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May 21. 2013 9:05PM

Pushback against logo plan for UNH heats up

Discontent over an anticipated new logo for the University of New Hampshire has hit social media, with a Facebook page now dedicated to the preservation of the Thompson Hall logo as the university's calling card.

Meanwhile, a university spokesman said it has developed an online survey that will go out soon and gather feedback from students. Nonetheless, the university continued to support its notion of changing the current logo, a depiction of the administration building on the Durham campus.

"We have received hundreds of response to the logos, and a majority of that feedback has been positive," university spokesman Erika Mantz said in an email message.

Last week, the university said it will pay about $100,000 to a New York City design firm that has prepared three possible logos. The notion is to modernize the image of UNH and distant it from the single-campus model that is implicit in the Thompson Hall logo.

The Facebook page — UNH Students Against the Change of the Thompson Hall Logo — was created May 13 and had 572 likes as of Tuesday evening. Not all posts are supportive of Thompson Hall, but most are critical of the three finalists proposed by the design team.

"I think that a bunch of first graders could have come up with better designs! These are awful!" wrote Julie Glover, a 1983 UNH graduate.

Scotty Arsenault said the university should hire a local artist. "You're paying a ridiculous amount for insultingly mediocre designs. Don't limit yourselves to this shield/crest concept," he wrote.

Bryan Merrill, the UNH student body president, posted that he has been discussing the possibility of student proposals with the administration. Based on the opinions he's collected from students, alumni and administrators, the designers — Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv — need to return to the drawing board if they want to create a competitive logo, Merrill wrote.

In an email to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Merrill said the survey should be going out to all students this week, and a date, which he did not specify, has been established to hold a student forum.

Mantz said the effort involves much more than creating a logo.

"We need to compete nationally and internationally for students and dollars," she said.

UNH President Mark Huddleston will make the final decision on the logo, Mantz said.


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