Residence halls stripped with names over summer see new signage


Becca Bridges

Elkstone Residence Hall was renamed due to namesake Edward Lovill’s connection as a confederate soldier. A student petition has circulated in the last couple of years requesting a renaming.

Emily Broyles, Reporter

Residence halls that had original names rooted in racism finally received a physical name after months of nameless buildings. 

Buildings once known as Hoey and Lovill now stand as Dogwood and Elkstone, respectively, after official name plates were placed this month.

Both residence halls were named after white men who supported the confederacy and the Democratic Party’s views in the 1800s, which included the suppression of Black people. 

Chancellor Sheri Everts announced on June 28 the buildings’ names would be taken down and changed, but the names were not officially revealed until Jan. 11. 

Lucy Genda, a resident assistant in Elkstone Hall, said while she’s glad the official names were used in January and the buildings are clear to read, she wishes it would have happened sooner. 

“I didn’t know that the names of the two buildings were rooted in racism for most of my time here at App,” said Genda, a junior. “It’s just kind of really unbelievable that these are the kind of conversations that we’re still having to have.”

Genda said while she hasn’t had to have conversations with fellow RAs and residents, the blank building names made the logistics of being an RA difficult, especially with COVID-19 and fall move in

“People are always asking like, ‘Oh, when is your building going to get renamed?’ and having people be like, “Oh is this Lovill Hall?” Genda said. “I’m like, ‘well, no. It’s not. It is, but it’s not.’”

She said not being able to meet with residents and co-workers makes it hard already to form relationships. Not having a proper dorm name can affect this too, she says. 

“In a residence hall community, the most key part in creating a community is having something in common,” Genda said. “It’s definitely hard to create a community during COVID when you can’t even see your residents, and then it’s also hard when you don’t really have that common unifying name.”

In RA training over the summer, Genda says students working for housing knew about the name change, but did not know when or what the names would be. She said Shannon Jordan, senior associate director for Residence Life, announced the university was in the process of getting rights to potential dorm names. 

“I’m glad it was something more neutral,” Genda said. “I think that definitely goes with the flow of the campus.”

The university has a history of naming residence halls after nature, per Raven Rocks and Thunder Hill.