After the new spirit mark for California Lutheran University’s Athletics Department was released, senior Mariam Girgis started a petition called “Change the Cal Lutheran Spirit Mark, again.”
More than 150 people have signed the petition so far, as they are not pleased with the nonexistent “U” in the spirit mark.
According to the Cal Lutheran website, the spirit mark does not have a “U” because people often refer to the university as “Cal Lutheran” or “Cal Lu.”
The Cal Lutheran spirit mark page states: “This fact is evidenced by observation of media references, web search patterns, and the fact that another university owns the trademark ‘CLU.’
Despite this, I believe it is important for the spirit mark to include the “U,” as Cal Lutheran is a University. Without the “U,” the school is not accurately represented. The new spirit mark should show how much the school has changed over time.
“I think that, like most people, I have trouble identifying with the “CL” used in the logo. I have read the university’s statement about how CLU is copyrighted and can’t be used internally, but the spirit mark before said “Cal Lutheran” and everyone was fine,” Girgis said in an email interview.
Girgis was surprised that so many people signed the petition. She was aware of the widespread outrage over the new spirit mark, so she tweeted the petition as a joke.
“I was like, “This is going to be my Cal Lutheran legacy as a senior. I will start a petition to change the spirit mark!” But then, I made it and a bunch of people signed it. I knew people were upset about it, I just did not realize how upset they actually were until I saw the signatures and comments rolling in,” Girgis said.
The Cal Lutheran spirit mark page states that University of Notre Dame and University of Southern California do not include a “U” in their spirit marks. Even though these schools may not have a “U” in their logos, it does not mean that we should follow in their footsteps.
Graduate student and soon to be alumni Eric Kamm signed the petition and wrote: “I’m signing because we are a University. I’m signing because we’re more than just California, more than just Lutheran, more than California Lutheran. Stop wasting money and make us what we are, CLU, California Lutheran University. The rest of the logo works, just don’t ‘sell’ it to us.”
Assistant Vice President for University Marketing Christie Harper released that the budget for the spirit mark was around $100,000. Even though there were design, research, and implementation costs, $100,000 should have been used to create a new spirit mark.
“I think it would be wise to choose something that will garner favor with future students, current students, and alumni, if you are going to spend that much. Unfortunately, this spirit mark did not do that,” Girgis said.
In addition, students should have been given the opportunity to help create the spirit mark. Since they attend the institution, their opinions should be valued. Despite the fact that people can share their comments on the website, they cannot change the spirit mark. This makes students feel as though their concerns are not important.
Girgis said she hopes the petition will create awareness and make Cal Lutheran re-consider using the new spirit mark.
“A spirit mark is something you are stuck with for many, many years, because it is expensive to redesign all of the school’s athletic gear and equipment to reflect the new mark. Before, any of that happens, I just wanted to make sure the administration understands that students are not thrilled with the spirit mark. If nothing else, I would hope that there would be some discussion between faculty and students about it,” Girgis said.