SGA: Questions, debate stall approval of new logo


Opening the year with its first meeting of the 2014-15 academic session, members of Central Michigan University's Student Government Association heard questions and concerns over the group's proposed new logo on Monday.

The hope was to have a discussion on the logo and move it along. Practically all of the SGA membership decided to table the vote and further discussion on the logo until the governmental body's next meeting.

Executive board members of SGA worked over the summer to produce a new updated logo for the organization. SGA President Chuck Mahone said the executive members worked to create a new logo for a number of reasons.

"If you see up there, it says 'since 1924,' which is funny because we were founded in 1920," Mahone said. "This logo also wasn't approved by the SGA body, so it isn't our logo. It should be all of ours, and we want your input."

Mahone and other executive board members created the logo during the summer using funding gathered through Student Activities and Involvement. The department also served as an oversight mechanism for the group as they created the logo. 

Taylor Gehrcke, SGA's treasurer, said a full list of money spent on the logo's design would be on the SGA website by the end of Monday night.

SGA's executive board didn't just create the logo, it also placed it on a number of pieces of merchandise, such as water bottles, fliers, posters and banners for the university's MAINstage event.

Expenditures made on these items will be included on the expenditure list Gehrcke plans to post online. While he didn't have exact figures at the meeting, Gehrcke said the group spent nearly $1,200 on the water bottles and close to $200 on the fliers and banners. Some of that money, he added, came from funds they had held over from last year.

As Mahone and Mariah Urueta, SGA vice president, opened to the floor to discussion, a variety of concerns were voiced against the new logo's design and the money spent on it.

Ty'asia Jones, a 19-year-old representative for CMU's Sophisticated Women of Color registered student organization, thought the new color scheme didn't match the bold look of the old one. 

"The old logo has so much life, and this new one just seems dull," Jones said.

She suggested changing the palette to a more vibrant set of colors. Gehrcke countered by saying the new maroon and gold scheme – a feature not shared with the old logo – was chosen because it was closely aligned with the palette used on new CMU promotional materials.

In addition, 24-year-old Sean Lathrop, a representative from the CMU Club Dodgeball team, inquired about any additional marketing costs associated with adopting a new logo. Mahone said there would be only minimal new costs involved, but that was a given when the group considered the update.

Another concern voiced at the meeting was the legality of using the name "Central Michigan University" in the logo because it was a registered trademark.

Mahone said the executive board looked into the matter when it was creating the design and was given permission to use the name. 

The final and decisive concern was that there wasn't enough SGA oversight over the money spent on creating the logo, and that a sub-committee should be formed to look into the logo's design and expenditures.

The formation of the sub-committee was all but shot down by the majority of the SGA leadership because it would waste valuable time and money to create and organize the committee.

"I personally think we have better things to do and to spend our money on," said Shelbe Klebs, SGA's Student Budget Allocations Committee chair. "I would rather see this extra money spent on students and student programing as opposed to wasting time and effort on a whole new logo when this one looks awesome."

Gehrcke agreed with Klebs's sentiment on focusing resources elsewhere.

"We did work very hard during the summer time on this new logo," he said. "If people want to see changes, that's fine. We just have to make sure they are worth it."

Gehrcke predicts the logo design will pass next week, yet it will be a difficult debate if people don't have tangible solutions.