UT student wants to rename RLM hall after Jurassic Park character


PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 28: Jeff Goldblum of ‘The Mountain’ attends The IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at The 2019 Sundance Film Festival – Day 4 on January 28, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A senior at the University of Texas at Austin is efforting a movement to change the name of Robert Lee Moore Hall to be named after Dr. Ian Malcolm, a fictional former UT professor from the “Jurassic Park” franchise and most widely known for being played by actor Jeff Goldblum in the film series.

The current Robert Lee Moore Hall houses the university’s math, physics and astronomy departments, but senior Vikram Sundaram says it shouldn’t be. Sundaram points to Moore’s racist past remarks and sexist behavior, something he said he was known for.

“Through Jurassic Park, the late author Michael Crichton gave us one of the most beloved and unique characters in the world,” wrote Vikram Sundaram. He’s taken to Facebook and has created a Malcolm Over Moore page to promote changing the name of the building, even creating videos and writing lengthy posts about his endeavor.

The spark began when he was visiting New York City last summer, and came across Michael Crichton’s book, featuring Malcolm. Malcolm was known for being cautionary and disciplined, which is something he said Moore was not. 

“Let’s make it clear to the Board of Regents that, as a student body, we want this building renamed so badly that we are literally choosing a fictional character to rally behind.”

This isn’t the first time there have been efforts to rename the hall, which Sundaram said he’s aware of, but those efforts don’t seem to be sticking.

“Ultimately, I feel this movement is about making this statement that a fictional character represents the values of students better than a real person, and I think the impact of that statement will drive home the fact that anything is better than the current name.”

He explained that his hope with all of this is for it to be a collaborative effort and for other students to give their input on what they think the hall should be named. 

A spokesperson for the University of Texas wrote in a statement to KXAN: 

“We appreciate the spirit of the student’s fictional suggestion and the real concerns that underlie it. There are currently no plans to rename the building, but university leaders continue to look at ways to represent and acknowledge the history of the campus, not to ignore it, no matter how painful some chapters may be.”

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