“No, No, No, absolutely not. Find a way around it. That’s dumb. And who decided that? The student body?” said a very upset Victoria Blazac, a California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) student, after being asked if she knew that the vision mural on the corner of 5th Avenue and Inter-Garrison was being removed to make way for the new Otter Student Union (OSU) building. “What a waste of money. It’s an iconic image that is burned in students minds,” she continued.
The new OSU building, which broke ground earlier this semester, requires the wall that the vision mural sits on to be removed. The building will open up with stairs to the street so that students don’t have to walk around or uphill to enter the building.
“That is super sad, I don’t want them to take it down. I mean, quite a few people probably worked on it for a while,” said Sierra Hernandez, a student at CSUMB. “It’s definitely a landmark of the school, I thought they were just going to build on top of [former Lot 12],” chimed in her friend, Steven Bradley, another CSUMB student. “I had no idea; that’s crazy,” Hernandez finished.
That was the general consensus of students walking by the vision mural to their classes. Many students didn’t know that the mural was destined to be removed, but when told about it, they immediately felt that it shouldn’t be removed and that the school was making a mistake.
“You know, I don’t know much about the mural but I feel like it’s a signature of the school that anyone who goes here or has been here would recognize,” said Jessica Lomeli, a senior at CSUMB. Although most students felt the mural really means something to the school and some felt they were being betrayed by not being told that the mural would be removed, there were some students who didn’t know and didn’t care. “No I didn’t know…they can make another one, I guess?” said Dominica Burton, a third year and transfer student.
The existing retaining wall the mural is painted on at Lot 12 will need to be removed in order to construct the new Student Union building.
When looking online at CSUMB’s website to find more information about the removal of the mural, there is only one line of information. After visiting the OSU project page and navigating to the frequently asked question page, there is one question that says, “Mural: What is being done to preserve the mural/communicate about it?” and the answer is, “The existing retaining wall that the mural is painted on at Lot 12 will need to be removed in order to construct the new Student Union building. We plan to have a mural space visible from Inter-Garrison on the new Union.”
When speaking with students on the street about how they felt about the school leaving a mural space on the new OSU building, Victoria Blazac said, “And we’re just supposed to believe them? We’re supposed to trust that they know what they’re doing? It just seems like a waste of money and a waste of history to me. If we could get an explanation from the school, that would be great.
Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a three part series on the removal of the vision mural. Next week, we focus on the history of the mural.