“Asian-Inspired Garden” a Misnomer?

The+garden%2C+which+is+installed+beside+the+Stern+Center%2C+will+soon+recieve+a+new+name%2C+a+move+supported+by+Student+Senate.+
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“Asian-Inspired Garden” a Misnomer?

The garden, which is installed beside the Stern Center, will soon recieve a new name, a move supported by Student Senate.

The garden, which is installed beside the Stern Center, will soon recieve a new name, a move supported by Student Senate.

Photo Courtesy of the Dickinson College website

The garden, which is installed beside the Stern Center, will soon recieve a new name, a move supported by Student Senate.

Photo Courtesy of the Dickinson College website

Photo Courtesy of the Dickinson College website

The garden, which is installed beside the Stern Center, will soon recieve a new name, a move supported by Student Senate.

Rachael Franchini ’19, Editor-in-Chief

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Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring their support for a new name for the previously “Asian-Inspired Garden.”

The garden, which is located outside of the Stern Center, contains Japanese maple trees, Hinoki cypress trees, a cherry tree, a 500-year old Ponderosa Pine Tree and a Zen rock garden. Benches were installed as well, and the space was marketed as a location to hold outdoor class meetings, according to the Dickinson College website. In the press release for the garden opening, it was described as “an extension of the Japanese-themed room” in the Stern Center. The project was funded jointly by the Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment and Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education.

The garden was completed in September 2016, and the name was met with some criticism.

Duanduan Hsieh ’19 says, “These garden elements do not represent all Asian cultures and therefore [the garden] should not be named the ‘Asian-Inspired Garden.’ Zen gardens originate from China and cherry and Hinoki trees are from Japan. In no way do China and Japan represent East Asia, let alone the entire[ty of] Asia… It’s a shame that we strive for an inclusive campus, yet Dickinson allowed for such an incident to occur.”

East Asian Studies Chair Neil Diamant said, “I have already written to the Student Senate and to Development/Marketing defending the name, which is an accurate description of what it is, as it includes Chinese and Japanese components.”

The resolution, which was passed on Tuesday, Jan. 31, does not include a suggestion of a new name, but was formed with the intention of “push[ing] the [naming] process along and encourag[ing] those involved to move away from the temporary name,” according to Student Senate Director of PR and Marketing Philip Morabito ’17.  He also described the resolution as a “public pressure.”

The document also includes a provision that supports financing “educational missions” of the garden, including the addition of plaques to label the different elements of the garden, should faculty decide to do so.  “We are interested in enhancing the educational purpose of the garden,” he stated.

Margot McCrillis ’19, staff writer, contributed to the reporting of this article.

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