Students are submitting names for the new educational building on campus in large numbers. So far, 750 names have been suggested.
© Roelof Kleis
The building itself has no shape whatsoever and is hardly visible above ground. It is not set to be completed until June 2021. Still, the new education building has already sparked the imaginations of hundreds of students. The enormous amount of emails sent to Eddy Teenstra, secretary of the naming competition, clearly shows this. So far, some 750 names have been suggested, of which 90 per cent by students.
It should be noted that these are not 750 unique participants. ‘Some people submit up to seven names. As long as each name is entered in a separate email, this is permitted’, say Teenstra. He is surprised by the enthusiasm (‘and yes, the Latin word ‘animo’ for enthusiasm has also been submitted, I think’) for the competition. However, some entries are invalid. ‘Entries from outside of WUR are invalid, and as such, suggestions submitted from a Gmail or Hotmail address, as it is impossible to verify their origin.’
Some entries suggest the same names. ‘Helios, for example, has been suggested very often, as have Terra, Apollo and Agora.’ Not all suggestions are approved for the competition. Teenstra must be strict. ‘Atrium is not possible, as this is already the name of the central hall in Atlas. This will generate confusion if you agree to meet in Atrium. After pre-selection, I have some 550 entries that have been approved, with about 350 unique names.’
Names that are too short (3 letters) or too long (7 letters or more) are barred from the competition. However, there is some leniency. ‘Someone submitted the name Eos. Because this contains two syllables, I have allowed it.’ The length of the name is essential for design purposes. The names of buildings must fit in a circle on the building front. If the name is too long, this can cause. There are exceptions, for example, Phenomena, adjacent to Axis.
The competition closes at 18.00 hr on Friday afternoon. A four-person jury will judge the entries. ‘Each jury member will select ten names, disregarding the motivation and name of the person who submitted the suggestion,’ Teenstra clarifies. After this, each member rates 11 of the resulting 40 names, in the same fashion as is done during the Eurovision Song Festival. The top 5 names go on to round 2, where the underlying motivation rated similarly.’
This should yield two names that are then proposed to the executive board, who will decide what name the building will bear. The winner receives the sum of 250 euros, as well as a certificate. And, of course, eternal glory.