Student groups paint the bridge

Anna Weggel

Chris Remy found his niche at the University by strolling across the Washington Avenue Bridge.

There, the accounting and neuroscience student found dozens of student groups to choose from. They caught his eye, and he joined more than six of them.

Now, Remy and dozens of other student groups are trying to catch students’ attention.

“I think it’s an awesome idea,” Remy said.

Armed with brushes and dozens of paint cans, the groups began the annual tradition of decorating bridge panels with logos, contact names and phone numbers Wednesday. Students said they hope decorating panels will help recruit new members and raise campus interest.

Remy painted three panels advertising the Residence Hall Association.

“We essentially want people to look at it and come to our meetings,” Remy said.

With increasing demand for panel space, student groups will be limited to painting a maximum of three spaces this year, Student Activities adviser Penh Lo said.

All types of student groups register to paint portions of the bridge, Lo said. So far, he hasn’t denied many groups from painting.

“There is a diversity of student groups from A to Z,” he said.

Co-president of the Student Philosophical Association, Tom Becker, said he wants to make his panels stand out.

“I think (students) tend to only read ones that are different than the others,” the senior said. “Nine out of 10 (panels) are always the same.”

The signs for Becker’s group describe what his group is not, rather than what it is.

They read, “This space is not used by Ö ” and list traits of several other student groups.

“I want to show people different interpretations of things they already know,” he said.

Many student groups attract attention to their panels with flashy colors, but Lutheran Student Movement member Marie Philippi said she thinks displaying other aspects of her group will catch students’ eyes.

The leadership, life sciences and youth studies senior advertised free food and alternative worship times on the group’s panels.

She also painted a large group logo in the shape of a candle.

Even with all her hard work, Philippi said, she knows not every student will look at the panels.

“I think there’s so many, that it might get overwhelming,” she said.