ASUC Senate to consider bill proposing changes to auxiliary's logo

Photo: An ASUC Senate bill authored by Senator Elliot Goldstein aims to revise the ASUC Auxiliary's logo, which Goldstein claims to be misleading because of the phrase
Tony Zhou/Staff
An ASUC Senate bill authored by Senator Elliot Goldstein aims to revise the ASUC Auxiliary's logo, which Goldstein claims to be misleading because of the phrase "Serving Students Since 1887."

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An ASUC Senate bill that would seek to amend the logo of the ASUC Auxiliary will be brought before the senate Wednesday night for discussion, following a delay of the original bill last week after it was amended and discussed in committee.

The bill proposes to alter the tagline of the auxiliary's logo - which currently reads "Serving Students Since 1887" ­- because the auxiliary was not officially created until 1998.

Authored by Cooperative Movement Senator Elliot Goldstein, the original bill was tabled and sent back to the senate's Standing Committee on University and External Affairs after facing opposition from ASUC President Noah Stern, who said at the senate's April 13 meeting that he felt the bill would undermine the work of the auxiliary.

"When vying for more support from campus for more commercial activities, this bill will come across as if students do not have confidence in the auxiliary to run our organization," Stern said at the meeting.

Now, after meeting with auxiliary directors to discuss the issue, Goldstein said he has revised the bill to request a tagline that more accurately represents the services the auxiliary provides in relation to the ASUC.

"My intention for writing the bill in the first place was to create historical accuracy of the relationship between the ASUC and the ASUC Auxiliary," Goldstein said.

According to Goldstein, the issue is not about logos or branding, but rather about student autonomy. He said the auxiliary's current tagline is historically inaccurate because despite having existed in some form since the creation of the ASUC, the auxiliary was not a separate brand with its own logo ­­until 1998.

"Logos are symbolic, and the rhetoric on the logo is a part of a much bigger discourse of student autonomy on the UC Berkeley campus," Goldstein said.

The auxiliary was created on March 19, 1998, as part of the Commercial Activities Agreement between the ASUC and the UC Board of Regents. However, James Walters, marketing and communications manager for the auxiliary, said the current tagline is still correct because business administration staff members have been around since the forming of the ASUC.

"It is still representative of what we do, but I don't think it clearly defines our role," Walters said.

Walters added that many of the employees working prior to the official formation of the auxiliary continued doing their jobs exactly as before.

Student Action Senator Farrah Moos said she understands why the logo has become an issue because of its historical inaccuracy.

"This is a small thing that is representative of the institution's memory that we want to have on our campus," she said.

Likewise, Walters said he understands Goldstein's position and would like to come up with a new tagline that is more descriptive of the auxiliary's function.

In addition to working with Walters to propose a new tagline, the bill also calls for a case study of the ASUC logo to determine whether it should be changed to include its own tagline as well.

With both the ASUC and the auxiliary conscientious about the cost involved with undertaking such a project, Walters and Goldstein both said the change will be gradual since this is not an urgent issue.

Goldstein said he is hopeful that the bill will pass since there has been a cooperative dialogue between the ASUC and the auxiliary.

"Now that the key stakeholders seem to be on board with it, I don't know why there would be an issue," he said.


Contact Weiru Fang at [email protected]

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