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'Chalk Talk' back at IMU to promote student groups

BY NICHOLAS MILLER | JUNE 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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University of Iowa students have been provided an interactive, colorful way to learn and share about on-campus student organizations.

After being destroyed in the 2008 flood, Chalk Talk — a large chalkboard located in the River Room entrance for student organizations to post news about events and meetings to inform students as they pass by — has been reintroduced to the IMU and UI community.

The original Chalk Talk board was located on the IMU ground floor, and Bill Nelson, the director of IMU Administration and Operations, collaborated with UI Student Government leaders to bring it back.

"Since the flood, we have been trying to reincorporate old ideas into the IMU and new ones," he said.

Unlike emails and other forms of communication for the students, Chalk Talk requires no forms or administrative approval before posting.

"There are so many issues in terms of mass emails and student organizations promoting events that we thought it would be a creative way [to communicate]," UISG President Nic Pottebaum said.

The new Chalk Talk board was completed Tuesday, and it has been covered with news about different student organizations.

Yet Max Moore, general manager for Student Video Productions, said he is skeptical about its effectiveness.

"I'll be interested to see how much use it gets. It'll get cluttered really easily, but it's a good idea," he said. "We have special premières sometimes, so we will definitely use it."

Greg Dieterle, the president of the Iowa Scuba Club, said he wrote a message the first time he saw it.

"I didn't even know about it until I went to the c-store to get a drink," he said. "I walk through there a few times a week, so I'll update it about meetings."

Pottebaum said officials wanted to resurrect the idea because it fit well with their communication and transparency platform.

"We are going to try to promote student government as much as possible using the board," he said.

Chalk Talk was paid for in partnership by IMU officials and UISG. UISG paid for the majority of the materials, while the IMU paid for the labor and some of the material cost. Pottebaum said the total cost has not yet been made available.

While Chalk Talk is intended for student organizations, Pottebaum encourages anyone walking by to grab some chalk and write on the board.

The graffiti-style logo above the board was designed by IMU Marketing and Design. The original Chalk Talk also had a graffiti-style logo in Hawkeye black and gold but was in freehand. The new logo has been professionally created by the design team.

"We wanted to make sure we used Hawk gold," said Sarah Lenger, the design supervisor. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


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