Familiar Faces: Scott Small as Blu

Mascot Coordinator shares his experience behind the suit as Blu



Blu can often be spotted on campus, interacting with the student body he represents.

Story by Deanna Kolell, Staff Writer

During their time at UW-Eau Claire, many students have been faced with the same paralyzing question: What is a Blugold?

The correct answer — a mythical bird — has long been engrained into students’ minds. However, mascot coordinator Scott Small said serving on Student Senate and performing as the student body mascot, Blu, gave him a different perspective.

“Blu embodies more so a representation of the aggregate of the student body,” Small said. “What the student body wants in a mascot is what Blu tries to be.”

Small, a junior political science student, said he has been making appearances as Blu since he began working with the mascot committee about a year and a half ago.

Although he had no previous experience as a mascot, Small said it gave him an opportunity to express his school spirit by actually becoming a blugold.

In addition, Small has served as mascot coordinator since January. As part of his duties, he schedules Blu’s appearances at events — such as the Blugold Mile or the Shamrock Shuffle — and handles Blu’s overall image.

Blu typically has a busy schedule, Small said, including events on and off campus. However, his favorite appearances take place at athletic events, where he is able to take part in promotional activities during breaks in the games. Small also enjoyed taking part in the Blugold Mile last year.

Sydney Schoeberle, a junior integrated strategic communication student, said Blu goes above and beyond as the student body’s mascot by fully embodying their school spirit and campus culture.

“I always expect to see that crazy blue and gold bird parading around at sporting events like football and hockey games, and he definitely adds to the fun atmosphere of Blugold athletics,” Schoeberle said. “My favorite place to see Blu is around campus, though … It brightens my day to pass by and get a high five from him.”

Eau Claire’s favorite blugold also has made a number of appearances at community events, Small said, such as Blugold Beginnings events and events with the Boys and Girls Club. He enjoys participating in these events because he is able to interact with the kids who attend and because they “absolutely love Blu.”

Small said the combination of an emphasis on athletics and building a sense of community defines Blu because it demonstrates how Blu has evolved over the years. The physical representation of Blu has only existed for six years and has changed since then.

“Blu’s kind of progressed since he started as being kind of a mischievous mascot — kind of pushing the line between what is the basic duties of being a mascot and what turns you into a loveable mascot,” Small said.

This same commitment to active participation in the community is also what makes Eau Claire a unique university, Small said, creating a symbiotic relationship.  

“I think being involved with Student Senate helps me realize the community itself is not only benefitted by the university being here, but vice versa,” Small said. “It’s helped me realize what the integration between a university and a community should be.”

To see more of the student body mascot or Eau Claire events, follow Blu via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.