Posted July 21, 2016 by Elizabeth Beltramini 

Editor's Letter: The Influence of Color

It is difficult to think of McDonald’s without the color yellow, Santa Claus without red, and breast cancer without pink. Undoubtedly color is significant in people’s association with a concept because color is so evocative.

We’ve arranged this Bulletin’s content around a color theme, showcasing the many ways color influences the lives of college union and student activities professionals. An overview of common budgeting practices identifies how higher education institutions allocate their funds, according to a national data set. From this work, recommendations are shared to help union and activities organizations position themselves well when appealing to receive or retain funds.

Then, an exploration into the concept of colorism demonstrates ways in which systemic bias goes beyond racial and ethnic identity. This dynamic has been around for centuries, but the term “colorism” was coined relatively recently by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. Colorism has been shown to influence educational achievement and employability, making it especially salient for union and activities professionals to understand and acknowledge.

Emphasizing another color, we examine “going green,” or sustainability, as more than an eco-friendly refrain but as a framework that also includes efforts to address equity and inclusion. Tools that can be used to assess social and environmental climate concerns enable fresh conversations about the “Triple Bottom Line” and values-based decision making. We are hopeful these approaches can help union and activities organizations thrive well into the future.

As it is the July/August edition, this Bulletin also includes the most colorful showcase we publish, a collection of winners from the Steal this Idea marketing and graphics competition. From posters to T-shirts to multimedia, campuses can learn the skillful design and promotional work evident in this competition.

In the Association News section, updates are shared regarding ACUI’s project to assess the organization’s brand. During a recent conversation, the merits of retaining our signature color, purple, were debated. In many tribes, Western
countries, and some Asian nations, purple is a color signifying wealth and even royalty. Elsewhere, purple has been used to represent harmony, healing, and luck. In The Color Purple, it symbolizes pain and suffering but also being worthy of notice. I’m sure a decision to keep or discontinue purple will be one of many considerations the Future of the Brand Task Force and general ACUI membership will discuss in the coming months.

Finally, as this issue of The Bulletin goes to print, we wish to remember those lost June 12 in the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub. Only the day before we had participated in the Indy Pride Parade, where ACUI staff and members were surrounded by crowds demonstrating love and support for the LGBTQ+ community. May the symbolism of the rainbow pride flag help us remember and move forward: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit.
Elizabeth Beltramini

Elizabeth Beltramini is the Director of Content Curation at ACUI.


This is awesome Liz. Thanks for he great work.
Comment posted 07/25/2016 7:45 AM
James Van Roekel
Comment posted 07/25/2016 12:01 AM
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