Seniors will still be able to continue UB’s tradition of signing a painted buffalo before graduating in May.
The Student Association committed to host the Sign-A-Bull program last week after a student questioned Student Engagement’s choice to discontinue it.
SA, in a press release to The Spectrum, wrote that members have decided to continue the “great tradition” and will work with Student Engagement to figure out the logistics of getting a bull to UB. This will be the eighth year of the program, according to UB’s website, and students said they were “excited” to leave a physical mark to commemorate their time at UB.
“It doesn’t really matter how that has come to be, I’m just thankful that it’s happened,” said Katherine Thompson, a senior chemistry major.
SA Chief of Staff Jacob Brown, a graduating senior, said it was important for the student government to continue the program.
“You see bulls all around campus, we didn’t want that to be lost from campus so the e-board decided they want to continue that tradition,” Brown said.
Brown said there’s probably a “thousand names” on a single bull and its important to continue the tradition since students care about the program. He said the logistics are still being worked out with Student Engagement, which has given SA tips on where it gets the bull from.
Thompson went down to the Student Engagement office last week asking for details of the program only to find that it had been discontinued due to issues of staffing and capacity.
Thompson said Jude Butch, Student Engagement’s senior associate director, told her no students were a part of the decision-making process. Butch did not confirm this in time for publication.
Thompson was concerned that Student Engagement didn’t announce they had discontinued the program. She believes the program is a way for students to “leave a legacy for many years to come.”
Butch, in an email, wrote that Student Engagement understands that “leaving a legacy on campus is important to graduating students” and the program was one of those ways.
“Our staff facilitated a careful and thoughtful review of which activities and services Student Engagement would be able to continue to offer in order to provide high quality and impactful learning experiences for UB students –– which is the mission of Student Engagement,” Butch wrote.
“The [program], unfortunately, is an initiative that we could not take on this year.”
Seniors such as Carl Wiedeman, a psychology major, said SA leading the program doesn’t make a major difference to him and it’s more important that “it’s happening at all.”
“If SA takes over, that’s great as long as it gets done. I have no idea how a program like this gets done, it could be a complicated thing, so I hope it gets done before the semester ends,” Wiedeman said.
He said the program is definitely an emblem for outgoing seniors and the bull is a way to leave your mark on UB.
Butch wrote that his office is listening to students’ feedback.
“If leaving a legacy at UB in a visual way is something that is important to our students, we will collaborate with students and student groups to create a solution going forward,” Butch said.
Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.