Rec center has new face

Robert Checkal

Two graphics will be complete by Thursday

The SRWC is installing two graphics on the exterior of the building. The “engage” graphic, located on the east side of the building near Summit Street, was put up yesterday. Another poster with the word “aspire” will be installed soon. Both graphics will

Credit: DKS Editors

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is getting a face-lift – similar to that of the University Library’s – as part of a new university initiative.

The initiative is part of the University Communication and Marketing team’s goal to provide consistent branding across the campus, to refresh and revitalize buildings on campus and to create a feeling of pride among students and faculty. The UCM unleashed the first leg of its plan at the beginning of the semester with a graphic of smiling students and the words “you belong here” – highlighted by a lighting fixture – on the library’s exterior.

Now, two graphics are being installed on the SRWC’s exterior as a continuation of the campaign.

The first graphic is of students at a football game with the word “engage.” It is located on the far east of the building and is visible from East Summit Street. The second graphic is of a female student climbing the rock wall with the word “aspire” next to it. It is to be located directly to the right of the main entrance of the SRWC.

“The graphics should be completed by Thursday as a welcome for the centennial donor event on Thursday,” said Jason Hawk, the rec center’s marketing coordinator.

Some students leaving from the SRWC said they didn’t sense a welcoming tone and called the graphics “tacky.” A few of them suggested the money being used to pay for the graphics should be allocated for something more substantial.

“It’s pretty generic, looks like propaganda, and it’s not artsy,” said Dawid Nogas, a first-year graduate biology student. “It has no personality or feeling. It should have some soul. It doesn’t have any soul.”

“It’s nice to have art on campus, but it’s not really inspiring,” said Andy Schiavone, sophomore nutrition and dietetics major. “You wouldn’t take a second look at it.”

“They took the easy way out,” said Lyana Brown, sophomore fashion design major. “It looks like something right off of the Web site.”

Even with some students providing negative feedback, Thomas Neumann, associate vice president for UCM, said he has received positive feedback from both students and faculty, and it’s natural there will be a mix of both negative and positive responses.

“Different people will have different opinions,” Neumann said. “We want prospective and current students to feel this is a place they’d want to belong to and to freshen up the campus. We want students and faculty to feel pride in where they are, and I certainly think the graphics do that.”

He said the initiative is very much tied in with admissions advertising to ensure prospective students receive consistency in branding and messaging for the university’s communications to them.

Students and faculty can expect similar graphics to pop up on other buildings as the initiative continues to strive for a “fresher” campus.

“With our building being 10 years old, this is a great facelift to take us into the next decade,” Hawk said.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Robert Checkal at [email protected]