Earlier this year, the Student Government Association at Montclair State University announced their plans to install a Red Hawk statue on campus. The announcement was quickly met with negative responses as the students of Montclair State took to social media to express their disgust toward the SGA and university for supporting the creation of such a statue.
Months after the controversy had blown over, the Red Hawk statue had its grand unveiling on Oct. 2, just prior to the kickoff of this year’s Homecoming festivities. Students, faculty and alumni flocked to the Red Hawk statue during the weekend to take a peek at the newest addition to the Montclair State University campus.
However, this time, many members of the student body had quite a different reaction to the Red Hawk statue. Instead of the hatred they had previously expressed, several students welcomed the statue with open arms.
To everyone’s surprise, the Red Hawk statue is a beautiful representation of Montclair State University. The artist rendering of the statue provided early on by Hanlon Sculpture Studio misled students into thinking that the statue would become a campus eyesore.
The rendering, which featured people who looked as if they had been cut and pasted out of a magazine, did not allow students to understand truly what the statue would look like and ultimately did not allow them to see the big picture. The ridiculous statue preview prevented many students from getting on board.
Now, students are able to see that it is not the obnoxious chicken statue that they had previously feared it would be. Since its debut, many students have expressed nothing but admiration for the newest addition to campus.
For the entirety of the Homecoming weekend, students continued to take their Instagram-worthy selfies with the 12-foot bird. Students have even been seen climbing on the Red Hawk in order to get a perfect angle.
Although students are still not thrilled over the $210,000 price tag that came with the statue, they have become much more understanding. Prior to installation, students could not believe that $100,000 of their SGA fees would be used toward the creation of the statue, but some now confess that they could not be more pleased with the statue.
Yet, the new statue is so much more than its good looks. The statue embodies the fighting spirit of the students of Montclair State. It will continue to represent the determination and intelligence of all the students at the university. The Red Hawk statue will forever be a testament to the students at Montclair State and their need for excellence in all aspects of life.
While the Homecoming game was a great victory for Montclair State, it is obvious that the true star of the 2015 Homecoming weekend was the Red Hawk statue. With those good looks, it is likely that the Red Hawk statue will quickly become a favorite at Montclair State University.