Student government planning wildcat statue

Aaron Kunkler, Staff Reporter

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If a proposal from the Student Government gains enough support, Central may boast a wildcat statue sometime soon.

According to Rob Lane, vice president for Student Life and Facilities, this project was started by the former Board of Directors.

Lane sees this as a way to generate interest in Central for students, potential students and alumni.

“I think if there’s anything CWU needs, it’s campus tradition, campus spirit and overall unity,” Lane said.

Lane also said that a bulk of the funds for the statue have been allocated for artistic use.

Around $70,000 have not been touched. Lane said the Student Government would only seek to use $30,000 of this, and raise the rest through other means.

The initial cost for the statue was estimated at around $200,000, but Lane said that the current Student Government has been able to drop the expense to somewhere between $70,000 and $160,000.

Kyle James, assistant to Rob Lane, said this estimate may be a bit high. If Central were to go with a pre-made mold, the statue would cost around $60,000.

However, if it was to be personalized, it could be closer to $100,000.

Both James and Lane said that the student government may approach the Services and Activities Committee for funding, but want to explore alternative means of funding first.

“It’s definitely a stretch to have academic departments help,” Lane said. “I wanna make sure we do it right.”

According to Lane, this would involve working with the administration. Additionally, Lane said they would seek alumni support for the project, as well as input from the Ellensburg community.

One idea is to allow alumni to purchase engraved bricks which may be placed around the base of the statue.

Lane said that he feels this is an important way to increase Central’s traditions and exposure. He said that most other major universities have iconic works of art.

Washington State University has a cougar statue. The University of Washington has a large ‘W’ sculpture.

Western Washington University has a fountain, Gonzaga has a bulldog statue. Although there are many pieces of art around campus, none of them are specifically Central themed. Currently, the only themed art on campus are the signs located off Main St. and D St.

The deadline for securing funding for the statue is December 12.

Lane understands that Central is in tough economic times.

“If we can’t fund it responsibly, there’s no reason to do it,” Lane said.

Jared, junior biology major said he thinks it’s a good idea so long as it is a Wildcat, and not necessarily Wellington.

“If there’s an art budget, I support public art,” Jared said.

Maddie Bennett, freshman psychology major, mirrored those sentiments.

Bennett also said she hopes student input and involvement will be taken into account while the project is being designed.

Students interested in learning more are encouraged to attend the open student government meetings held every Monday at 4 p.m. in the SURC pit.