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Mount Holyoke Rejects Controversial Logo Idea

December 20, 2018

Mount Holyoke College has abandoned a plan to change its logo to the design seen at right. Students and some others objected to the image because when the initials are turned on their side, the top two letters appear to create the Venus symbol traditionally used to illustrate "female." Many said that this was exclusionary of transgender students at the college. Others questioned paying for a design.

Charles L. Greene II, vice president for communications and marketing at the college, issued a statement pledging that the design would not be used.

"We listened to feedback regarding the use of the Venus symbol as an option for the brand identity and logo, as proposed by the consultants. It is now evident to us that this symbol has a long history of exclusion connected to movements that, while trailblazing for some groups, represents the erasure of others. We have thus determined that the college cannot move forward with a word mark that references this symbol," Greene said. "While it is always disappointing to realize that our creative work has not achieved its goals, it is deeply upsetting to realize that the work is seen as offensive and damaging. Regardless of our intent, learning that the impact of the work is offensive, painful or damaging reminds us why it is so important to solicit opinion and input from members of the community who care so deeply about the college and how it is represented."

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