Montana State University boasts a wide variety of students, faculty, organizations and athletics, but one thing that unites students is the pride and ownership students and faculty take in upholding MSU’s positive reputation. When people are asked what they think of first when they hear the words “Montana State University,” many automatically think “Bobcats”.
The Bobcat logo and mascot are a large part of how people distinguish our school apart from others. They are what our school is built upon; therefore this image must be used with caution. Much controversy has risen recently about whether student clubs and organizations should be allowed to use the Bobcat logo.
Initially it seems like a simple answer; if a student organization or club is affiliated with MSU, they should be able to use the logo. Student clubs and sports clubs should be allowed to use the logo on everything from their club T-shirts to event flyers. However, there are things that must be considered when making the decision whether or not to allow student-led organizations the rights to the Bobcats name and logo.
When using the school symbol, a small mistake could lead to costly negative press and attention. The University of Montana recently experienced this following the football team sexual assault scandals that now affecting their enrollment rates, as reported by the Missoulian. It’s worth noting that no such scandals have happened here, however, it is crucial for MSU to uphold their good image in the community in order to continue being successful and maintain their quality of education.
The issue lies in ensuring student organizations will contribute to the school in a positive way. ASMSU Student Body President Lindsay Murdock, when asked what she thought about how MSU could solve the issue, said “I simply think that if their issue is quality control, that can easily be mitigated by a presentation by athletics and communications to all club sports teams that pass a strict application process similar to the budgeting process.”
This seems like a simple enough solution to a controversial problem facing the student body. Instead of barring the use of the Bobcat logo completely, student organizations need to be evaluated closely in order to make an informed decision based on if they should/should not be allowed to use the emblem.
To see MSU’s well known logo turned into a source of distaste and bad press would be dreadful for not only Bozeman, but the faculty and community that has worked hard to positively establish the school within the community. As students it is our duty to protect the school from the scandalous effects of carelessness and misuse of our mascot.