Minority students at the University of Michigan are apparently traumatized by a building.
The Union on campus – one of the most recognizable buildings on campus – is large, old, and imposing. Inside, the wood paneling and stately décor of the century-old building makes it “quiet” and “imposing.”
And all this is just too much for some students.
Anna Wibbleman, a student and former president of “Building a Better Michigan” told a student government meeting that “minority students felt marginalized by quiet, imposing masculine paneling” that can be found throughout the building.
The building is about to undergo a massive renovation project, and they decided to go looking for advice from students on how to renovate.
Clearly, that was a mistake.
Wibbleman was the only one to raise the trauma that minority students would feel from wood paneling and imposing décor.
The website for the union shows a beautiful building with wood paneling almost everywhere. There are quiet study spaces, libraries, and dining areas. Removing the “quiet, imposing, masculine paneling” would be quite an undertaking and clearly alter the historical character of the building.
Luckily, very few people are taking Wibbleman’s concerns seriously, The College Fix reports:
Asked to weigh in on Wibbelman’s comments, campus spokesman Rick Fitzgerald stated in an email to The College Fix that “concern about the paneling is not something that has been brought forward to the university as a concern from students, who have been involved with developing this project for several years and through dozens of meetings. Students certainly have expressed a desire that the renovation assures a welcoming, inviting, and student-oriented building. It is their building.”
“There is a significant presence of wood paneling on the interior of the building and we expect most, if not all of it, will remain after the renovation,” he said.
Another student said that she doesn’t think the concern was about the wood paneling, per se.
“I believe it was an off-hand comment about how many students felt marginalized by the quiet nature of the building when they entered,” Jazz Teste, current president of “Building a Better Michigan” told The College Fix via email.
Still … how can one be “marginalized” by quiet things?