In March, Wessex Scene broke the news that SUSU were changing their name to “Us” short for Union Southampton as part of their huge rebrand. Now, students have set up a change.org petition to reverse the SUSU rebrand.
Union Council have voted for the 'Us' branding to be used. Students will have their first sight of the new brand in April/May #unioncouncil
— Wessex Scene (@WessexScene) March 14, 2016
Over the weekend, signs have been put up on campus (although they are unfinished) and students have taken to social media to express their thoughts on the rebrand.
.@YourSUSU rebrand is a joke. feel sorry for Susu the cat / logo is boring / says nothing about our university
— Ames (@amywootten) May 14, 2016
@SJWilliams95 In other news the Students' Union at Solent will now be called 'Them'
— Will (@wkingsnorth) May 14, 2016
The new name, Union Southampton, or Us. was revealed to be replacing SUSU, or Southampton University Student’s Union in March. However, after the initial stages of the new logo and design were revealed, many students have criticised the aesthetics of the design.
Mayan Al-Shakarchy, a Politics and International Relations Third Year, who has initiated the petition, stated in its description:
SUSU’s rebrand is dismal. Black and white… The lack of student engagement and opinion towards its new rebrand is disappointing. This petition is for any student who believes that SUSU’s rebrand logo should have been voted on by students of the University of Southampton. Even better, the logo should have been designed by a student; a simple competition to our Arts students over at Winchester Competition for a £500 prize would have engaged our students over at Winchester Campus that are often ignored and excluded from the wider university experience plus saved money that could be better spent on services for students.
The aim of the petition is to show that ‘it is not SUSU’s exterior logo and brand that is the issue but its interior,’ that ‘students should be involved in the design of a rebrand,’ and that students ‘should be able to vote for their favourite rebrand online.’
Mayan told Wessex Scene
I know starting a petition seems a bit over the top but I believe it’s time to finally get SUSU’s attention and make them realise that we’re (the students) here. I am fully aware that the entire rebrand will not be released until Monday. To be honest, I don’t care if students think SUSU’s rebrand is unique. The main issue is that students are not consulted or involved in the design or implementation of the rebrand. The irony is vicious actually. SUSU can’t figure out why its students doesn’t love them. It thinks a rebrand will solve its NSS score. It designs a rebrand on a basis of a badly-designed survey and does not consult students on the product of the new design. And yet SUSU still doesn’t realise that its lack of care towards students’ opinion is the reason for its negative attention.
At time of writing, 35 people have signed the petition.
It has been noted that the new logo is not the final version and the work will reportedly be completed over the weekend ready for next week.
Union President, Ben Franklin wrote on his Facebook page today:
I would just like to encourage everyone to wait and see the whole thing before jumping on any bandwagon – this is a small part of an overall much bigger, better whole that will be revealed, in its entirety, over the next week and really does represent a brand that students can take ownership of. I’ll miss ‘SUSU’ as much as anyone else, but I’m still confident that over time this brand – when revealed in full, which is more than just shown on this sign – has a lot more flexibility, creative potential and ties together everything the Union offers in a less childish, less outdated way.
Union President, Ben Franklin, told Wessex Scene
I think it’s a little soon to be petitioning against the change when the entire new brand hasn’t yet been unveiled. As is the case with all major change, I anticipated some teething time. If the petition gathers momentum after people have seen the whole brand and settled into it, and it gathers overwhelming support, of course the student voice will be considered, but after the wide student consultation, where every single student had the opportunity to get involved, and months of work that went in to rebranding, it’d be a shame to see it all undone because of a knee jerk reaction to what will, in the long run, be a very positive change.