Buley Library Café Naming Contest

Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

From April 3 through April 15, Southern presented its students with a challenge: submit a new, unique name for the Hilton C. Buley Library Café said Brad Crerar, director of the Adanti Student Center.

Crerar said Southern’s overall goal is to keep things student focused and allowing them to have their own signature on a space would do just that.

“We talked about it, ‘should we just come up with a name for it? Let’s make a contest, get the students involved because then the students take ownership of it,’” said Crerar. “If you’re a junior and there are over 500 names thrown in and your name was picked, 10 years down the line, you come back and say, ‘that was my name, I gave it that name.’ It gives them their touch.”

Crerar said Mary Papazian, Southern’s President, originally thought of the students when deciding who should designate a name for the café and then contacted Tracy Tyree, vice president of Student Affairs. That is when Tyree and Crerar thought of Eric LaCharity, interim associate director for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, as someone who would capably organize and execute a contest such as this.

LaCharity said the contest’s success has surpassed his expectations, with over 600 submissions as of April 13. He said the contest was advertised through social media, posters hung around campus, and email, which sparked about 350 submissions within the day after being sent.

LaCharity said students were encouraged to submit multiple entries, and many took advantage, some submitting up to 10 names, in hopes of winning one of the three prizes: first place receives an Apple Watch, second place receives one free coffee a day from Chartwells for an entire semester, and third place receives a 100-dollar gift card to Southern’s Bookstore.

LaCharity said after the contest closes, the names will be sent out to a panel of judges comprised of 25 to 35 faculty and staff members from a wide variety of offices who will then narrow the list down to their top 10. After, the top three will be separated from the pool and students will vote for their favorite on OwlConnect.     

LaCharity said, as an administrator, he has had the opportunity to preview students’ submissions and has been impressed by what he has seen.

“A couple of been really, really good. I have been highly entertained by some of them,” said LaCharity. “There’s a lot that have been showing up quite often, so with that process we’re going to [choose] the first person who entered that specific name. A lot have the word owl in it, a lot have the word Buley in it, some are way outside the box, but still really fantastic.”

Christina Baum, Hilton C. Buley Library director, is one of three people from the library included on the panel of judges. She said that during renovations, students were the ones who requested a Starbucks in the café. Whether it is to meet up with friends, do their course work, grab a coffee and hide out in the library, or just grab a coffee and run, it is a space that is primarily utilized by students.

Baum said when students become involved in decisions such as these, it gives them an overall feeling of inclusion within their academic environment and she hopes that the café will continue to generate student interest in the library.

“I think it’s great to have the students involved in a project like this,” said Baum. “Giving them this opportunity to participate in the process gives them a good feeling about being included. I hope that the cafe will continue to bring a lot of students into the library.”

Photo Credit: Staff Photo

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