Presidential Declaration Designates SUU as National Monument

Published: April 01, 2016 | Author: Lexi Carter | Read Time: 3 minutes

Presidential Proclamation Designates SUU as National MonumentThrough an official Presidential proclamation Southern Utah University has been designated as a national monument making SUU the ninth national monument in the state. The designation will permanently preserve the 100 acres of land surrounding SUU as well as protect the educational heritage of the University. The new monument will contain the current boundaries of SUU’s campus, highlighting the many grove areas, mountain property and luscious fields available to staff and students.

The first of its kind, the new Southern Utah University National Monument (SUUNM) will offer unique opportunities to faculty and students. Woven into the undergraduate curriculum will be a mandatory program to become a certified park ranger, giving students immediate job opportunities through the National Park Service and granting free lifetime access to any national park or monument.

On-campus life will shift to meet guidelines expected of a national monument. Students, faculty and staff will drive past the famous brown booth check points in order to enter campus each day and be expected to have a national parks pass in order to park on campus. Without a parks pass parking will be $40 a day. Steep fines will occur if individuals are caught walking off the path, littering or feeding the wildlife. Additionally, new campgrounds will be built on the Business and Upper Quad in order to assist with the growing housing needs.

Having recently trademarked SUU as the University of the Parks and winning the title of Most Outdoorsy School in the Nation, SUU is honored to be recognized as a place of rich cultural diversity, interesting land formations and historic significance. In coordination with the National Parks Centennial, SUU’s Day in the Parks (August 25, 2016) will now officially be hosted at a national monument, Southern Utah University National Monument, as well as include day trips to Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park, and more.

Speaking to the national monument proclamation, Kevin Koontz, SUU Outdoors Rental Shop Manager, says, “This designation is an honor as it recognizes not only SUU’s unique location but also our commitment to preservation of wilderness and the natural world, our responsible outdoor recreation practices and our outdoor ethics.”

In order to better represent the national monument status, SUU will be changing its mascot. Three mascots have been proposed: SUU Rangers, SUU Hoodoos or SUU Mountaineers. The final decision will be made on August 25, 2016 as part of the National Park Services Centennial.

More than just a university, SUUNM will offer students the ultimate outdoor learning experience. Classes that are being added to the undergraduate curriculum include Park and Monument Land Management, Week in the Wild: A Survivor’s Guide, and Intergovernmental Parks Science.

“SUU’s status as a National Monument will define us as a flagship university for outdoor recreation and natural resources,” says Koontz. “Students from all over the country, no, the world, will be drawn to SUU to enroll in our amazing programs and be involved in classes and activities that speak to their passion for the outdoors.”

Although the designation won’t go into effect until January 1, 2020, SUU is very excited today, on April 1, 2016. Have a happy April Fool’s Day.

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