Oct. 28 — Street renaming
Last week, we asked you What If BU could rename the streets we’re on? How could we add a BU feel to our neighbourhood, honour our past, celebrate our accomplishments and inspire ourselves for the future?
As it turned out, there is no shortage of ideas! This was one of the most popular What Ifs yet, and most responses included multiple suggestions or offered a broad category from which to choose.
The top submissions were, in no particular order:
- Indigenous. Generally, it was suggested that BU consult with and defer to local Indigenous communities when selecting potential names. Interestingly, the City of Brandon bylaw on honourary names encourages Indigenous translations of street names as well as Indigenous names themselves.
- Athletics. The Bobcats got a lot of love, whether as a group, or as individuals, and many people suggested recognizing coaching staff as well as players.
- Famed faculty and alumni. The most popular names put forward were, hands down, Tommy Douglas and Stanley Knowles. A wide number of other deserving faculty and alumni were also proposed.
- Brandon University. Several people suggested that BU deserves to sit on “Brandon University Drive” or similar.
While last week’s What If was specifically about City of Brandon streets and roads, several people also proposed renaming BU’s interior streets, especially the parking loop off 18th Street. This was seen as something that could improve our sense of place and possibly how we give directions on campus, as well as something that didn’t require a City of Brandon process.
Notably absent from the responses were generalized or lofty ideals as suggested names. There were no submissions that recommended “Convocation Way,” “Discovery Drive,” or “Research Boulevard”. There was instead a clear preference for specific, true-to-BU names.
A small number of responses questioned the need or value of renaming streets. We appreciate answers that consider the opportunity cost or ramifications of any What If! Whether or not BU pursues honorary street renamings, the responses from this What If are already useful for the Strategic Plan process. Your answers have helped illuminate some of the people, groups and concepts we are collectively most proud of. These answers are unique to us, and authentically ours. The question for the Strategic Plan now becomes, how can we continue to generate the passion and commitment reflected by these suggested honorees, and to live up to the examples they set?
Thank you for being a part of this What If. If you missed it, or if you have additional thoughts, you can continue to participate below.