I feel like I need to take a shower

I feel dirty

It’s not that the name Georgia Regents University is all that bad. Not that the Medical Examiner is in favor of it. Not at all. On the most basic level, it’s actually the kind of name that some people have, the kind they frequently have to repeat or spell out. In print, no problem. In speech, it’s often going to sound like a division of Regions Bank. Georgia Regions University. But if it’s a done deal – and it probably is – we’ll gradually, eventually, grudgingly get used to it. Maybe we should take it as a compliment. The lofty and exalted Board of Regents chose our Augusta institution to name after themselves. They wouldn’t do that for some podunk campus that was a Butler Building surrounded by portables. Maybe we should consider it a feather in our community cap.

On the other hand, the dishonesty that Mayor Azziz is alleged to have perpetrated has left many people feeling used and abused, fooled and foolish. Like they need to go shower off the slime. Specifically, insider news reports say the name was chosen long ago, long before the public was asked for its input in coming up with a new name. The promise was that the voice of the people would be heard. If the news reports are true, all of that was an empty charade. If true, it would mark the second time Mayor Azziz has deliberately deceived the local populace. The first time, of course, was in announcing a “proposed” merger of MCG and ASU. Community meetings were scheduled right away to discuss, hear comments and answer questions. To get public input. Lo and behold, the merger was complete and official before the first community meeting took place, mere days later.

The Board of Regents certainly has the right to do whatever they’re chartered to do without asking for anyone’s opinion and permission. They have the right to ask for suggestions and recommendations and then choose to act independently of those comments. But why invite feedback and ask for opinions when they will not be taken into consideration? Why ask when the matter has already been decided? That’s deceptive and fundamentally dishonest. The name? Not that big of a deal one way or the other. The lies and dishonesty allegedly spoon-fed to the public, that is a big deal.

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