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Colorado State University-Pueblo spirit is rock solid

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SpiritRock
The Spirit Rock and the concrete base were put on campus during spring break. Photo courtesy of http://www.zinch.com/colorado-state-university-pueblo.

The Spirit Rock, a canvas dedicated for students and organizations to advertise their announcements or art on, was set up over spring break near the Administration Building.

The purpose of the Spirit Rock is to create a new tradition on campus while also increasing student involvement, school spirit, leadership and positive messages, according to the Spirit Rock’s project initiation form.

Individual students and organizations will be able to paint announcements or their own art on the rock, as long as an official request is filled out and the material is not profane or obscene, said Lynnea Phillips, speaker of the senate for the Associated Students’ Government.

Already the Spirit Rock has been utilized in order to advertise that voting for the Associated Students’ Government Spring Election will be open through April 9, 10 and 11.

The Spirit Rock has been a project two years in the making, and has been invested in by many different people. Students who attended the 2011 Student Leadership Experience came up with the idea of having a spirit rock on campus, Phillips said.

Nicky Damania, former director of Student Activities, researched the spirit rocks at other colleges such as the University of Texas at Dallas and Bowling Green State University; in which he put together a project initiation form.

Due to multiple personnel changes, the project came to a standstill, Phillips said.

“We wanted to see what new people would think about it,” Phillips said. “We didn’t really want to usher it through and then be like deal with this huge rock.”

The project found its footing after Phillips started the paperwork again as the original project initiation form completed by Damania was revisited and edited, Phillips said.

”I know that Nicky and the previous ASG administration were really interested in it,” Phillips said. “It was something that had a lot of support; I didn’t want to see it die off so I kind of took on the project”

The Spirit Rock is located on the south side of the Administration Building near the 15-minute parking lot. It is 6-by-4 feet tall and weighs about 3.6 tons, said Debbie Proctor, the project planner for Facilities Management at CSU-Pueblo,

The location is accessible and visible to pedestrian traffic walking by, but is not in the middle of campus, where some might consider it to be an eyesore, according to Phillips.

The Spirit Rock was bought at Rocky Mountain Landscape and is a granite boulder from the Broadmoor area near Pikes Peak.  Proctor chose this specific boulder because it had a lighter color and flat bottom and sides, all traits favorable for painting on.

The boulder and the concrete base were put on campus during spring break.

The Spirit Rock was so heavy that the university’s equipment was not able to support the weight, so special equipment was rented in order to complete the job.

Though many people were very excited to see the project completed after two years of working on it, others have exhibited a negative reaction to the Spirit Rock.

After photos of the Spirit Rock were displayed on the CSU-Pueblo Facebook page, many negative comments were posted about the rock. Some people were concerned with tuition rates being raised on account of the rock.

The funds for the Spirit Rock came partly from the Student Facility Fee and partly from the Student Activities budget. The money for the project was pulled from the Student Activities account and moved immediately to the construction fund in 2011, when the project was started, Proctor said.

This means that there will be no effects on current students.

Some students were also unconcerned with the Spirit Rock and felt it may be a waste, but Phillips had a response to this.

“I kind of think this initiative might be lost on some people, some people might not understand it, but I think it’s a good way to get students involved,” Phillips said. “Of course, if you’re not super involved on campus, you’re not going to care about (this rock).”

Phillips added, “I think that once people start to embrace the rock, understand what it is for, and realize that it can be a cool thing, then (they) will be okay with it.”

For Proctor, this rock will provide students with an activity to do, even if it is to just take a few minutes out of the day to walk by and see what is painted on the rock. Phillips wants this rock to become a new tradition.

“I would like to see more traditions and I think this, if embraced by the student body and people on campus, could turn into another tradition,” Phillips said.