A flag pole will be installed on the front lawn of Miller Hall later this semester. The student government team, under the direction of student body president, Tony Elder, has taken on this project after four years of discussion between student government and facilities management. Determining who would be responsible for the ongoing care of the flag caused delays in bringing this project to completion.
The budget was set at $1,150. Two all-weather flags will be purchased initially as each flag has an estimated life span of 90 days. A fund has been created to purchase additional flags as needed. The budget also covers the cost of installation, a solar lighting unit, landscaping around the flag pole, and any unexpected costs that should arise.
As Elder worked with his team to plan details and raise money, a group of student military veterans on campus were also initiating action about the lack of a flag pole on campus.
“There are several veterans on campus who reached out to the American Legion and administration about getting a flagpole and then found out that we were already in the process of completing this project,” Elder said.
Those veterans contacted Elder and together they have arranged with the American Legion to have the flag pole donated to North Central. This donation significantly reduced the budget amount needed for the project.
The student government team reached out to various campus departments to begin the fundraising process. During the week of Valentine’s Day, the Crush for your Crush fundraiser provided the additional money needed for the flag pole project, and the remaining funds will be put towards other projects the student government team is facilitating.
The regulations surrounding flag maintenance created the primary obstacle to overcome while planning this campus development. These regulations dictate proper lighting for the flag, the necessity of an all-weather flag to avoid needing to take the flag down in inclement weather, and ensuring half-staff days are accurately observed.
“Everyone has been behind [the project],” Jay Vetter, facilities management director said. “The biggest hurdle has been absolutely making sure that we honor the flag with the proper care.”
The student government team partnered with campus departments to work out details of caring for the flag. Members of current and future student government teams will be responsible for lowering the flag to half-staff on the appropriate days. This responsibility will be handled by the campus safety and security department during breaks when students are not on campus to do so. The facilities management department will install the flag pole later this semester.
About five years ago, a flag pole was present in front of Miller Hall, but the trees grew up around it and it was no longer visible. The flag pole was taken down and never replaced. Facilities management has kept this in mind as they finalize the location of the new flag pole to make sure it is in a sustainable location.
From the beginning of his term as student body president, Elder recognized the importance of having a flag on the North Central campus.
”[The flag] is a symbol of being thankful for where we are,” Elder said, “and all the people that have died and given their lives for what we have, the education we have, and what we take for granted every day.”