Students, Faculty Not Seeing Eye to Eye over Stenciling Projects

After 15 years of training camp here at McDaniel College, the Baltimore Ravens decided it would be best for the organization to leave the College for more suitable training facilities at their base camp in Owings Mills.

The feeling around campus is bitter-sweet—left with many fond memories of the sweat drenched football icons Ray Lewis and Ed Reed battling to prepare their team for upcoming football seasons.

In what seemed like a parting gift, the Raven’s organization “painted McDaniel Purple” with a dozen or so Ravens stencils placed on the campus’ sidewalks.

Marcus Charbonnet, Ravens Manager of Marketing and Fan Development, was in charge of the “Paint the town purple” project, and first proposed the idea to McDaniel Director of Conference Services, Mary Jo Colbert.

The idea did not stay in her hands for long. According to Colbert, “the stenciling proposal wound up on President Casey’s desk in no time.”

When asked what she first thought of when hearing of the “Paint the town purple” proposal, Colbert said she couldn’t help but think of the bunny incident last Spring, when a group of McDaniel students stenciled bunnies all over campus in what they called “creative street art” for a class project. The students saw harsh sanctions for the act, including disciplinary probation, apology letters, fines, and community service.

To say the very least, the Ravens stenciling has prompted unrest among many McDaniel students.

Noah Patton, junior political science major was involved with the now become infamous bunny incident last year. Like Colbert, Patton sees similarities between the two stencil projects, but calls the Ravens stencils “guerilla advertising.”

Patton said the school had commercial interest, whereas he feels the bunnies were just street art and a form of expression.

When asked about how he feels about the current state of the college and how administration interacts with its students, Patton responded “It (McDaniel) sure doesn’t feel like a liberal arts college.”
Another student who was involved with last years bunny incident, but asked to remain anonymous, spoke about the Ravens in relation to the bunny stencils: “It does sting a bit that the school is backing this outside organization but I was kicked off campus and treated like a criminal.”
The student continued, “I feel like the gap between the administration and students only seems to be expanding and McDaniel is loosing that small school community that drew me here in the first place.”

Yet, both students and administration admit that there are significant differences between the two stencil projects.

Colbert spoke of how the students used a paint that ended up not being water salable, and how the Ravens have done this project elsewhere and are more familiar with the paint they use.

Vice President for Administration and Finance, Ethan Seidel spoke about the seemingly similar projects. “The Ravens stencils and the bunnies are not alike. I would be OK with students stenciling on campus if they asked permission as where to put the stencils and went through the normal channels.”

“It wasn’t that students did the stencils, but it was about the damage that the stencils caused,” continued Seidel.

When asked about financial reasoning for the administration to permit and promote Ravens advertisement, Seidel said there are no financial perks of allowing the Ravens stenciling for “the Ravens are not coming back.”