Home Social Justice Graduate Student Senate moves to call for renaming of Roger Ailes Newsroom

Graduate Student Senate moves to call for renaming of Roger Ailes Newsroom

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Graduate Student Senate members unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to call for the immediate renaming of the Roger Ailes Newsroom during its first meeting of the fall semester.

The resolution would also serve as an official denouncement of Ailes’ actions and send official statements to the Ohio University president, board of trustees and local news outlets.

State representative hopeful Sarah Grace was a keynote speaker in addressing the Senate’s concerns about the WOUB newsroom.

“I’m furious that so many women have been victimized just in their efforts to try to work within this predatory environment, and it saddens me that Ohio University, my alma mater, a school that I love, has any part of that history,” said Grace, an Athens resident and Ohio University alumna.

The newsroom, located on the third floor of Ohio University’s Radio-Television Center, was named after the founder and former CEO of Fox News after he gave a sizable donation to the university. However, Ailes resigned from his position with Fox in June following several sexual harassment accusations.

Since the scandal began, there has been increasing pressure on the university from multiple sources to rename the newsroom.

“I want to make my community a better place for my children and for all the children growing up here,” Grace said. “It pains me to know that my daughters will inevitably face the challenges of being young women in a country where there’s a lingering notion that how women look is more important than what they think and what they have to say.”

One Senate member raised a point about a possible contract clause tied to Ailes’ donation that would prevent a name change. The board explained this resolution would simply state that, as a graduate student body, the Senate is denouncing Ailes. It does not necessarily mean the name will change.

“Specifically since he’s been in the news — and even if he wasn’t — it was a heinous act that he committed that, as a member of this body and as an individual, I will never be able to condone,” said Women’s Affairs Commissioner Colleen Carman. “I think it’s important to say to every student walking into that building or into Ohio University that we do not condone that sort of behavior, whether the building is renamed or not.”

Six other resolutions or movements were also approved, mostly concerning the  maintenance and modernization of rules and procedures.

Executive officers of Graduate Senate introduced themselves and gave brief summaries of their representative roles. President Ian Armstrong familiarized members with university administration, encouraging them to use their voices to get involved around the university.

At the end of the meeting, Ken Ward, the now-former vice president of Legislative Affairs, resigned from his position due to a scheduling conflict. The position is now open, and members are encouraged to consider applying.

The next Graduate Student Senate meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Porter Hall.

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