by Amber Spurlin
Local businesses continue to offer support and discounts to Cameron University students, faculty and staff through CU’s Paint the Town Black and Gold initiative.
According to Vice President for Student Services Jennifer Holland, the Paint the Town Black and Gold initiative began in 2008, when members of the Student Government Association felt there was a lack of a “university” feel in the Lawton community.
Vice President Holland said that in towns like Norman and Stillwater, university pride is evident because the communities display their schools’ colors.
She said that a group of SGA students wanted to have that same effect here in Lawton.
“When you go to some towns, it’s apparent that there is a university there,” she said. “A group of SGA students felt the absence of that in Lawton, so they came up with Paint the Town Black and Gold.”
Vice President Holland said Paint the Town Black and Gold is a simple way to get the Lawton community to show their support for CU.
She explained that this could be done in a number of ways, including displaying a CU window decal or offering discounts to students.
Some of the businesses that offer discounts include Burger King, Orange Leaf and Taco Mayo, among others.
Vice President Holland noted that, although there are several businesses involved with Paint the Town Black and Gold, she would like to see more student led solicitation of local businesses.
“It’s not as much an active solicitation of partners as I had wanted or anticipated,” she said. “I would like to have groups of students go out into the community to meet with new businesses as well as with those we haven’t heard from in a while.”
Vice President Holland feels that a student asking a business for support is more effective than her, as an employee of CU, asking for support.
She explained that businesses like to see the students personally and want to know that those students will visit their establishment.
Vice President Holland believes that an effective way to solicit support from businesses is for students who work at the various businesses in town to talk to their employers.
She said that if every student used what connections they have, the program could grow substantially.
As part of the Paint the Town Black and Gold initiative, Cameron hosted the Paint the Town Partner Fair at the beginning of the fall semester.
According to Vice President Holland, CU-supporting businesses set up booths in the McMahon Centennial Complex’s breezeway, where they offered samples of their products and held drawings for students.
“At the beginning of the fall semester we did our Paint the Town Partner Fair, where businesses were able to hand out samples and do drawings for prizes,” she said. “Since these partners are providing a service to our students, we wanted to allow them to have contact with them.”
More information on the initiative, and a list of businesses offering discounts can be found at www.cameron.edu/paintthetown and at the SGA office on the second floor of the McMahon Centennial Complex.