23, 2002, Gazette)
As the public is well aware, Labrador has recently been officially recognized
by government as part of the province. We feel this was a stepping stone
in acknowledging Labradors contribution within the province. Labrador
produces a generous amount of revenue to the government from resources
such as iron ore, hydro electricity, forestry, the military base, and
the upcoming Voiseys Bay mineral project. This revenue obtained
from Labrador is disbursed to various government institutions. Therefore,
Labradors name should rightfully be included in all government institutions
that serve Newfoundland and Labrador.
Memorial University is an example of one government institution that serves
students from Newfoundland and Labrador. Accordingly, it should recognize
both Newfoundland and Labrador students equally.
Since Labradors name has been acknowledged, a decision will be made
in the near future with regards to the name of the university. Already,
there is an opposition in Labradors inclusion. This is a downfall
for Labradorians since it has taken 75 years for Labrador to be officially
recognized as part of the province.
Dr. June Harris has been campaigning to the public and on campus to exclude
Labrador in the name. Her arguments are that history is the reason to
keep the name as is. Dr. Harris states that MUN was named as a memorial
for Newfoundlanders who fought in First and Second World Wars. Dr. Harris
is one of the many individuals who are unaware or unwilling to recognize
the Labradorians who fought alongside these Newfoundlanders.
As well, the Labrador region itself was very essential during these wars
with regard to radar sites and military bases that were stationed throughout
Dr. Harris also states that if the name was just Memorial University the
abbreviation would be MU and that the pronunciation would sound funny.
We would like to add that MUNs pronunciation also was once considered
an odd name until the public got accustomed to using it. In comparing
the name to another university such as Carlton University the abbreviated
form is CU. We have to ask is CU any different then MU? As well, Dr. Harris
states that if Labradors name is included the abbreviated form would
be MUNL. She states that this form is an inconvenience because of its
length and because students refer to the MUN tunnel systems as MUNL. When
in actual fact MUNL is the abbreviated form that the staff uses in reference
to the tunnels. Students refer to the tunnels as tunnels, not MUNLs.
The Board of Regents has set up a committee to decide on the official
name of the university because the provincial government officially recognized
Labrador. To support our debate we would like for the public to contact
the Board of Regents Office at 737-8281 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to add, its not enough to verbally agree we need your
support in contacting the above in writing, phoning or via e-mail.
Elizabeth Rice and Beth Saunders