|Check out the new Hall Crests|
Although CSU students living in the residence halls may not really be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, they now have their own symbolic crests just like their magical counterparts in the fantasy novels by J.K. Rowling.
"I'm a big Harry Potter fan, so I thought it would be fun if we could build some hall spirit to keep students engaged all year," said Tonie Miyamoto , the communications coordinator for Housing and Dining services who masterminded the crest idea at the end of the previous spring semester.
CSU's crests are based off the designs used in the Hogwarts houses. They sport four panels, each symbolic of what the residence halls represents. Newsom Hall, the Honors Living Learning Community, includes a tree that symbolizes a tree of knowledge, a Roman column referring to excellence and achievement and a scroll with a drawing of an "A" for the old mascot Aggies, a reference to Newsom Hall's stance as the oldest still-standing residence hall.
Also new to the residence communities are Hall Olympics, competitive events such as intramural sports, recycling contests or a chili cook-off, where the winning team takes home points. The hall with the most points at the end of the semester earns a party.
"We're trying to combine that feeling of 'I'm from Newsom,' 'I'm from Braiden,' and put a little bit of competition in it," said Residence Hall Association President Ryan Cooper, who hopes the crests will inspire "a little more hall pride on campus and create better unity and identification."
Miyamoto also hopes the crests will help graduates reconnect with the university.
"Years down the road," Miyamoto said, "alumni can come back and see the shield and be reminded of what their college experience was like."
For now, the crests hanging in the lobbies of the residence halls are in a temporary form, decorated on a sheet of plastic. The final product will be on a thick, double-sided woven thread.
"They're meant to be a permanent part of the residence halls, so people can have an idea of unity and more of a feel of home," Cooper said.
Now that the design process is complete, the creators face both criticism and praise from students living in the residence halls.
"At first, I was slightly skeptical on the object," Cooper admits. "Its kind of Harry Potter-ish, kind of childish. But the overwhelming response has been absolutely incredible. I've been amazed."
Miyamoto also feels optimistic about students' reactions.
"So far, the students have been really excited about them," Miyamoto said. "They relate to the symbols on each of the shields. I'm really excited to hear what the students think about it."
However, not all freshman share Miyamoto's enthusiasm.
"I don't like my dorm's," said freshman political science major Ruthie Hubka , who lives in Westfall Hall. "The symbol's don't mean much. It doesn't seem very creative."
Katelin Wussow, a freshman apparel and design major, was less critical.
"I think it's a cool idea," she said. "It's interesting that they modeled it after Harry Potter. I didn't think Harry Potter was that influential."
Wussow, however, was not as fond of the introduction of Hall Olympics.
"It sounds fun, but it also sounds like I'm five years old again," she said.
Kelsey Galiano, a freshman family and consumer science major, welcomes the new crests.
"I like them a lot," she said. "They all have different color themes; they're not all the same. You can tell what people are in what programs."