October 26, 2020

College renames Loser Hall, admissions building now ‘Trenton Hall’

By Connor Smith

The board of trustees voted to rename Paul Loser Hall, the College’s admissions building, to Trenton Hall, after approving recommendations from College President R. Barbara Gitenstein and the Advisory Commission on Social Justice: Race and Educational Attainment.

“The name Trenton Hall embraces the college’s history, under its six different names, as an institution born in the city of Trenton,” Gitenstein said in a statement. “We have a longstanding history with the city and this name will remind us and everyone who visits campus that TCNJ’s roots run through our state capital.”

The change will begin immediately, and physical signs will be updated within the next week or so, according to the College’s spokesman Dave Muha.

The push to rename Loser Hall began last year when students at the College discovered the building’s namesake, Paul Loser, advocated for segregation in Trenton’s public schools. While Loser’s views do not align with the College’s modern-day values, then College President Roscoe West also advocated against segregation as a member of the Trenton Committee on Unity, Gitenstein noted.

After some debate around campus, Gitenstein appointed the Advisory Commission on Social Justice: Race and Educational Attainment to hold open fora with students, faculty and members of the community to discuss the College’s relationship with nearby Trenton, New Jersey.

With Loser Hall renamed, the commission will proceed with more recommendations for the president in the next month, as they “identify ways in which the institution can have a positive impact on race relations and social justice moving forward,” according to Muha.

Loser Hall was originally named in response to a $1 million gift in 1987 from Tom Loser and his wife Carol. While the gift was never legally tied to the admissions building’s name, Muha told the Signal, “The college has been in touch with Carol Loser throughout this process and she has graciously declined to ask that the gift be returned.”

Although Gitenstein believes this was the appropriate move for the College, she did make it clear to emphasize the Loser family’s contributions to the College’s growth.

“Pete Loser was instrumental in the creation of the TCNJ Foundation,” Gitenstein said. “And the late Tom Loser and his wife Carol Kuser Loser exemplify extraordinary generosity of spirit. The family has been a strong supporter of the College’s quest for excellence.”

1 Comment on College renames Loser Hall, admissions building now ‘Trenton Hall’

  1. Everyone gets offended way too easily. Of course the president would hop on the change, only because her job is at stake, and she’d be labeled a racist if she hadn’t agreed with the (assumed) liberal students who decided to harp on something. She’s been in the position for 15 years, why was nothing done before that if it was so detrimental to everyone’s good conscience. Get out of your safe spaces, and focus on the bigger picture. Did anyone do any research on the good Paul Loser had done? Nah that’s irrelevant I guess. Maybe he deserves that sort of recognition. Bear with me on this comparison..MLK had plenty of hookers, participated in shady activities..but no, he was only the up most innocent and brave examples of man. Don’t get me wrong, he did an absolutely beautiful thing, but the minor details are also there…so why is no one harping on them? You know, to over shadow his accomplishments. In no way am I comparing their achievements, but showcasing that a similar stance is taken in how information is publicized. I am a recent alum, and think the whole idea is silly.

    I was always a little afraid to actually talk about my actual opinions during class when topics such as these arose. I’m sure this comment will spark the same automatic hate I’d assume after saying what I actually thought on the subject of discussion. It’s an an opinion, not a threat.

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