Editor’s note: This piece has been borrowed and edited with permission from chadhazenwriting.wordpress.com. Find the original post here.
BY: CHAD HAZEN, ENGLISH
As many of you know, on Friday, July 18, the University of Dayton revealed a new look to the athletic brand that offers an updated take to a logo that is old enough to buy a pack of smokes, pay off those student debts and shotgun a beer in front of a police officer without the threat of jail time. The change occurs at an interesting and extremely strategic time in the school’s history.
During a relatively successful basketball season, UD received national attention not only for making it into the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite 8 (where we were rightfully beaten by then number 1-ranked University of Florida), but also for the subsequent rioting by the student body in post-game celebrations. Sports newscasters labeled us as the clichéd “Cinderella Story” of the March Madness chaos. And with this moniker came more people across the nation acknowledging the University of Dayton as a school for, well, just a school. The Flyers were back on society’s radar.
Thanks to our propensity for ludicrous acts of joyousness that force multiple counties in the greater Dayton area to don the official garb of a violent uprising, the administration and deep-pocketed trustees at UD have focused on changing the image of our beloved university. Men’s basketball head coach Archie Miller stated, “Our new logo will definitely be a success factor for our program. From the start, I’ve been an advocate of a unified identity which can continue to sell a new day and age for our program. Our brand is as strong as it’s ever been and this will continue to keep us in the nation’s basketball mindset.” After all, rebranding from the unofficial scrappy party school to a educationally intense, forward-thinking institution is a smart marketing tactic to make our degrees actually worth their weight in student loans.
But in this world of pointless arguments and aversion to change, people are in an outrage.
We are not in an outrage over the emerging war between Hamas and Israel. Our tempers don’t seem to be inflamed over the roughly 300 men and women of Malaysia flight 17, a third of whom were the world’s leading HIV/AIDS researchers and scientists, killed by a surface-to-air missile launched by Pro-Russian separatists. We aren’t even making a scene over the 43-year-old father of six Eric Garner strangled to death by NYPD officers in broad daylight.
Oh, no, reader. The UD student body is attracted to the more important issues. The cartoonish early-90?s logo changed to something as ostentatious as a multicolored capital “D.” How could this be given the green light? I mean it looks like “VD.”
Within 24 hours, a “We are UD, not VD” Facebook page accrued over 500 “likes” and seems to be gaining traction. The purpose of the page is almost as sickening as the title itself. The profile states, “The new UD logo is far from what the Flyers deserve! Speak up here to take a stand and ask for the REAL University of Dayton logo back! We are UD, not VD!”
First, that supposed “REAL” logo was once a brand new logo in which people most likely abhorred. Rebranding is a marketing step needed every decade or so to be relevant in society’s eyes. Second, associating the University of Dayton with potentially life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases undermines the very reputation us students are trying to preserve. Clamoring over a (hopefully) well-thought out maneuver by people in charge of the university we so desperately adore displays an egregious sense of disappointment that elicits a lot of heavy sighing.
I understand the wanting for a more communal voting process regarding a logo representing the UD. I also applaud the grass-roots effort from students wanting to create a change, however minimal, to the institution loved by so many. What I do not comprehend is the point of “deserving” a specific type or style of logo.
The only thing we students should actually strive toward is a quality education provided by individuals with a burning passion for spreading knowledge of their specific fields. As students of a respected Catholic Marianist university, we “deserve” to be treated as adults who can acknowledge the difference between illogical thought and rational ideals. We “deserve” to be held to a specific standard, reflecting our want to better ourselves and the world around us.
We are privileged to attend a university as enriching as UD. We are lucky to have the opportunity to expand our mind, heart and soul through quality experiences shared with so many.
UD must change with the times. It is a business, simply put, and will need to morph according to the environment in order to stay afloat in a competitive educational market. And if that means a logo manipulation every so often to make my degree stand out in a sea of competition in the real world, then bring it on. I’ll love whatever comes to fruition.
I, along with many other students, parents and faculty members, appreciate the dedication of those who care enough to progress my school, my own educational brand, toward a brighter, more respectable future.
These will be the best four years of our young adult lives. So stop complaining and start building that tolerance up for move-in weekend.
Until then, cheers ladies and gents.