A group led by Alliance Coal has received approval from the University of Kentucky to build a new $7 million dorm for the men's basketball team. The dorm has created controversy because it will be named the "Wildcat Coal Lodge." One professor said that the name could "make it difficult to attract top students and faculty members to the university." MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, covered the controversy on Maddow's show.On Wednesday, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees voted 16-3 to approve the proposal for the new dorm. Two of the "no" votes came from faculty representative Ernie Yanarella and Student Government President Ryan Smith, the representative of the students.
The Lexington Herald Leader reported that about 30 students protested at the vote, with one saying "You're leaving Kentucky behind, one more time," and "I'm transferring."
Ironically, the dorm built by Big Coal will be one of the greenest buildings on campus. Because it will cost more than $5 million dollars, it will have to meet U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
Faculty representative Yanarella said that he was fond of "Maker's Mark bourbon but wouldn't want bourbon or whiskey on a UK building." Burning coal is the number 1 contributor to global warming pollution in the U.S.