Why The Bark? Here's what our new name means to us
After 131 student, faculty and alumni submissions and hours of conversation with students and faculty in different departments on campus this summer, we have chosen the new name for our student news organization — The Bark.
We wanted something fresh and modern that would keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of journalism. But most importantly, we wanted a name that was relevant to our campus and connected with our identity as UMD students.
“I think this name does a really good job of capturing where the Statesman is moving to,” Student Body President Mike Kenyanya said. “We saw last year the change to the monthly magazine format and the launch of a new website, and it’s really clear these days that students are consuming media differently. You’re changing to what the students want and I think this new name embodies that.”
To us and to our test groups, “The Bark” perfectly represents our identity as Bulldogs, and it can also be symbolic of our Duluthian love for nature. The name also characterizes us as a news organization, as “bark” is to communicate or warn.
"The Bark connects nicely to our campus mascot, Champ, and as an American Bulldog owner myself, barking has a special meaning: Pay attention, stay aware, be alert,” College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Susan Maher said. “The Bark serves a similar purpose for students: Be aware of your environment, prepare to act for your alma mater, stay on top of things."
In keeping with the spirit of progression and staying up to date in the 21st century, we feel that this new name better represents what we are transitioning to — a digital-first news organization with a multimedia focus.
Our goals this year are to re-engage with our audience at UMD, develop a stronger presence on campus, be more proactive with our reporting and creative with the way that we present that reporting. We believe that our new brand reflects those objectives and has already created a fresh drive and enthusiasm within our newsroom.
International Student Services intern and Multicultural Center employee Maria Gomez called the new name "refreshing” and said she likes that it's targeted toward students.
“I am excited to see people engage with this new idea," Gomez said. "That in my opinion represents the UMD culture and what us students stand for."
As a completely student-run organization, we are still learning, still growing and still striving to improve every day. As a team, we would like to extend a thank you to the students and faculty at UMD who have shown us an incredible amount of support and enthusiasm for what we’re doing this year. Thank you for allowing us to serve as your voice.