It is always nerve-wracking being the first person to start of the conversation. To get people talking about change. Forcing those who wish to ignore us to start listening. Although when the cause is important enough, people will hear it from everywhere. Sorry about the delay, but hopefully here is the start of something bigger.
With Warwick celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and being named the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2015, there has never been a better time to study at this great university. However, it was revealed earlier this week that the powers that be would be changing the entire brand of the university and have already spent £80,000 in the process, creating a logo that has caused uproar on campus. The words “University of” have been removed, and to the average person, there is no recognition that it refers to a high-class academic institution.
University spokesperson, Peter Dunn, claimed that when the brand was unveiled at the recent Students’ Union Societies Convention, “it was met with applause.” This is a lie. Having seen it first hand, there was visible shock and displeasure from the audience, many of whom were horrified by the cost of the process. It has also come to light that this presentation was only carried out on the request of the Societies Officer Isaac Leigh, who said “The money could, and should, have been better spent.” Otherwise we might not have known until it was plastered around campus.
The move will see an entire change in the way that societies and sports clubs order clothing, forcing them to implement the new logo and stopping them from using the crest that they have proudly used for many years.
Only 160 students and staff were involved in the process, which is less than 1% of the wider population, showing the lack of communication and the general disconnection that the University currently has with its students. We do not feel as though we have been properly consulted. We have not been given a chance to voice our views. And we are the ones that stand to suffer.
As Editor-in-Chief of The Boar, Warwick’s student newspaper and mouthpiece, we want to petition the university to halt the re-branding process now and consult students before any more money is spent. We do not want them to follow through with the implementation as this is likely to be outrageously expensive and could harm our reputation. We propose that the University open up the consultation process again and give as many students as possible the opportunity to share their opinions in a sanctioned online feedback process before any more action is taken. We would also like to see a proposal at the All Student Meeting where we can actually vote on a new design and exercise our democratic responsibility.
We have spent 50 years building up one of the most formidable reputations internationally. And this year especially, the world is watching. It would be a travesty if we were to tarnish it here. Let’s have something we can be proud of.