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Seniors debate class gift

Although the senior class narrowed down its ideas for a gift to the college to two options, there is still debate on which option to pursue.

According to Senior Class President Alison Nowak, the senior class may either give a peace mural or maps to the college upon graduation. She said that the class wants to be different in the type of gift that it will give.

“We think this is more original than giving a bench or a tree,” said Nowak.

Nowak said that if seniors choose the map idea, maps would be placed inside glass cases and on strategic places around campus, to help direct people when they visit the college.

“Most colleges have this [map stands],” said Nowak.

The other option is a permanent peace mural, said Nowak.

In order to do the permanent mural, the idea has to go through the Board of Trustees, according to senior Marina Li.

“There’s an outdoor art policy at Mills,” said Li.

According to Sally Randel, vice president for the office of institutional advancement, the trustees instituted the art policy in 1991. This was done in order to make sure that any permanent art would reflect well on the college.

Li said she already submitted a proposal to the trustees to do a permanent mural. To go along with her proposal, the trustees would establish an outdoor art committee. Since the permanent mural idea involves some sort of risk, “people in a sense have been holding back” on it, said Li.

The committee that would look into the proposal would be composed of Randel, two members of the art faculty, a trustee, the Art Museum director and the Vice President and Treasurer, said Randel.

Randel said that Li’s proposal was received last week. Since the proposal was received late in the year, it may or may not make it for review by the committee before the trustees’ meeting in May.

However, Randel said that they will attempt to convene the committee to review the proposal.

“We’re going to try but it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll get everyone together for the committee,” said Randel.

After the committee reviews the proposal, it would bring its recommendations to President Janet Holmgren for her review. Then Holmgren would present her own recommendations to the Trustees, said Randel.

Nowak said she hopes the mural would work.

“The Board of Trustees is very stringent about it,” said Nowak.

The mural “would be a beautiful idea for the Mills community,” said Li. “There’s no report on something like this being done in the Mills community before.”

Nowak said that even if the mural proposal does not make it to the trustees’ meeting in May, it does not mean that it still couldn’t be done, even after the close of the academic year.

“But we can’t give a gift until it exists,” said Nowak.

Li said The permanent mural could be done easily and beautifully for $200, using the kinds of materials that professionals would normally use for murals.

Nowak said that since the senior class is having a harder time getting the mural proposal through the Trustees, the class would most likely give maps as their gift.

“It looks like it will be the maps unless I get an outcry from my constituency,” said Nowak.

However, Li said that the mural does not have to be permanent.

“We could bypass the outdoor art committee by doing removable art,” said Li. “There are options. I have presented this to the senior class and people have been supportive and moved with the idea but I think they are logistically reticent.”

Li said that a non-permanent mural could be done on tybec, which is weather- proof, or on board or canvass. If the senior class decides it wants a mural, whether permanent or not, she is more than willing to use her own paints and has most of the supplies for the project.

“No one has come up to me and told me to bypass the outdoor art committee and do a non-permanent mural,” said Li.

Nowak said that so far, the senior class is looking into the cost of the maps and that it has $1,000 to spend.

“We’re not rich but we’ve been plugging along,” said Nowak.

During the spring semester, the senior class made $400 on its yard sale and just had a fund-raiser this week, the senior auction. Additionally, many seniors have generously donated their own money to their class to help pay for the gift, said Nowak.

“I’ve had a lot of help from seniors,” said Nowak.