Students at the prestigious University of Michigan are claiming to be “intimidated” by the “masculine” wood paneling on the walls of academic buildings on campus.
Anna Wibbelman, former president of Building a Better Michigan, stated at a student government meeting that “minority students felt marginalized by quiet, imposing masculine paneling” of several academic buildings around campus.
The primary building in question, the Michigan Union building, is a historical building on campus and serves as one of the most recognizable landmarks of the university.
Although the building is set to undergo a pricey $85.2 million renovation, the wood paneling is here to stay, to the dismay of minority students who finds it presence to be “intimidating.”
“There is a significant presence of wood paneling on the interior of the building and we expect most, if not all of it, will remain after the renovation,” said University of Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald.
Although students have expressed concern about the welcoming nature of the building, Fitzgerald claims that students have not specifically complained to the administration about the wood paneling ahead of the building’s upcoming renovation.
Concern about the paneling is not something that has been brought forward to the university as a concern from students, who have been involved with developing this project for several years and through dozens of meetings. Students certainly have expressed a desire that the renovation assures a welcoming, inviting, and student-oriented building. It is their building.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org