Community input key for new Athletics and Recreation Banana Slug

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A new decade has the potential to bring new energy, focus, and vision for the next era ahead. In 2020, our unit — formerly known as the Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports (OPERS) — renamed itself Athletics and Recreation, the first step in a larger brand refresh. A lot of work has been done and much more is underway. While our unit’s renaming is important, one of the most important projects this year is our #NewSlug2020 campaign.

You may have heard, seen, or even provided feedback on our campus identity at UC Santa Cruz. We have indeed entered into developing the next Sammy Slug for Athletics and Recreation. It is important to note that while we hope our new Sammy Slug is well known and embraced by all, it will not replace our academic, Fiat Slug logo. This most popular iteration of our beloved mascot has an illustrious history. The Fiat Slug holds a place close to all of our hearts and is integral to our story as Banana Slugs. What we will accomplish in 2020 will be inclusive of everyone’s insights as we develop and unleash the next era of Sammy Slug at UC Santa Cruz.

The data collected during fall 2019 has been analyzed, and has led us to the first design sketches for the new UC Santa Cruz Athletics and Recreation logo. We have collected feedback from current students, faculty/staff, and alumni. With over 2,700 initial survey responses we know there is a lot to consider. Students comprised 33% of the feedback, faculty/staff contributed 10%, and alumni submitted the bulk of the feedback so far at 52% of initial survey responses. We are excited to hear from much more of our current community in the coming design phases.

I want to take this moment to invite and encourage everyone in our campus community to participate in this communal and exciting movement. Your feedback throughout the process is vital to this effort. We know how important the Banana Slug is to you, and we want to make you prouder than ever to be a Banana Slug. Throughout this effort, we are intending to illuminate inclusion, historical perspective, and vision for the next era of the Athletics and Recreation Banana Slug. We are ecstatic to invite your participation in the design’s progression.

Please be on the lookout for dates, times, and locations for in-person #SlugTalks to provide direct feedback in town hall style events. In addition, the online survey is now available online, in our Go Slugs mobile application, and on our websites. We are eager for our community’s feedback during each design phase. Everyone on campus is welcome to participate in creating our next logo and brand identity throughout the rest of this academic year. We invite you to provide direct feedback, and be part of UC Santa Cruz history in the making.