College Creates Sandwich Boards to Combat Thayer Gate Postering

* Officials aim to promote use of new Web site

While trees around campus herald Fall with their annual explosion of brilliant reds, oranges and golds, Thayer gate affords passers-by a show all its own: a tangle of hot pink, neon green and electric blue flyers blanketing its stately brick frame.

However, many students and administrators criticize Thayer's version of autumn colors, saying it is ugly, inefficient and badly in need of a remedy.

For now, that remedy is a handful of new sandwich boards placed near Thayer gate by the Office of the Dean of Students.

Susan T. Cooke, coordinator of student activities, said the number of sandwich boards will shortly be increased to five. Students must submit a request to the Dean of Students office to use the boards.

"We recognize that student groups need to get the message out," said Cooke, who will spearheading the poster cleanup effort. "Hopefully [the boards will] be something that people will be a little more artistic with."

The College has also requested permission from the Cambridge Historical Commission to place five new kiosks in the immediate vicinity.

Student reaction to the routine clutter on the gate and the new sandwich boards has been mixed.

"I don't pay much attention [to the advertisements] anyway," said Henry Yee-Der Huang '01. "[The sandwich boards] seem to be in the way of walking traffic."

Others such as Daniel A. Simon '99, who was taping bright green posters advertising this past weekend's Jambrosia concert to the asphalt just past the gates, said the clutter of posters on gates is "a necessary evil [for students] to promote their activities in a college environment."

A couple visiting from Madison, Wis. said they were not as accepting of the postering.

"It's overwhelming. I don't like stuff on the infrastructure," Bert Brahm said.

Posterers often have to make more than one trip a day to replace signs that have fallen or been torn down and to make sure their own advertisements are still prominent.

On Friday, numerous fliers littered the walkway.

Cooke said that the eventual goal of her office is to maximize the use of the College's Web page as the primary means for the communication of events and activities on campus.

"We would like it to be a lot more paper-less," she said.

But Cooke may have a lot more work on her hands than she envisions.

This Saturday afternoon, the three small, white sandwich boards next to the gates were covered with only a smattering of signs.

But a web of tape and wet advertisements still clung persistently to every available surface on the formidable facade of Thayer gate.