Faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members gathered on March 7 to express their opinion about the name change.
The topic of changing TJC’s name is nothing new. It has been talked about since November 2018.
Focus groups and surveys were conducted with students, future students, alumni and faculty.
Members of the TJC community were given the chance to speak and express their opinion at the meeting. Some were for and some were against.
Those who were for the name change had similar points. Nichole Le Blanc is enrolled in the Healthcare Technology and Medical Systems bachelor program.
She, and a few others from the same program, presented their support of changing the name. They feared that their bachelor’s degrees from a junior college will not be held to the same standards as other institutions.
M’Liss Hindman, the adviser for them Speech and Debate team, shared her struggles because of the name “Junior.” She, and her debate team, have been looked down upon because of the junior name.
Hindman found herself having to explain the accomplishments and prestige of TJC, despite the “Junior.”
Former tennis coach John Peterson was more opposed to the name change. He urged the board to look at it from a financial aspect. Peterson pointed out that the softball team still does not have a proper field to practice on.
There are financial concerns that were brought up during the meeting. Such as, the cost of rebranding the sports teams and repainting the gym floors.
The overall take-away from the meeting was that there are many people who care for the future of TJC.
The institution has impacted many lives, and that was obvious.
Throughout the meeting the Board of Trustees remained poker-faced. They did not interject or express favor for one opinion over the other.
It was not specified when a decision will be made or what the board will do with the concerns that were mentioned.
Revised (4/10/2019): A previous version of this story stated that there were not campus-wide surveys. However, there were surveys distributed to a sample of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.