Petition to rename campus street names put on hold due to 911 board


Photo by Jade Williams

Last week, an email was sent out to students that stated the campus street name process was unsuccessful in getting approval through the 911 board. 

Communications Director Jerad David said when it comes to naming streets, there is a process one has to go through with the 911 board. He said in some parishes, people can notify the board of the changes they want to make. 

David said in the case of Lafourche parish, the 911 board has been granted with the authority to approve or deny name changes.

He said another reason the name changes weren’t approved is because of GPS emergencies. He said GPS apps update their software at their own rate and can take three to five years to update their systems. 

“You’ve got things like emergency and most importantly you got emergency responders to keep in mind. You know if you think of the fire department, ambulance, police services, they don’t know where to go and that is slowing down their response time which is not good,” David said.

Before the 911 board denied the name changes, the university met with officials on and off campus to make sure the names were appropriate to submit. 

“We met with the task force and we tried to get input from leaders from the mayor and the parish president, we talked some things through before we submitted all the names that were in that email,” David said. “That’s how we landed on those names. They were safe names that really spoke to an academic nature.” 

David said he and the administrators of the university wanted the names to reflect what students do at Nicholls. 

Some of those names were College Circle instead of Rienzi Circle, Colonel Drive instead of Acadia Drive, Alumni Drive instead of Madewood and Scholars Drive instead of Glenwood. 

Other names that were proposed were Unity Drive instead of Ellendale, Red and Gray Drive instead of Leighton, Campus Drive instead of Afton and Tailgate Alley instead of Colonel Drive. 

“We were trying to build a story that tells who we are as Colonels, who we are as Nicholls State University. Unfortunately, they denied it. So, we are going to continue to work with them. We’re going to have some conversations. You know the task force worked really hard to try and unify the campus and move Nicholls forward,” David said.

David said the members of the task force met last Thursday to discuss the building names.

On June 3, the university sent out an email that stated the building’s names had been changed. The names of the buildings were and still are named after the purpose that they serve. 

“If you think about College of Education and Behavioral Sciences building and the College of Sciences and Technology building, while they are perfectly legal names that we changed them to because we named the building after its purpose. I think Dr. Clune and everyone here would like to see more permanent names and to honor some people on those building names,” David said. 

David said for now, the building names will stay the same because when naming a building after a person, he said the person has to be deceased. He also said the individual would need background checks and would need research as to what that person contributed to Nicholls. 

He said then it would have to go through the University of Louisiana System board and other processes. 

“We are getting rid of names of individuals right now, but who’s to say ten to 20 years down the road, if something comes up with one of the individuals that we are naming now, then we do this all over again,” David said. 

David said the university is not abandoning the topic of street and building name changes. He said this is simply a bump in the road and there may be more leg work in the future to continue the process. 

“We are committed to moving forward with this, we are not giving up. We’re gonna find a way forward,” David said.