Members of the University of Michigan community perform a mock renaming of Weiser Hall following controversial comments from the regent
ANN ARBOR, MI – University of Michigan students, faculties and staff gathered at Weiser Hall Saturday afternoon to conduct a sham renaming of the building in response to inflammatory comments from Regent Ron Weiser.
Community members renamed the building the “Weiser Center for Voter Suppression, Political Assassination and Witch Burning”. The ceremony included courtyard signs covering the original building sign and spray-painted stencils with the “new name” on it.
“When you have a regent who calls Michigan’s leadership the ‘three witches’ it’s disgusting and unfortunate,” said UM junior Sam Burnstein. “We’re only organizing to demand his resignation because obviously what they did at the rainbow meeting was the best they could do.”
Weiser came under fire last week for his comments during a March 26 Republican Party meeting that called Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson the “three witches”. You are ready to be burned at the stake. “
Weiser also referred to the assassination attempt when asked what could be done about US Republican Representatives Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, and Fred Upton, R-Kalamazoo. You were among ten Republicans who voted for the charges against former Republican President Donald Trump.
Weiser, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, commented on the comments in a video shared on social media.
In response to Weiser’s comments, the Regency Council 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.
Related: Ron Weiser Says He “Will Not Be Called Off” After Regents Made Resolution To Resign
After hearing the resolution, Weiser apologized for his comments and took full responsibility for his words, but said he would not resign.
“I agree with part of this resolution,” continued Weiser, “but I will not resign. I promise to be part of a respectful dialogue and encourage my colleagues and others to do the same. I will not be canceled. “
Since his comments were published, many people and groups have called for his resignation, including a majority on the board of directors, leaders of the Congregations of Catholic Sisters in Michigan, eight state lawmakers, and UM’s Lecturers’ Employees Organization. Other officials, including UM President Mark Schlissel, Provost Susan Collins and 21 deans of the university, condemned Weiser’s statements but did not ask him to resign.
Related: Several University of Michigan deans condemn comments from the GOP chairman
After a “ribbon cutting ceremony” where the faculty unveiled the new signage, some spoke about why the building should be renamed and why Weiser should step down. UM senior Amytess Girgis and other members of the UM community launched a petition in January calling for Weiser to step down after the violence in the US Capitol.
Girgis noted that it had taken so long to take action regarding calls for Weiser to step down, even though Schlissel had not yet asked him to step down.
“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 not suited to be a regent, but also not in a position of power,” said Girgis.
Newly-elected President of the Student Central Government, Nithya Arun, and Vice President, Carla Voigt, spoke at the meeting about how Weiser’s comments encourage and normalize violence at a time when women fear for their lives, Arun said.
These comments indicate that Weiser cannot serve the student body and is inconsistent with the mission of being the leaders and the best, Voigt said.
“Weiser’s statements have done irreparable harm to our Michigan community, and we deserve it better,” said Voigt. “It is harmful that his name is on the buildings and places of this university, and it just has to change.”
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