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Signs and Buildings

02 Sep Posted by in Business, Policies | 1 comment
Signs and Buildings

Here’s a problem not unique to Mason, not a big deal but also not easy to resolve. How does one reconcile a policy of making it clear that no single unit “owns” a building with appropriate external indications of where major units are?

Mason has very few external signs that highlight units. We do have a sign for the School of Law, outside Hazel Hall which is also designated. And of course we have some buildings called Kammie and Long Nguyen Engineering Building and various buildings with names like Performing Arts or Fine Arts. Technically these don’t convey unit names but a relationship is not hard to discern.

Not surprisingly, then, some other units would like external designations. School of Public Policy will be the largest single tenant in Founders Hall in Arlington; I’ve long wondered about some external indication of ICAR outside the otherwise neutrally named Truland building; pretty soon the College of Education and Human Development will dominate a complex of buildings around Finley, Thompson etc; and the School of Management is working for greater recognition in Enterprise.

So I’m actually sympathetic to some change in policy, and it’s under discussion. There are two problems. In most of the cases indicated, while a unit has a strong presence in the building there are other important units involved as well. How do we avoid misleading or unduly complex signage? For example, can we give some external presence to Management while also noting that Enterprise Hall headquarters New Century College and Economics?

And how do we prevent units that do get a confirmation of preponderant presence from claiming additional rights in the buildings in question — rights such as priority classroom assignment, for example, or some veto over what else gets assigned building space? This one should be manageable through firm resolve but in fact it can be productive of lots of dispute.

Again, this is not an earth shattering issue, but it is surprisingly challenging to come up with appropriate and equitable solutions. I thought that airing it might generate some good suggestions.