City, UA work­ing for Hogs street signs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - JAIME ADAME

FAYET­TEVILLE — A draft agree­ment with city of­fi­cials is in the works to re­place Univer­sity of Arkansas cam­pus street signs with a pro­posed de­sign fea­tur­ing a white “run­ning Ra­zor­back” logo on a red back­ground, a univer­sity of­fi­cial said.

“If ap­proved by the city, the univer­sity would move for­ward with re­plac­ing 9 over­head signs (3 in­ter­sec­tions) and 19 street signs (at 19 in­ter­sec­tions) of the pri­mary roads or en­trance cor­ri­dors on cam­pus,” Mark Rush­ing, as­sis­tant vice chan­cel­lor of univer­sity

re­la­tions, said in an email.

Stu­dents pre­sented the idea of UA-themed street signs to cam­pus lead­ers in May, Rush­ing said.

“Hunter Yu­rachek [UA’s ath­letic di­rec­tor] pledged that Ra­zor­back ath­let­ics would fund the ef­fort,” Rush­ing said, with “just over $13,000” ex­pected to cover sign and in­stal­la­tion costs.

“In Oc­to­ber, a re­vised plan was en­dorsed by the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, and this fall, we’ve been work­ing with the city of Fayet­teville for ap­proval as the signs are the prop­erty of the city,” Rush­ing said.

Col­man Betler, a se­nior bi­ol­ogy stu­dent, worked with UA stu­dents Danielle Za­p­ata and Ray­gan Mills to present the idea to univer­sity lead­ers.

He said “a lot of leg­work” fol­lowed, in­clud­ing talks with ath­let­ics of­fi­cials about lo­gos and de­signs.

“It has to be the right color red and has to be the right Hog,” Betler said. He re­cently started a Change.org pe­ti­tion, which had more than 200 sup­port­ers as of Fri­day in fa­vor of new signs.

Su­san Nor­ton, the city’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, said Fayet­teville’s City Coun­cil will re­view the plan for ap­proval no sooner than Jan­uary.

“The city ap­pre­ci­ates the stu­dents’ work and their cre­ativ­ity and ini­tia­tive, al­ways,” Nor­ton said.

Rush­ing said a pro­posed de­sign would “in­clude a ‘run­ning Ra­zor­back’ logo” over a red back­ground on the left cor­ner of the sign. In the univer­sity’s pre­ferred de­sign, the re­main­der of the sign would have white let­ter­ing on a very dark back­ground, Rush­ing said.

Ex­cluded from sign changes would be por­tions of Ra­zor­back Road, Maple Street and Gar­land Av­enue that are state-owned cor­ri­dors main­tained by the state Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

Rush­ing said “the re­brand­ing is not in align­ment with ArDOT pol­icy re­gard­ing street sig­nage.”

Betler, 21, from Plano, Texas, said the stu­dent ef­fort goes back two years. Za­p­ata and Mills grad­u­ated this spring. Yu­rachek’s pledge to have ath­let­ics dol­lars pay for the signs came as a wel­come sur­prise, he said.

“Our mantra was, it’s the least amount of money that you can spend to do the most good for the univer­sity,” Betler said.

“Our mantra was, it’s the least amount of money that you can spend to do the most good for the univer­sity.”

— Col­man Betler, UA se­nior

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