UMD Staff Member Creates Unique Signs for Social Distancing

The goal is to help ease students transitioning back to campus

DULUTH, Minn. – When walking through the halls of UMD this year you may notice certain areas look a bit different.

“This is the first year we’ve had to put a ton of signage up. So that kind of threw us for a loop,” Kirby Student Center, Mat Gilderman says.

Out of the hundreds of signs across the campus, Mat Gilderman was assigned to make a select few.

“We wanted to have something that was memorable. So we tapped Mat and told him to have fun with it. It will be able able to provide the information they need to know- the expectations and guidelines- but also to let them have fun and have a conversation starter,” Kirby Student Center Associate Director, Lesa Radtke says.

On every bench…

“I just imagined the wedding staple the electric slide. People seemed to like that one,” Mat Gilderman says.

And every seat in the Kirby Student Center in an effort to promote social distancing.

“I was just thinking of scenarios on why they shouldn’t sit here. Other than social distancing. Ya know, hey. If someone else sits here you could potentially fall in love with that person. You don’t have time for that,” Gilderman says.

Gathering reactions from students across the school.

“I just could not let it go. It was so funny,” Kirby Student Center Worker, Savannah Lapp says.

With the post of the photos going viral online helping ease the transition of students returning to school.

“Yeah, you have to keep your distance but it can still be inviting and warm and comforting. They’ll definitely enjoy it a lot more than if we just separated everything,” Lapp says.

Making the new look of the Kirby plaza a little less jarring, and a little more homely.

“To come to campus and see a bunch of signs yelling at them. We didn’t want to do that. We wanted them to come to come back and be like: Huh, I’m not going to sit here. That’s funny,” Gilderman says.



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