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Forrest Hall task force sets final meeting, rules for position papers

The MTSU Forrest Hall task force has set a final public meeting at which it will review written and oral feedback from community organizations regarding a possible name change to the university’s ROTC building.

The meeting will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Keathley University Center Theater at MTSU.

The university announced last summer that it would engage the community on the name of the campus building that houses MTSU’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program and is named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Campus and community organizations have a March 17 deadline to electronically submit a position statement to the 17-member task force, according to task force chairman and MTSU professor Derek Frisby.

The statement should be a maximum of five typed pages and should be emailed in a single PDF or Word (.doc) attachment to forresthall@mtsu.edu.

Members of the Forrest Hall Task Force listen to resident remarks during a public forum held Feb. 24 at the Lane Agri-Park in west Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Members of the Forrest Hall Task Force listen to resident remarks during a public forum held Feb. 24 at the Lane Agri-Park in west Murfreesboro. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Off-campus visitors attending the meeting should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Dr. Derek Frisby

Dr. Derek Frisby

This is expected to be the final meeting for such public input and follows public forums on campus in early December and at Lane Agri-Park on Feb. 24.

The organizations’ position statements also will be posted on the MTSU Forrest Hall website, www.mtsu.edu/forresthall. Submissions incorrectly formatted or lacking the required information will be returned, said Frisby, a Civil War historian and faculty member in the Global Studies and Cultural Geography department.

The typed statements should be written on 8-by-11.5-inch paper, double-spaced, while using 12 point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins all around, and with endnotes, citations only. The statement should include no more than two pages of endnotes and these endnotes do not count toward the five-page limit. No additional attachments will be permitted.

Each organization must also submit a cover letter indicating that the document is considered their organization’s official position with email and phone contact information of the group’s officers, as well as the names and email/phone contact information of their two appointed representatives for the March 24 meeting.

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU's Army ROTC program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU’s Army ROTC program. 

Each organization may delegate no more than two persons to represent the group’s position paper at the meeting. If deemed necessary, the task force may call upon the organization’s appointed representatives during the meeting to clarify their official position papers; however, MTSU reserves the right to limit this participation based upon time and space availability, Frisby noted.

Submission of a position paper does not guarantee an organization the opportunity to present their oral arguments before the committee, Frisby said. An audio/visual record of the entire event will be made available on the Forrest Hall website no later than seven business days after the meeting.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee asked the panel to recommend by April whether the building should be renamed; retain the name but with added historical perspective; or recommend that no action or change is warranted. The Tennessee Board of Regents would have to approve any recommended name change and other state authorities would likely have to give approval as well.

Task force meetings are open to the public. For more information about the task force, including a list of its members, visit www.mtsu.edu/forresthall.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

A capacity crowd attended the Feb. 24 public forum at Lane Agri-Park in west Murfreesboro hosted by the MTSU Forrest Hall Task Force. The final meeting for public input will be held March 24 at Keathley University Center Theater to allow campus and community organizations to present position statements. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

A capacity crowd attended the Feb. 24 public forum at Lane Agri-Park in west Murfreesboro hosted by the MTSU Forrest Hall Task Force. The final meeting for public input will be held March 24 at Keathley University Center Theater to allow campus and community organizations to present position statements.