Campus banners aim to raise awareness about initiatives, events

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Students often notice banners around campus that signal important events, such as department anniversaries and community campaigns — but most don’t know how they get there.

According to campus real estate division spokesperson Christine Shaff, the banners are organized by the campus landscape architect, who manages the logistics of acquiring and placing event and campaign posters.

Different departments or events that wish to put up banners will contact the architect to make arrangements about the location and duration of their campaign, Shaff said, though there is no formal application.

She added that departments are responsible for designing and creating their own banners, and they have to pay installation and maintenance fees for the poles and lampposts to which the banners are attached. The banners can be up a few weeks, a few months or as long as a year, according to Shaff.

Some of the new banners around campus are part of the Make the Most of Your Moment campaign, which is organized by the Division of Equity and Inclusion to foster dialogue between students of different backgrounds and perspectives on campus.

“I am excited to see the banners around campus as we continue our efforts in building a positive campus climate,” said Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Na’ilah Nasir in a statement from Matthew Griffith, the project manager of the Campus Climate Initiative, which includes speaker events and social media projects.

Funding for the campaign came from the Office of the Chancellor as part of the initiative, according to Griffith.

The Campus Climate Initiative was implemented after the results of the 2013 UC Berkeley’s campus climate survey were released in 2014, which found that 1 in 4 people on campus reported some form of exclusion, intimidation, bullying or isolation. Additionally, the survey also found that underrepresented minorities felt less comfortable on campus than students of other ethnic groups.

Other initiatives that were also implemented to improve campus climate include the UC Berkeley African American Initiative announced in September to achieve a “critical mass” of black campus community members and the Chicana/o and Latina/o Task Force, which was announced in February to provide recommendations to address needs specific to the communities.

“One of the things that we want to to do is to create some messaging around what you do (and how) we make the choice to act and behave more intentionally,” Griffith said.

The Make the Most of Your Moment campaign focuses on getting people to engage in conversations, Griffith said, adding that after putting up banners around campus, the organizers hope to push a social media campaign in September.

The banners’ installation was delayed until this month, despite the campaign officially launching in December. The Division of Equity and Inclusion plans to distribute pre-prepared posters and invitations across campus departments, allowing them to create their own posters using a template, Griffith said. He added that there is no set end date for the campaign.

“As long as people feel excluded, (we) will create material and … seek to make people feel more included,” Griffith said.

Other banners recently posted around campus include banners from the forestry department near Mulford Hall celebrating its 100 year anniversary and banners that advertised the Clinton Global Initiative University event on campus in early April.

“I hope the banners and our upcoming events, like the Campus Climate Speaker Series, inspire ongoing discussion and reflection to cultivate commitment to an inclusive campus,” Nasir said in a statement.

Contact Jennifer Wong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jenniferwong_dc.