The Daily Q

EC students react to QF’s building naming strategy

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Education City Housing

Education City Housing

Education City Housing

Sara Sarwar

Students are expressing disdain and confusion over Qatar Foundation’s plan to give permanent names to buildings within Education City. The proposed names were revealed over the weekend by Twitter user “Professor David,” who shared screenshots of the March edition of the Reaching Higher VCUarts Qatar newsletter, which explained the naming strategy.

Screenshot from @ProfessorDEG’s Twitter

 

Screenshot from @ProfessorDEG’s Twitter

Building names revealed in the newsletter include Medbay for Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Manufactury for Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Biznest for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Qatar Foundation’s reasoning behind the strategy is to “reflect each building’s unique identity and personality,” as stated in the newsletter. It is also stated that the technique of portmanteau, combining two existing words together to create a new one, was used to generate these titles.

At the time of publication, Qatar Foundation had not responded to requests for comment nor put out a public statement on the strategy.

Student reactions to the news have been negative. Online responses to the original tweet by “Professor David” expressed ridicule and confusion about the strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students who spoke to The Daily Q say they are not impressed either. Ahmed Mohamed Alyazidi, a student in his final year at TAMUQ, said the names are “over the top.”

“While I believe creativity and quirkiness aren’t necessarily bad things, one must keep in mind other factors, such as ease of communication,” he said.

Fatima Hassan, a student in her final year at Northwestern University in Qatar, said the names sound almost comical.

“I can’t imagine being in a taxi and trying to tell the taxi driver to take me to the Biznest building. Like, that would just sound almost hilarious in some sort. So, I don’t see how this is a positive marketing strategy,” she said.

Another concern among students is that the names do not take into account the variety of majors offered by each university. For Anusheh Zaman, a third-year student at VCUarts Qatar, the name Canvus, meant to signify the idea of a campus of canvases according to the newsletter, stereotypes her university.

“It’s [VCUarts Qatar] much more than a ‘canvus.’ We also have design majors and [the] art history major and it’s just more than being an art and design school,” said Zaman.

Alyazidi added he feels a sense of disconnect from the names. “Another reason why I think such names should just be thrown out of the window is because they have no relevance to the history and the people of EC… I think what you want to have is names that are organic and that reflect the environment of EC,” he said.

First-year medical student at WCMC-Q Wajeeha Yousuf agrees. She said the strategy is an example of a great idea undermined by poor execution. An insider student perspective would have been beneficial to the strategy, she added.

“And maybe if there were students in each campus who had been consulted first, the results might have been more in line with their vision,” said Yousuf. “I like that this initiative has added a new level of identity to these buildings. But that being said, I’m not sure if by giving names to buildings they would ever be able to please everyone. There’s always going to be people out there who don’t like this or that.”

“If this is actually true and not just some rumors spreading around, then I’d advise whoever is in charge to reconsider their decision,” Alyazidi added.

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EC students react to QF’s building naming strategy