Over 600 suggestions were submitted to the online JotForm
'Luther's', 'The cross & Lion' and 'Aelius' have been shortlisted
Result announced Friday 10 March 2017
Last week submissions closed for the proposed name change of Mens Bar. Over 600 individual responses were received and three names have now been shortlisted. The names are: ‘Luther’s’, ‘The Cross & Lion’ and ‘Aelius’.
from students were received on the online JotForm which was launched at the beginning of Semester Two.
Newcastle University Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers, who initiated the name change following the approval of a motion to do so at a Student Council meet at the end of 2016, stripped out duplicates, jokes and “spoiled” submissions (i.e. necessary criteria for a submission was not supplied, e.g. a reason for the suggestion). This left the total number of submissions at around 100.
The six Sabbatical Officers met to discuss the 100 submissions and after much deliberation, as stated in the motion that passed at Student Council, 3 final names were shortlisted.
The Sabbatical Officers stated that the name ‘Luther’s’ intends “to celebrate the ongoing link between Newcastle University and the Civil Rights Movement” following the University’s honorary doctorate award to Dr Martin Luther King on 13 November 1967.
‘The Cross & Lion’ was shortlisted as a name “designed to reflect the coat of arms of Newcastle University which has been in existence since it split from Durham University in 1963.”
Finally, ‘Aelius’ which derives from “Pons Aelius”, the name of a Roman fort which would later become Newcastle, was selected because “the fort was the site of the first bridge to be built across the Tyne.”
Speaking exclusively to The Courier, Jade Holroyd, one of the six Sabbatical Officers said: “The task of shortlisting was actually a lot harder than I had originally imagined. Some of the responses we received were really good and you could tell that a lot of time and thought had been put into them.
“We’ve recently seen a big change in how the bar is actually used by students and as a Sabbatical team we recognise that a lot of students tend to come to the space to do some work, eat or grab a coffee. We wanted to choose potential names that reflected this change.
“It’s great to see that so many students were keen to submit responses. Hopefully we’ll see a high number of students get involved in the voting process too. Whatever the name, I think it will be a big change so I do encourage all students to vote.
Commenting on the name change, Chloe Burton, Stage Four Fine Art, said: “Mens Bar has always been Mens Bar to me so when I heard that the name was going to change I wasn’t too happy about it. But saying that, I understand all the confusion around the name so I understand why the change is happening.
“I’m excited to see the shortlisted names and the reasons why they were suggested. I’ll be sure to vote on the name change even though I wasn’t originally happy about it.”
Harry Reynolds, Stage Three Biomedical Sciences, said: “I think a change in name was much needed, especially considering today’s climate. I don’t personally find the current name of Mens Bar offensive, but I know a lot of people that do. It’s because of this reason that I feel a change is needed. It’s a student bar so it should be viewed as accessible and welcoming by everybody.”
Laura Hall, Stage Three Economics, said: “I’ve spoken to my parents about Mens Bar a few times now and each time they ask me why it’s called that. When I explain where the name comes from they understand, but they are surprised that it’s taken this long to change.”
Voting for the name change will run alongside NUSU’s annual Spring Elections from 2pm Monday 6 March - 12pm Thursday March 2017. You can vote at www.nusu.co.uk/vote. The result will be announced at 7.30pm Friday 10 March in Venue at the Students’ Union.