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The official graduate student government at UC Merced


Below you will find the voting results for the GSA logo.

Version A Version B
Response Votes Percentage of Submissions Adjustment for Abstentions
Version A 91 60.26% 61.90%
Version B 56 37.08% 38.10%
Abstain 4 2.64% -

To comply with university brand standards, the GSA will be retiring its current logo. This semester, the general membership will be voting on two new designs for the GSA logo.

Created by Jordan Collignon. 

The Beginnings sculpture is closely tied to the values of UC Merced. Its creator, Aris Demetrios, envisioned the university's commitment to foster a strong, continuously growing community and gave it a physical form. The enfolding arms signify both a sense of caring and belonging, both of which are essential for maintaining a strong, determined, and valued university community. They remind us that we have a support system to rely on and bring us together even during troubling times. As the official graduate student government of UC Merced, the GSA plays an integral role in maintaining a sense of community among graduate and professional students, where each and every one of them are well-valued members of the UC Merced community and can contribute to the growth of the university over time while looking out for one another. From this, it's clear that the GSA shares the same values with what the Beginnings sculpture represents.

Created by Ritwika VPS

The proposed logo has three elements: The New Beginnings statue in Bobcat blue and gold, a silhouette of Half Dome, and a sunset (or sunrise) sky.  

The New Beginnings statue, as designed by American sculptor Aris Demetrios, is meant to symbolise the ‘embrace of a caring university that values its students and its community and the germination of a seed representing the growth and ever-increasing potential of UC Merced’. The Graduate Student Association shares these goals. The statue is also the most recognisable symbol of UC Merced, and no logo for the GSA would have been complete without it.

Merced sits close to Yosemite National Park and on clear days in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, one can often catch a glimpse of Half Dome – perhaps the most well-known landscape feature in the national park – in the distance. Half Dome has stood tall and proud for hundreds of years, and will continue to do so for years to come. Hiking (or climbing) it has always been a feat of endurance and courage, and at the summit, hikers and climbers are rewarded with an unrivalled view of the valley. In the logo, the silhouette of Half Dome represents the quiet, unwavering strength and courage of our community and the rewarding experience that life at UC Merced is. It also represents the enduring legacy that UC Merced will have on generations to come.  

The sky at sunset (or sunrise) is the most personal element I have added to the logo – I love dawns and dusks in Merced. I think they are some of the most stunning sights I have seen, and I am constantly awed by such beauty existing in my everyday life. The dawn/dusk sky in the background is a reminder that UC Merced is part of a much larger world and that we can make a tremendous, positive difference to it.  

One of my favourite memories at UC Merced was watching Half Dome in the distance against the sunset on a lovely winter evening; it was humbling, peaceful and lovely, all at the same time, and it reminded me how I fit into the Merced community and the world around me. This is what I have tried to recreate through this logo. Thus, the New Beginnings statue featured against a backdrop of Half Dome in a sky awash in the colours of the sunset represent how UC Merced fits into the Merced community and the world.