Allen Chapman Student Union should be renamed back to Allen Chapman Activities Center.
Allen Chapman Student Union, renamed when it was renovated in 2014, is still mostly referred to as ACAC by students. Now that most everyone who went to school before this change has graduated, the name “ACAC” still continues to be used. Why has it stood up so well when it no longer makes sense? I attribute most of its popularity to the generation of TU students who were there for the name change and thought that it was a terrible name. I remember being told as a freshman by my orientation leader that it “is the Allen Chapman Student Union, but if you are cool, you call it ACAC.” I have only called it ACAC since.
For all my time at TU, not one person has been confused when I referred to it as such, and even freshmen now somehow get told to call it ACAC by upperclassmen. I think that there is something to be said about the average TU student with this example. When you get a bunch of smart people together, who love the thrill of the mildest rebellion and have the humor and maturity typical of college students, you get a special blend that was perfect for keeping ACAC alive.
So why was ACAC changed to Allen Chapman Student Union in the first place? According to Zane Hight, a former university employee who worked as a Residence Director in housing when the change happened, “[They] wanted something that made more sense and was more common among universities. Everyone knows what a Student Union is, nobody knows what an ACAC is.” I would agree if I were in their situation. But as a counter, the culture of TU is very pro-nickname. Nobody calls the Pat Case Dining Center by its name —they don’t even call it “the cafeteria,” they call it “The Caf,” which to an outsider may sound odd. But the students all stick with it.
Since people are already going to refer to the Student Union as “ACAC”, we should just re-rename it. ACAC should remain ACAC forever, as long as the students demand it. At the end of the day, this school should stand with the student body, and what they want within reason.