Romney Gym renamed for Obama

by Matthew Rine

As the old Romney Gym faces a $20 million remodel, MSU alumni and administrators have decided the first logical step in the decision process is renaming the soon-to-be-unrecognizable building. After a whirlwind of alumni and administrator activity, the gym’s name-to-be was chosen last Friday: Obama Gym, in honor of our nation’s current president.

The building was originally named after MSU’s 1922-28 head football and basketball coach, Ott “The Otter” Romney. Then, it housed the indoor track and basketball court, but has since been consigned to housing the Department of Nutrition & Health, late-night raves in the run-down basement pool and a safe space for first-year architecture students to slice their appendages while making obscure objects.

Unfortunately, due to recent political events, the gym’s name is now most often associated with 2012 presidential failure Mitt Romney.

“Whenever I hear the name Romney, all I can think about is mud-slinging politics and binders full of women,” commented one freshman architecture student. “But when I hear the name Obama, I am filled with enough hope to last the next four years.”

The name change was originally proposed by Linda Onamastis, the Director of Campus Public Relations, due to fear that its negative connotation would reflect poorly on the university’s image as a progressive institution.

“We can’t have this fine historical building sharing a name with someone who couldn’t even win a presidential election,” Onamastis explained.

A committee made up of alumni and campus officials voted in favor of the change in a meeting that was open to the public but not publicized until it was over. Many alternative names were considered, including Ye Olde Gym, The Lil’ Hosaeus Fitness Center, and Not-Mitt Romney Gym. However the name “Obama Gym” won out, in a narrow victory of 51.1 percent for and 47.2 percent against.

“We do not commemorate past losers,” MSU President Waded Cruzado said of the decision. “Who remembers names like Horace Greeley, Willie P. Mangum, or Al Gore? Nobody. We want a campus full of change, hope and a ‘yes we can’ attitude. Go Cats!”

  • janet

    It’s no surprise they didn’t get public opinion prior to making this decision. Obama did not even win the State vote! I’d expect something like this from U of M. I can’t believe MSU would politicize the naming of the gym. I’m a huge Bobcat fan, but have to say this is very dissappointing. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the president of MSU who’s comments about Mitt Romney were unprofessional. It’s a sad day when you lower the standards of the whole institution on something that is personal feeling to only a few. That’s why politics doesn’t belong in renaming. It should be named after someone who gave something in service to the school. There is not too many times I’ve can say I’ve been embarrassed by MSU, but that is the case today.

  • ASMSULobbyist

    Dear Janet,

    Please do not take this article to heart, it’s completely satrical. The name “Romney Gym” is not in any way associated with Mitt Romney, which was the base of the joke. This article, although supposed to be funny, comes at a bad time with all the press MSU and the University system is already receiving about the building projects for the Long Range Building Program of HB5 in the Montana Legislature.
    I’ve been a reader of the Exponent for 3 years now, so I understood the humor, especially being the student lobbyist of ASMSU I enjoyed the humor because of all the work I am doing with the LRBP and trying to pass it.

    MSU is not taking part in any partisan politics, but I’m sure I speak for many that we appreciate your concern and your willingness to act on your concern. If you feel comfortable with doin so, please contact your legislators supporting the renovation of Romney into an academic success center and another work area for students as we are above capacity at all other buildings. For more information or questions check this website
    or email me at

    Thank you,
    Dani Clark