University officials said the cherry and white kiosks around Main Campus – oft-adorned with posters and advertisements for dance parties and bars, in addition to many staples – were removed after winter break because they were no longer viewed as assets.
The kiosks were not serving a clear purpose for the university and were taking up too many resources to maintain, Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon said in a phone interview.
“We’ve been struggling with what to do with them for the last year or so now,” Creedon said. “We were looking at what was being posted and determined they were no longer serving the purpose they once did when they were installed in the ‘80s or ‘90s.”
Student Center Director Jason Levy, who is in charge of posting spots throughout Main Campus, said the kiosks were on the chopping block for some time.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” Levy said. “Someone would post something in the morning, and by night it would be gone or covered up.”
Levy added that the kiosks were intended for posting university-related activities and information, but instead became over-populated with advertisements for off-campus housing developments and businesses.
“It was just layers and layers of information,” Levy said. “We decided that it was not necessary or appropriate to give that venue to places like bars or other non-Temple related materials.”
Creedon also pointed out that another problem was the number of copies of one flier that were often strewn across the post.
“They ended up stapling the same flier around the entire pole, much of which just became litter,” Creedon said.
This, paired with the personnel resources it took to pick out each of the thousands of staples with pliers and re-paint the kiosks made them more trouble than they were worth, Creedon said.
One student organization leader says connecting with the student body and recruiting new members will be a bit harder now.
“We definitely did pull some members in through posting there,” said Julia Whitbeck, president of the Temple chapter of the Crosswalk student ministry, a Christian organization on Main Campus.
Both Creedon and Levy said an overall shift toward social media as a means of communication is lessening the need for such posting spaces on campus.
“Most communication is done online,” Levy said. “While we have several posting locations still on campus, which can be found on our website, the need for these kiosks does not seem to be there.”
Whitbeck, a junior therapeutic recreation major, said that although she thinks the kiosks should have stayed, much of their information has indeed gone online.
“A lot our communication is digital,” Whitbeck said. “A lot of it is through Facebook, we have weekly emails, and we have a website.”
The removal of the kiosks occurred several weeks after details of the Visualize Temple master plan and the conjunctive Verdant Temple landscape master plan were released. Both plans seek to create a more modern, greener campus with more open space.
Creedon said that the street names on top of some of the cherry-colored roofs on some of the kiosks may be replaced with digital displays – similar to those in the newly opened Science Education and Research Center – in coming years as part of the plan.
Rob DiRienzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RobDiRienzo.
CORRECTION: A version of this story which appeared in print on Jan. 27 indicated that the kiosks were removed last fall. They were removed soon after winter break ended, not in the fall .