations — the Ryan dining hall, the convenience store and the future pub — or only one of these three.
Ideas which have been thrown out include a dining facility name with reference to Luke the Laker or other forms of campus pride, as well as a name for the pub that draws on Mercyhurst’s Irish heritage.
The idea of a naming contest was initiated by David Myron, vice president for Finance & Administration, who invited MSG to host the competition. Dean Schoenfeldt, Parkhurst general manager, also supported the idea. “Having students involved in the process helps with student investment in the dining space,” Schoenfeldt said. “A space becomes more recognizable and significant if students connect with it by naming it.”
Sophomore dance major Caroline Schroer shared a similar sentiment in terms of student input in school decisions.
“I know many students had an issue with the lack of input they have been given in terms of recent developments on campus,” Schroer said. “While it can definitely be argued that naming the new dining facilities is insignificant overall, I think it can hopefully be a step in the right direction of listening to students.”