The Associated Press

TEMPE _ A suggestion to name the football stadium at ASU for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is being criticized as a political move in a campaign for student government president.

Associated Students of Arizona State University Vice President Chad Wolett had suggested changing the name of Sun Devil Stadium to The Martin Luther King Stadium. He also wants to rename the basketball arena from the University Activity Center to The Cesar Chavez Center in honor of the late United Farm Workers union leader.

But Wolett is running for president on campus and some are questioning his motives.

"It was political to the core," said Jacqueline Salawu, a black student. "The true test will be if he sticks to this issue after he's not elected president."

Some also quest whether naming a sports arena after a black would perpetuate stereotypes about black and athletics.

So Kurt Wilhelm, another vice president, suggested during a student Senate meeting Tuesday that the school instead name the social science building after King and the agriculture building after Chavez.

The student Senate rejected the idea 17-3.

"It looked like they just grabbed the two biggest buildings (the arena and stadium) and said, 'Let's rename them,'" Wilhelm said of the stadium proposal.

Wolett said he chose the arena and stadium because of their high visibility.

Traditionally, campus buildings have been named after former administrators although the most recent were given generic names.

Wolett said he wanted to see an honor for people other than those who got their names on the buildings by giving the university a lot of money.

"We see a lot of buildings that are based on monetary donations and former administrators, and we don't really celebrate the great achievements of life," he said.

The student Senate put off considering name changes for the stadium and arena until April 26 _ after the student election. Read Next Article