Future of tunnel mural project appears bright


Joshua Boley/The Chart

Senior  studio art major Jordan Murdock hopes to see the mural come to completion after she has graduated.

This school year started off with a colorful addition to the campus.

The Student Senate commissioned mural in the tunnel walkway underneath Newman Road was completed in time for school to start.  

Jordan Murdock, senior studio art major, was the main designer and leader, but she said it was a community project.  

Students and community members were invited to help with the mural which worked like a giant paint-by-numbers where the design was drawn on the wall and then artists directed what colors should be painted in certain areas.

Murdock said she wanted her design to encourage and empower students.  

“The idea was that we would put those figures of college students opposite figures in the past of things that they were passionate about and ended up changing history,” Murdock said.   

After much debate over costs, Student Senate approved the mural last spring and work began in May.  The decision to go forward was made based on negative feelings regarding the appearance of the tunnel.

“It’s disgusting. It’s just bad in there. They call it the rapist tunnel and we should really fix that,” Senator Brook Gipson had said in February at a Student Senate meeting.

“I think the mural would really brighten it up. I know $4,000 sounds like a lot but it’s something that students would see as an improvement,” said Gipson.

Student Senate at last weeks meeting announced that only $2,000 was spent on current progress on the mural.

Carly DeBurger, a senior criminal justice major who frequently uses the tunnel, said, “I think it’s great that they are painting inside the tunnel.  It makes it less intimidating and maybe more students will use it now.”

The artwork covers a portion of the tunnel, leaving many areas unpainted   

“We’re hoping that we can petition to get the entire tunnel filled over time, but what was paid for and commissioned is already done,” said Murdock.