Just another WordPress weblog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Campus Beautification & Circus Dogs


I attended a Chancellor Liaison meeting last week where students were talking about ways to beautify campus and “sandwich boards” came up.  I was thinking Subway or Quiznos, but the sandwich boards people were talking about are those leaning sign boards you see on campus.  All around campus in fact.

That day there were 40 sandwich boards around campus.  Or should I say, 40 sandwich boards around campus on the way to and from the TSC.  That’s certainly not the way to beautify campus.

I was impressed that our students were concerned enough to bring this up with the Chancellor and even more impressed when I realized the wanted to do something about it.  Just what has yet to be decided, but I thought I’d weigh in.

I’m all about simple solutions to problems and I think we could take two or three steps to improve things.  First, we ban sandwich boards from campus.  They will never look good and as long as we depend on them to advertise events and the like, they will be an eyesore.  If they go up and down as directional signage around events, that’s a different story, but they would be controlled by our transportation and parking group.  Up before an event to direct traffic, down once the event starts.  Pretty simple.  Campus police find sandwich boards on campus, the remove them.

We steer students to the Technician to promote activities on campus.  That’s what a newspaper is for, isn’t it?  Providing information.  I don’t know how the Technician is set up for advertising, but I’ve got to believe they could offer display advertising for about the same cost — or less — than the sandwich boards.  Technician newspaper boxes can be found around campus and once we get students accustomed to using the paper for this kind of information, the need for sandwich boards goes away.  Would also provide a needed source of revenue for the paper.

Video Kiosks and “digital signs” are already up, or are going up, around campus.  Most of the systems are controlled from a central location and they are designed to rotate information on a pre-determined basis.  So we figure out a way to use the digital signs and kiosks to advertise events.

I’m sure its much more complicated than it seems, but the sandwich boards have got to go.  I can see two on the corner from my window.  One advertising class rings and the other I can’t tell.  It’s laying on the ground next to some bushes.  They are both ugly and their ugly is contagious.  They have got to go.

Any other ideas from the audience?

And what about Circus Dogs? Well, I’m looking for a local troupe of circus dogs.  You know, little dogs that jump through hoops and walk the tight wire.  Things like that.  Planning for an event. Can’t say more now, but if you know of any performing dogs, please let me know. They need to work for kibbles, or close to kibbles.  Budget is small, just like circus dogs.

79 of 100


1 Cody Williams { 02.03.10 at 10:14 pm }

Advertising on campus, a task that many of us struggle with on a daily basis. With a campus population that grows on a semesterly basis and budgets that seem to only decrease this is a marketing nightmare. As someone that thinks about this on almost a daily basis I have quite the opinion on today’s post.

I have been marketing programs and events on campus for almost 8 years now and I am far from finding the golden ticket to reach students. As a student I often challenged the administration on finding new ways to advertise and reach students with limited budgets for student organizations. I will say that I am one of the sandwich board pioneers, going back to my IRC days when I purchased one of the first sets that the campus saw. I don’t disagree though that it has become overwhelming with how many are now on campus.

I would be one of the first to say though that removing them from campus all together would be a mistake. They are by far one of the cheapest, most visible and effective means of advertising on campus. Student organizations such as Student Government, UAB and IRC have all invested money in purchasing not only the boards, but also eqiupment to produce new posters for each event. As well as the SORC office, which now allows student organizations the opportunity to borrow boards for events.

Now there are lots of ways that the issue of empty boards laying on campus for weeks or months can be addressed. One idea would be to have every board on campus registered with the SORC office and assigned a unique barcode to track each board. Any board that is found empty on campus or laying around x amount of days past an event could be reported to the SORC office and the responsible group contacted. Failure to fix or remove the board in a given time period could mean that it is cut loose and held for ransom until retrieved.

I think that this is an issue on campus and one that should be addressed by a group of people that have the ability to make informed decisions.

Electronic boards on campus are far from the solution to sandwich boards. Take into consideration that at any given time most boards have probably 10-15 slides running. Each slide is displayed for maybe 15 – 20 seconds. Meaning that in order for someone to see every slide they would have to watch the board for a minimum of 2.5 minutes. Something that I doubt most students are going to do. As for placing ads in the Technician, the average student organization has no where near the necessary funds to make this effective.

I wish there was a magic solution to all of these issues, but the truth is I only see the problem getting worse as we continue to grow and expand across 2 campuses.

2 Joe Hice { 02.04.10 at 9:40 am }

Cody: Great comments. One of my goals with the blog is to get people talking about issues that concern them and this is certainly one of them. Given the passion around sandwich boards and other advertising tools on campus I’m hoping we can pull together a group to actually develop a plan. I’m out of town through next Wednesday, but lets plan on putting our heads together and making some informed recommendations.

Leave a Comment