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In Defense of Calling The Milstein Center “Millie”

Thoroughly Modern Millie, anyone?

A poll has been circulating on Facebook recently about the best nickname for the newest addition to Barnard’s campus, The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. There’s so much to discover within the new building; the cozy spinny green chairs by the tall windows, the terraces that are always open, the Peet’s Coffee on the first floor, the tunnels to Altschul and Barnard Hall – but by far the most pressing question on campus right now is whether we’re to refer to this new emporium as “Cheryl,” “Millie,” or “The Mil.”

As a journalist, I do my best to strive for integrity and therefore not to show bias. However, the answer is clear here. The new building is clearly a Millie. In fact, the idea that this is even being questioned, and, that as of this writing, “Cheryl” is winning on the poll, is an insult to my very being and my education here at Barnard College of Columbia University, The Liberal Arts College For Women In The City Of New York.

Let me explain. Millie is cute, and serves as another way to bring our dear bear mascot into daily life on campus. Cheryl is outdated – the #24 most popular baby name in 1947, and #3,006 in 2018 – and is therefore not representative of the new directions in which I think we all can agree that the new library seeks to take Barnard. Millie makes sense: it’s a shortened version of the last name of both people who donated enough to make this building happen, whereas Cheryl makes me question where someone means when they say where on campus they’re going. Is it a library? Is it a cherry orchard and I misheard? Is it their great-aunt’s house for tea? Who’s to say, really?

The only compelling argument I’ve heard for calling it Cheryl is that then Cheryl and Diana could live out their life as lesbian lovers in peace. But it’s just not realistic, not with Altschul in between them and Milbank keeping an eye over the whole thing.

So, readers, I beg of you: don’t refer to it as Cheryl, say “Millie.” It’s what she deserves.

Though, realistically, the only way I’ve heard anyone talk about this building is “Milstein,” which makes way more sense and is what will actually win in our hearts and mind, though it isn’t on the poll. Thanks for your time.

Image via Barnard

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