Logo backlash continues, petition nears 7,500-signature goal

A petition created two months ago calling for USF to get rid of the new academic logo reached 7,225 signatures as of Monday. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/CHANGE.ORG

A petition calling for the reinstatement of the old USF block-font academic logo continues to gain signatures from USF students and alumni as it nears its goal of 7,500. As of this week, more than 7,225 have signed.

USF student Alexis Loukota created the petition on change.org about two months ago.

Loukota said she did not expect the petition to gain the traction it did, especially so quickly.

“I mean, to be honest, I started it as kind of a joke like ‘hey the new logo is ugly, I’m going to start a petition,’” Loukota said. “I never expected it to grow as much as it did but I’m hoping that it does make a change if it’s what us students want.”

Many hold the same sentiment as 1,785 signatures were gathered in the first 11 days of the petition going live, and more than 2,000 have been added in the past two weeks.

“I have noticed a common reaction to the new logo and I do believe the response to the petition reflects those opinions, especially because I myself don’t have much social reach, yet the petition still spread to many people,” Loukota said.

Despite the number of signatures, Loukota said the university has not contacted her regarding the petition.

“I’m honestly surprised I’ve heard nothing,” Loukota said.

Meanwhile, the university continues to roll out more changes on and around campus, including the new logo being added to the steps of the Marshall Student Center and on light-pole banners and new merchandise in the on-campus bookstore.

The USF marketing team has taken notice of the reactions and released a “mean tweet” video on social media last week, featuring both the frustrated and the accepting.

Joe Hice, USF’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview with The Oracle last week that the video was made because of the response the logo has received on social media.

“We produced that and showed that about three weeks ago,” Hice said. “We did it because we follow the tweets, the likes, the comments, the forum and blog posts on a regular basis. We recognize that not everybody loves what we are doing, loves the new bull, so let’s have some fun with some of the tweets just to show people that we do pay attention and that we are watching what people say.”

Hice has issued many statements in reaction to the strong social media reaction, often with the idea they are listening and expressing patience and time.

“I monitor with the agency that I work with, SPARK, and we’re all monitoring the feedback and taking it into consideration,” Hice said in September. “The logo has a chance to grow and mature; we are still a very young institution.”

Over a month after Hice made these comments, the logo has indeed become a more central part of the campus, yet Loukota’s petition continues to gain signatures from those unhappy with the change.

“I mean I would hope they would listen to the voices of thousands of students and alumni,'' Loukota said. "If they care about their student body, then they should care about our opinions to changes that affect us.”


Additional reporting by Jesse Stokes