Silke-Maria Weineck, professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, and I devised an intervention renaming Weiser Hall the “Weiser Center for Voter Suppression, Political Assassination, and Witch Burning.”
On Saturday, April 3, 3pm, we invited faculty, staff and students for a ceremonial renaming service. The building’s new name became visible as free-standing identification signs in PMS 282 blue at the east and west sides of the building, as well as in stenciled lettering, collectively sprayed by students and faculty, on the southern promenade and surrounding grounds of the building.
In an ideal world, we would name our buildings after individuals who represent the public values of our institution and the diversity of our community. Ronald Weiser’s attempts to suppress the vote, and his recent comments that three female elected officials are “witches” to be “burned at the stake” and that those (shockingly few) Republicans who refused to support the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 should be “assassinated,” disqualify him from this honor. We created this action to urge the university to quickly begin the process of removing Weiser’s name from all university-affiliated buildings and institutions, as no member of our community should be forced into symbolic association with a man who advocates misogyny, violence, and anti-democratic intent.