University of Michigan community members stage fake Weiser Hall name change after regent’s controversial comments


ANN ARBOR, MI – Students, faculty and staff at the University of Michigan gathered at Weiser Hall on Saturday afternoon to host a mock renaming of the building in response to recent inflammatory comments by Regent Ron Weiser.

Community members renamed the building “Weiser Center for Voter Suppression, Political Assassination, and Burning of Witches.” The ceremony included courtyard panels covering the original building panel and spray painted stencils with the ‘new name’.

“When you have a regent who calls Michigan’s leadership ‘three witches’, it’s disgusting and deplorable,” said UM junior Sam Burnstein. “We are organizing just to ask for his resignation because obviously what they did at the Regents’ meeting was the most they could do.”

Weiser was criticized last week for his comments at a March 26 Republican Party meeting that included calling Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson the “three. witches ”and said the GOP must ensure“ they are ready to be burned at the stake.

Weiser also referred to the assassination when asked what could be done about Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, and Fred Upton, R-Kalamazoo, who were among 10 Republicans who voted. in favor of the impeachment of former Republican President Donald Trump.

Weiser, president of the Michigan Republican Party, the comments were captured in a video shared on social media.

Students and faculty from GEO, LEO and other organizations gather for a mock renaming of Weiser Hall on the University of Michigan campus after its namesake, Regent Ron Weiser, referred to as Governor Gretchen Whitmer Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson “witches” at a Republican Party meeting and used the word assassination to oust Michigan Congressmen who voted to impeach the former president Donald Trump. A sign was erected with the name “Weiser Center for Voter Suppression, Political Assassination and Witch Burning” on Saturday April 3, 2021. (Jacob Hamilton | MLive.com)

In response to Weiser’s comments, the Board of Regents held a special session on April 2 and passed a resolution condemning Weiser’s comments and calling for his resignation. The resolution passed 5-0, with Weiser and Regent Sarah Hubbard abstaining. Regent Katherine White was absent from the meeting.

Related: Ron Weiser Says He “Will Not Be Canceled” After Regents Pass Resolution For His Resignation

After hearing the resolution, Weiser apologized for his comments and took full responsibility for his comments, but said he would not resign.

“I agree with part of this resolution,” Weiser continued, “but I will not resign. I pledge to participate in a respectful dialogue in the future and I challenge my colleagues and others to do so. likewise, I will not be canceled.

Since her comments were made public, many individuals and groups have called for her resignation, including a majority of the board of directors, leaders of the Michigan Catholic Sisters’ Congregations, eight state legislators and the United Nations. employees of UM lecturers. Other officials, including UM president Mark Schlissel, provost Susan Collins and 21 university deans, condemned Weiser’s comments but did not call on him to resign.

Related: Several University of Michigan deans condemn comments by GOP chairman

After a “groundbreaking ceremony” where professors unveiled the new signage, some discussed why the building should be renamed and why Weiser should resign. UM official Amytess Girgis and other members of the UM community started a petition in January calling on Weiser to step down after the violence on the U.S. Capitol.

Girgis noted that it has taken that long for action to be taken on the calls for Weiser’s resignation, even though Schlissel has yet to ask him to resign.

“As a student organizer and as someone who has worked with many other organizers on campus, I can tell you that Weiser is not only unfit to be a regent, but he is unfit for a position of power. “said Girgis.

Newly elected student central government president Nithya Arun and Vice President Carla Voigt spoke at the meeting, saying Weiser’s comments instigated and normalized violence at a time when women fear for their lives, Arun said.

These comments demonstrate that Weiser cannot serve the student body and does not align with the mission of being the leaders and the best, Voigt said.

“Weiser’s statements have caused irreparable damage to our Michigan community and we deserve better,” Voigt said. “It’s harmful that his name is on the buildings and places of this university, and it just needs to change.”

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