L/L mural to be made over

  Instead of ‘solidarity for peace in El Salvador,’ there seems to be solidarity for a new mural on the concrete wall surrounding the Living/Learning Center. The El Salvador mural, one of three outside of Living/Learning, is being replaced because of cracks, chipped paint and overall decrepit state, Director of the Living/Learning center John Sama said. “It’s been in deteriorating condition for years, and folks in tours and planning have been contacting me for a while about it and its effect on the visitors to campus,” Sama said. The mural, which has been a part of the campus for over 20 years, has seen significant signs of decay and vandalism, which promoted a response from SGA to implement a replacement program, he said. “Once students voiced concern, then we slowed the process down in order to include the students as much as possible.” To involve the University community in the mural’s replacement, an SGA ad-hoc committee formed to facilitate the process, committee member Kevin Conlon said. Sama, the SGA committee and Ann Barlow, director of the Arts Initiative Residential Learning Community, held an open forum in November to discuss how the decaying monument could be renovated, Sama said. “We want faculty and staff as well as students to have as much input as possible,” Sama said. “The next step is to find a theme and present design proposals for the replacement.” Students and faculty alike will be involved in voting for and approving a new mural through an online voting page. Currently, the committee is discussing the theme for the mural design. After having received over 130 submissions, the committee is now focusing on ideas such as environmentalism, social justice, local Vermont, Hurricane Irene, diversity and war, Conlon said. Removal of the mural was received with mixed reactions from the UVM community, negative feedback mostly coming from members who had been involved in the original construction of the mural, Sama said. But some of these very members who expressed disappointment with news of the mural’s replacement have now become involved in the renovation process, he said. The committee hopes to somehow incorporate a piece of the El Salvador mural into the new one as a way to commemorate the work, Sama said. Some students who support the new mural suggested the design be more current while others said that it’s deteriorating condition calls for the change. “If it’s being vandalized, you may as well replace it,” sophomore David Viscido said.