Taking our place in the Murray State tradition?

Take your place.

Three words with a variety of meanings to a variety of people – and three words with which Murray State students will become very familiar with as the University phases out its existing tagline, Your World to Explore.

Your World to Explore, only four years old, will die a quiet, gradual death as the University implements the new tagline over a period of time. We are told these changes will have a minimal impact on Murray State’s financial health by the administration.

The fact they have any impact on Murray State’s finances when we are repeatedly told the University is bleeding money raises some questions.

Why is the University extending its existing brand, spending money, when we are constantly told that cutting costs is our number one priority?

What is the point of extending the existing brand? To bring more students to the University?

Why was Take Your Place the ultimate selection of the University, with all of the negative connotations those words conjure up?

Catherine Sivills, assistant vice president of University Communications, said University Communications had conducted research suggesting that

Generation Z, the generation born from the early 2000s until today, wants a fresher image.

This is apparently the rationale that led the University down the path of an extension. One might remind University Communications that Generation Z won’t walk down the halls of Murray State until 2018 at the earliest.

If this extension is an effort to reach out to a younger generation of prospective students by compelling them to take their place in the Murray State tradition, why did that extension have to happen this year?

If Generation Z is the target and Your World to Explore’s life expectancy is taken into account, Take Your Place could be there and gone by the time Generation Z moves into Elizabeth Residential College or Clark Residential College in sunny August 2018.

So what are Murray State students to do? Take their place, or continue making this campus and this city their world to explore?

The extension effort, if it is truly warranted, probably could have been handled better and a better choice of words could probably have been chosen for Murray State’s new tagline.

We understand the motiviation behind the extension is to draw in more students, but we doubt that a new tagline will bring in the numbers we need to seriously put a dent in the financial problems we face.

As we cut programs and spend more money to encourage students to take their place at Murray State, perhaps we should stop for a moment and ponder what it is that actually draws students to Murray in the first place.

A new tagline might be the cheaper solution, but thinking that simply changing up how Murray State presents itself will attract students to this university is wishful thinking at best.

If the administration wants to draw in more students, we have to make tough choices and that is clear – but those tough choices are where to spend more on our academic programs, not where to cut them.

Our tough choices should revolve around how students can better be served, and how students can be brought into the Murray State family.

Until the administration realizes this, we won’t be able to draw more students into the University.


The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.