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We’ve all seen someone wearing merchandise from another college on campus. Although it is easy to assume that some students may not have school spirit as a result, I decided to explore Palm Walk to find out more.
I first spoke to Ryan Iglesias, a freshman biochemistry major — the sole interviewee wearing LMU-branded clothes. When I asked him about his thoughts on non-LMU merch wearers, he said that he believes those who don’t wear LMU merchandise are doing so for the sake. “looking more prestigious.”
Although he admitted that he was referring to my earlier assumptions that some students wore such merchandise to make them look more impressive, I still agree with his comments. Many students can be seen wearing the swag from arguably less well-respected universities. This disparity led me to question my earlier beliefs.
Mia Eastman, a freshman animation major was seen wearing a University of California Los Angeles (UCLA hoodie). When asked if her thoughts were changing to LMU merchandise, she said that she would. “if it wasn’t so expensive.”
Eastman addressed a common problem at LMU — the price of the merchandise. Most sweatshirts sold at LMU’s bookstore range in price from $50-70, as of Nov.1. Students such as Eastman may feel that spirit is only available to those who can afford it.
As I continued my conversation, Eastman commented on a student passing by that they weren’t happy with LMU’s merchandise design choices. Eastman offered her honest opinion that much of LMU’s merch is “too bright and looks like a rocketpop,”A red, blue and white ice popsicle dessert.
Khalid AlBarrak is a freshman electrical engineering major who wore a University of California Berkeley sweatshirt. I wanted to learn more. AlBarrak explained that his sweatshirt was inspired by his love for music. “went to Berkeley before transferring to LMU.”When asked his opinion on LMU merchandise, he replied that he did not think so. “the shirts don’t have good designs”He wears them “only at home.”
Eastman’s and AlBarrak’s comments highlighted another reason we see a lack of students sporting LMU gear — design. I believe that the culprit for the University’s limited merch styles is its strict brand guidelines that came with its logo redesign in 2018. Logo design platform Looka states that an iconic and memorable logo should be distinctive and versatile, two things that are contrary to LMU’s rigid LMU’s identity standards.
LMU’s identity standards are strict rules for how the University’s brand, in regards to its colors, font and logos may be displayed. These standards are required. rulesThey are in place because “color is a critical component of any visual identity system. LMU is as identifiable by its Crimson and Blue tradition as any mark in its logo system. For this reason, it is critical that the color palette be deployed accurately.” Therefore, any display of LMU’s brand may only include LMU’s approved crimson and blue colors, as well as various shades of gray.
These limitations not only detract from LMU’s brand to appeal to the fashion styles of many students, but they also restrict LMU’s ability to celebrate and bring awareness to important events.
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I can understand that this consistency is in place in hopes of growing the University’s brand. But such design restrictions limit the University’s ability appeal to people with different fashion choices and values, and hinder its ability to grow. Some actually pieces of LMU’s athletic merchandise break these very rules, proving that there is a desire for more versatility in LMU’s merch.
To share what I learned, I spoke to LMU’s Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Kawanna Leggett, Ed.D. Leggett explained that she also noticed students wearing non LMU merch on Bluff, but gave a conservative estimate of the number. “maybe about five or six.” We both had similar experiences talking to such students, as she too found that those wearing non-LMU gear weren’t doing so maliciously, and only wore other college’s merchandise out of convenience.
Leggett explained that she is dedicated to making it a success. “our pride more accessible,”To make a “community connection.”She started an initiative to give out cards to people who don’t wear LMU merch. The cards are “good for one Lion Pride t-shirt”You can redeem them by visiting her office.
Despite her willingness to give out free sweatshirts, when asked about her thoughts on merchandise prices — such as those at the bookstore — she didn’t feel “overwhelmed with the price,”They are comparable to prices she’s seen at other colleges. She explained to me that she understood that “access is an issue for college students,”And thinks that “being able to give out free things is helpful.”
Despite the limitations on how LMU’s brand can be displayed, she agreed with the limits in place, as they are important for growing the brand. She personally believes that LMU’s current colors, specifically its blue, “stands out.”She proudly shared that she was complimented for wearing LMU merchandise while on campus.
Although Leggett didn’t agree with my thoughts on the negative effects of LMU’s expensive merch and strict branding rules, I appreciated her thoughts on how increased giveaways could get more Lions to sport LMU merch. Therefore, I believe that LMU must make its merchandise more accessible and versatile in order to encourage Lions to wear the LMU brand.
This is the opinion Rudy Goldman, a sophomore management major from Redondo Beach, Calif. Email comments to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and send comments @LALoyolanFollow us on Twitter and like the LoyolanFacebook
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