Cutten’s Name: Still An Issue

Ed Kalish - Students for Social Justice Co-President

Nearly one year ago, Students for Social Justice revived the issue of renaming the Cutten Complex. The sophomore dormitory is named for former Colgate president George Barton Cutten, a notorious eugenicist in his day. We took up this issue because we did not think it was right that a person with such public and hateful beliefs should be given the honor of a building in his name. When a number of Colgate students made it clear that they would not tolerate the exaltation of a eugenicist, the administration responded by creating the Cutten Working Group, charged with issues that include exploring the best option for addressing this matter. The committee has worked on this issue, and the time is now here for them to release their report, describing what they feel is the best course of action for addressing the Cutten issue.

The main intent of this editorial is to make it known to both the student population and to President Chopp (the recipient of the Working Group’s report) that a large number of students are still very much concerned with this issue.

Students for Social Justice has been circulating a petition over the last two semesters, which has accrued several hundred signatures of concerned members of the Colgate community. Our club believes that this issue is a serious matter of social justice on campus. Accordingly, we will settle for nothing less than the renaming of the Cutten Complex, as soon as possible.

We realize that renaming a building is a complicated matter, and that there are certain protocols for addressing such an issue. Therefore, we understand that this process takes time. We have been patient with the committee and have had dialogue with members of the working group concerning their research. We expect to see the results of their labor when the report is released. Also, we expect (and have no reason to believe otherwise) that President Chopp will thoughtfully review the report and make an informed presentation to the Board of Trustees in January.

In summation, we continue to persevere in our work to rectify this injustice on our campus. We will continue to monitor the progress of those responsible for making a decision on this issue. We are not going away, and we are not giving up.