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!”