What’s in a name? Plenty, according to officials at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
The school’s proposed new name for branding purposes is ‘Ontario Tech University’, although it will retain UOIT as the school’s official name.
Richard Seres, UOIT’s executive director of communications and marketing, says the new proposed brand will not change the degrees of those who have graduated or will graduate.
It will possibly feature the colour orange, in addition to the two existing UOIT colours, because there aren’t many universities that use it, according to Seres.
“It makes it harder to break out when you look like everyone else,” he says. “Colour can help introduce what you stand for.”
The proposed brand was unveiled Feb. 26, during a brand awareness event on campus and there are definitely mixed reviews.
The idea for the change came from multiple issues with the existing nickname ‘UOIT.’
It sounds too close to the common moniker of University of Toronto, ‘U of T’, and can be hard to say on the first attempt, the university name itself is “long and confusing” and the current name doesn’t put enough emphasis on technology, according to the UOIT website.
The cost of the re-brand is unknown, however, when Western University in London changed its branding in 2012 and it cost $200,000, according to The Gazette.
Misbaah Nagani, a 20-year-old kinesiology student at UOIT, thinks the school should stick with its original brand name.
“Fifteen years now that they’ve kept that (UOIT) and it’s easier to say,” she says. “If you go out there and tell people it’s this, they’re just going to be like ‘what’s this new thing?’.”
Nagani also thinks the names they’ve come up with to replace the original “are not that attractive.”
However, some students like the change.
David McNabney, a 21-year-old biological science student, thinks a new brand name is good.
“It is a little confusing when you say you go to UOIT. When you say it fast it sounds like U of T,” he says. “It doesn’t really distinguish us per se, it’s just kind of like that tech university with such a long name.”
In September 2018, UOIT released its first proposal for a new branding name – ONTechU was floated as a possibility to the university campus – and some people weren’t thrilled.
However, it seemed to be growing on twitter with many professors, clubs and students getting used to the idea.
But the university has moved in another direction.
UOIT says the official internal launch for the brand will happen in late March, while the external launch takes place in August.