Thousands Sign Petition to Rename SAC for Margaret Berry

More than 3,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends have signed a petition to name UT’s new Student Activity Center for longtime campus leader and Distinguished Alumna Margaret C. Berry.

We last reported on the student-driven movement, “Students for the Margaret C. Berry Student Activity Center,” in June. Since then, the push to name the center after Berry has continued to grow. The group’s supporters cite Berry’s many contributions to the University, such as founding the 24-Hour Counseling and Referral Service and the Early Childhood Development Center, as well as writing eight books on UT history. Their website also states that only eight of 161 buildings on campus are named after a woman.

Cardboard cutouts of the 96-year-old Berry, who still lives in Austin and drops by campus often, have been popping up around campus. One was spotted at the Tejas Club; another (pictured above) accompanied students tabling on the East Mall.

Campaign manager Brian Tran, a sophomore Radio-Television-Film major, designed a t-shirt that hundreds of students are wearing in support of the cause. “The response has been really great thus far,” Tran says. “Women have made great contributions to this University and they deserve more recognition. Margaret C. Berry has devoted her entire life to UT, so why not recognize her?”

Alumnus Rick Potter, who is collaborating with the students, says that since the SAC is funded by a $65-per-student activity fee, students have a stake in the building: “In reality, students are the donors for this unique building.  For that reason, many students I speak with believe they should have the right to name the building since they are paying for it,” Potter wrote in an email.

University administrators have not yet issued a response to the movement.

Read the full list of petition signees below:
Supporters of the Margaret C Berry Student Activity Center
The petition continues here:
More Supporters of the Margaret C Berry Student Activity Center
Photo by Brian Tran


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