WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – While the New England Patriots have been Super Bowl Champions for almost a month now, the student body at Westfield State University is still feeling the hangover effects from the victory party.
During the raucous celebrations following the team’s 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, the university’s globe structure on the campus green was treated like a jungle gym by rowdy students, who climbed inside and onto the structure, ruining the base and wiring.
Since the unfortunate vandalism took place and put a damper on the dramatic Patriots win, students in the school’s communication and geography/regional planning departments have banded together to raise funds to fix the broken structure, considered by students to be a beloved piece of the Westfield State experience.
“A few days after the game, a few of us comm. majors got together and said we can definitely start fundraising for this,” said Victoria Landry, a senior communication major from Milford, who has helped create Facebook page called ‘Save the Globe at Westfield State’. “Today we’re going to set up a fundraising link through the Alumni Foundation and the University Foundation.”
According to Landry, the ‘Save the Globe’ initiative has gained the full support of university administration, faculty and staff, and is working on individual fundraisers.
“We have students who are setting up different events. We have one student who is setting up a 5K (roadrace) in the fall,” said Landry. “We’re trying to get current students but also recently-graduated alumni involved in the whole process.”
Landry said that the school is trying to salvage significant portions of the structure and that a new design is in the works, but that the process of creating a new globe could prove costly.
The fundraising group, which consists of a core of four people, along with 20 others who have offered their services, has set a goal to raise between $125,000-$150,000 to replace the globe. In the short term, they are looking to raise a small amount to start to in order to demonstrate their commitment to the initiative.
“About $2,000. We think that’s reasonable to start and everyone I’ve talked to says we can get more but we just want to start small and go from there,” said Landry. “We’re hoping a lot of alumni will be looking to help out. That would be great.”
Next steps include setting up a committee comprised of faculty, staff and students who will establish the criteria for the new globe. Once established they will solicit artists to submit designs.
One group on campus is particularly interested in participating. The students and faculty in Geography and Regional Planning (GARP) have proposed establishing a Globe Matching Grant Challenge, given its department name of Geography & Regional Planning and its educational mission to help Westfield State students think global and act local.
Media Credit: The Westfield News