SGA plans to make Florence more colorful

The Student Government Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee is trying to work with Florence to add purple street signs to the city’s downtown area. “(The purple signs would) kind of give a little more color and a little more spirit to the city,” said junior Hugo Dante, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair.

News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

The Student Government Association is trying to make Florence more festive by adding UNA’s signature color to street signs throughout the city’s downtown area.

The signs would help assimilate the university and the community, said junior Hugo Dante, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair.

“Instead of just having the dull green signs that we’ve had, (the purple signs would) kind of give a little more color and a little more spirit to the city, but also (they would) helps blend the university to the city,” Dante said.

But the signs might not be feasible because UNA’s colors do not create enough contrast for drivers to spot them easily, said Phil Stevenson, Media Department director and purchasing agent for the City of Florence.

 Street signs can only be four colors — green, brown, blue and white, Stevenson said.

However, Dante said his committee will continue researching the possibility of purple street signs.

SGA President Sarah Green said the signs would help increase school spirit not only for campus members but also for the community.

“A lot of times, if you’re driving around Florence, you kind of notice that there’s a divide between the university and the city itself,” Dante said.

The signs would help break the visual barrier between UNA and the community, he said.

“You get hit by the university (as) you’re driving down Court Street,” Dante said. “By adding those street signs, it kind of shows the partnership that the university has with the city of Florence, which both are intrinsically tied to each other’s success.”

Sophomore Eric Truong said the signs would also add interest to Florence.

The Legislative Affairs Committee is trying to reach out to members of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce to take on the project. However, they have yet to receive a response, Dante said.

“Because this is a project that is completely out of our control, (the deadline for the project) is all based on the city,” he said.

Ideally, Dante said he would like to see the signs in place by fall 2017, he said.

“That’d be fantastic for all the incoming freshmen next fall to come in and when they get to Florence, they see purple pride here,” Dante said. “They see a town that’s actually proud of the university that contributes to it and gives it jobs and employs its citizens.”

The signs are a common idea in college towns, Green said.

“A lot a college towns tend to have street signs in their downtown with the university colors,” Green said.

Universities like Alabama and Auburn have street signs in their school colors throughout their respective cities, Dante said.

“The University of Alabama streets are probably private, where the street name signs are crimson and white, not public rights-of-way(s),” Stevenson said in an email. “The Auburn signs, blue with white legend, are in compliance with the manual.”

The signs help demonstrate the relationship between the city and university, Dante said.

“That’ s the reason Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama are both so successful is because they have a mutual partnership,” Dante said. “It’s something that we kind of have in Florence, but we really need to improve.

“(The Legislative Affairs Committee is) taking as many steps as we can. But it’s a two-way street, and Florence needs to also show a desire to partner with us as well.”

Although freshman Alaina Earnest said she does not think the signs are a must, she likes the idea.

“I think it would kind of help the community be more cohesive,” Earnest said. “I don’t think it’s something that has to happen, but I think it would be cool to have the street signs purple.”