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Student body not consulted with logo changes

Students+in+Block+I+cheer+during+the+football+game+against+Purdeu+at+Memorial+Stadium+on+Oct.+8%2C+2016.+The+University+has+adopted+the+block+%22I%22+as+its+only+logo.+
Students in Block I cheer during the football game against Purdeu at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 8, 2016. The University has adopted the block

Students in Block I cheer during the football game against Purdeu at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 8, 2016. The University has adopted the block "I" as its only logo.

Austin Yattoni

Austin Yattoni

Students in Block I cheer during the football game against Purdeu at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 8, 2016. The University has adopted the block "I" as its only logo.

By Gillian Dunlop, Assistant news editor

University officials have begun implementing a new block “I” logo as a way to better promote unity within the campus community. However, the change was made without consulting students.

“We are going back to our roots,” said Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs. “That image has the greatest connection to our alumni. It’s the most recognized and impactful.”

Block “I” has been referenced in a number of University documents dating back to 1892, such as commencement programs and academic listings.

“We’re trying to be more strategic and thoughtful in sharing our story,” Kaler said.

Having as many of the symbols and descriptions of the institutions speak with one voice is a meaningful way to ensure that no matter how someone interacts with the University, they’re interacting with the same institution, she added.

The block “I” logo moves away from the controversial Chief Illini logo — which has been retired — that has created a stir on campus for a number of years.

“A lot of our alumni, unfortunately, their story is more with the Chief,” Raneem Shamseldin, student body president said. “And while I certainly don’t support bringing back the Chief, the block “I” is not what they remember for their time here. I’m in support of having one logo versus many if it did have student input or a vote.”

The decision to change the logo to block “I” was made without input from the student body.

“It was in the Chancellor’s jurisdiction (to change the logo), but it lacks say in the students,” Shamseldin said.

According to the website, the marketing and communications team at the University will coordinate so that the University is represented through one voice through a single brand.

“Using block “I” as the only logo will consolidate and strengthen the University brand’s impact,” the website said.

In times of such division, however, the goal to unify the campus under a logo might be difficult, said Shamseldin.

“A logo change isn’t going to do that,” Shamseldin said.

There is a mixed reaction to changing the logo with some students, faculty and alumni happy with the consolidation, and others not so pleased.

“I’ve heard a lot of lack of support, but not big enough to cause a huge fuss,” Shamseldin said. “I’ve gotten numerous emails about why that decision was made and how it was made. The more modern look of universities, like Michigan for example, does simplify everything. The students should’ve been asked.”

Kaler has not heard much criticism over the change.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “Our alums have reached out to say how excited they are to go back to our roots.”

The implementation of the block “I” logo has already begun, however it might take years to fully implement it as the only logo seen around campus, as old logos can still be spotted in academic buildings and signs.

“This is not a matter of let’s throw away everything we have,” Kaler said. “You’ll see old marks all over campus and that’s fine, and you’ll continue to see those. We’re telling people ‘don’t throw anything away, don’t be wasteful.’ It’ll take several months before a large part of the transition will be completed.”

Since block “I” will be implemented gradually, Kaler said it should not cost anything more than the normal cost of business.

Students, faculty and alumni can download the new logo at brand.illinois.edu. There is also a feedback survey that allows for comments questions surrounding the adoption of the new logo.

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4 Comments

  • pgrove

    It isn’t the Block I that I object to, it is eliminating the Illini War Chant and the Chief. They just keep taking more and more of our heritage away to please a small vocal butthurt minority. It is called political correctness and it is wrong because it is the tyranny of the minority. There are 700,000 alumni out here and I would bet that most don’t approve of these changes.

    • Nikki Blight

      You’re probably right. There are a lot of people who find this to be a big deal… but a lot of us really couldn’t care less one way or the other, either. I mostly ignored the sports department while I was there. A lot of people do.

  • Austin Jones

    They should have changed the logo to something like that https://www.logaster.com/gallery/education-logo/

  • Kiwi

    If bringing back the chief wasn’t an option why not have the students get together and vote for a new one?