A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) Records

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A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

Researchers may also be interested in the A New Trotter | Trotter Multicultural Center Web Archives.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Student led project to plan a new facility for the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center located on Central Campus. Meeting agendas and minutes, photographs, surveys, working papers, project reports and timelines.

The A New Trotter (ANT) student initiative was a student-led project that began in Fall 2013. The purpose of the project was to find a new home for the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center. The original facility was established as the Trotter House in 1971 and originally served as a Black student cultural center. The house was named after William Monroe Trotter, a prominent African American businessman and activist in the early 20th century. Trotter was also involved in the of the National Association for the Advancement of African Americans (NAACP). The Trotter House was originally established in response to the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike in the early 1970s which expressed the desire for a for a space for African American students and faculty to hold meetings and cultural events. In 1981, the facility was renamed the Trotter Multicultural Center and merged with the Office of Multi-Ethnic Affairs as it broadened the range of students it served.

In Fall 2013, University of Michigan students began to advocate for the establishment a new Trotter House away from the original Washtenaw Avenue location. The desire for a new space on Central campus was sparked by concerns about the structural integrity of the house, security concerns following an August 2013 break-in and desire for a more accessible and active location. The A New Trotter student initiative was formed to lobby the University of Michigan administration for a facility that would better suit the needs of students.

On January 20th 2014, the Black Student Union (BSU) presented the University of Michigan administration with a list of seven demands focused on improving the climate for minority students at the university. The demands included a new Central Campus location for the Trotter House. In February 2014, the ANT group officially partnered with Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and the university committed $350,000 to renovate the existing Trotter Center and explore plans for a new location. Throughout the Spring 2014 semester, the A New Trotter project conducted meetings with other students to brainstorm ideas for a new facility that could better fit their needs as a community space. The project team also met with consultants hired by the university to discuss student concerns and create a project timeline.

Through the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 semesters, the ANT group and the university consultants continued to gather information about student preferences, conducted comparative analyses of multicultural centers at other institutions and identified four potential sites for the new facility. Students overwhelmingly supported the proposed State street location on the Betsey Barbour/Helen Newberry lawn. In December 2015, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved a $10 million proposal to build a new Trotter Multicultural Center at this location.

The schematic design for the new facility was developed in collaboration between the ANT group, the Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company design team and staff from the Trotter House, Office of Student Life, the Provost’s Office and the Office of Architecture, Design and Engineering. The design team periodically held town hall meetings to allow students to participate in the planning process. The schematic design for the new Trotter House Multicultural Center was completed in May 2016. In response to concerns from students, faculty and alumni, the university affirmed the new facility would continue to be named after William Monroe Trotter. After the design stage completed, the A New Trotter project transitioned to the Trotter on State initiative, a continuing effort to ensure the Trotter Multicultural Center meets the needs of students on the University of Michigan campus.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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