The Student Government Association chose to exclude the majority of designs from the student voting process that were submitted for the 3rd annual t-shirt competition.
For the past two years, the student body voted on all submissions. Some of the designers that submitted work were surprised to discover SGA executive board had eliminated their designs before student voting had even begun. Liesl Poet submitted designs to the contest and felt that the SGA should have outlined the process in the competition’s rules.
“I just understood it to be like we submitted them, people would see them, and I could say that I participated in this contest because that’s kind of a big thing for art students is saying you were in shows or in contests and your work has been seen,” Poet said. “So when it didn’t show up online, any of them that I had created, it felt like it was a huge waste of time and I can’t say I participated in this contest because I didn’t, even though I did work and submitted work.”
Emily Stojevich-Swenson, who also submitted designs, felt jilted when she found out that the executive board unexpectedly narrowed the submissions.
“I felt like SGA is such a small group versus having it be voted on by the entire campus,” Stojevich-Swenson said. “I kind of felt like I was robbed of my opportunity to be voted on.”
Not only did the SGA executive board select only three designs but two of the three designs chosen were from the same designer.
“I know two of the submissions came from the same artist and I had a design that was very similar to one of his. So I felt like, since they like the design, they could have used one of mine and one of his to kind of even out the odds,” Stojevich-Swenson said.
Neither Poet nor Stojevich-Swenson want to “come off as sore losers,” but both feel that the SGA needs establish clearer guidelines for the competition in the future.
“If they got too many submissions, they could tell people, “You are only allowed to submit one,’” Poet said. “They could have displayed all 20 and made it a student contest where the students choose what they like, the way I thought it was.”
Stojevich-Swenson agreed that the contest’s submission guidelines were too vague.
“I realize that they obviously had to narrow it down. I’m sure they had lots of submissions, but based on the past competitions, I thought the number would be closer to eight or nine,” Stojevich-Swenson said.
SGA Communications Director Ashley Stegall said that the guidelines for designs were to incorporate the SGA and were limited to four colors for printing purposes. Designers were also encouraged to submit t-shirts featuring both the SGA and Missouri Western.
“It had to have Missouri Western on it, and show Missouri Western pride, and they kind of just got to create something new instead of the plain ones that everyone always sees,” Stegall said.
One of the designs chosen by the executive board features the popular “Keep Calm” saying and is similar to a t-shirt sold in the campus bookstore. Other designers also commented on the originality of the chosen submissions.
“They picked the ones that the person had already used the Missouri Western logo, the Griffon that looks like the state of Missouri and just text,” Poet said. “Like there wasn’t design work involved, which was frustrating. I feel like they should have allowed students to see a more creative side of Missouri Western.”
The SGA will announce the contest winner at the Feb. 13 basketball game against Washburn.