For decades, University organizations have left their mark on campus by painting the boulders that dot the campus. It’s a tradition kept alive with each incoming class, which repaints or refreshes the rocks of about 100 different student organizations, and by members of new clubs for whom painting a rock is an inauguration ritual. Through the years, the rocks have become a meeting place on campus for students and alumni and, at times, a sacred space for vigils.
Finding those rocks recently got easier when Director of the Center for Student Involvement Julie Fleming collaborated on a geological survey with Facilities Information Manager Anthony Mennuti, to create a digital tool called “Rock Map,” that lets users search by campus organization, to find available rocks to paint and provides descriptions and photos of specific rocks.
As Montclair continues to grow, “the rocks move and they change and some get turned upside down,” says Fleming, explaining the need for the map. “I spent a lot of time during the pandemic thinking there’s got to be a better way for a lot of things. The rocks were one of those things.”