Staff editorial: University needs more mascot options

Story by The Spectator Staff

Posted: 10:00 p.m., 2/21/2010

There needs to be more options besides the mascot options UW-Eau Claire announced last week.

Last week, the university announced three mascot options – a rugged-looking voyageur, a hardy blue ox and none of the above – for student consideration. The university also sent out a survey to garner student opinion of the mascots. Academic Advisor Signe Matson and Associate Professor Steven Majsstorovic submitted the voyageur. Costume Shop Supervisor Mallory Prucha Rishoi submitted the ox, whose yoke is made from the Council Oak tree.

A 12-member committee deliberated the 29 submissions, the Leader-Telegram reports, which stemmed from a contest held by the university to determine what a Blugold is. A 2008 survey of faculty, students and alumni showed that 69 percent of respondents felt the university needed a mascot, according to a university press release,.

The university could benefit from a mascot to represent the students, and the administration should be commended for enlisting student input, but the two provided illustrations are uninspiring.

Neither the ox nor the voyageur represents students’ ideas of a Blugold. With the implementation of Momentum Monday, and events preceding it, many have come to think of a Blugold as a bird. Certainly a feathered option should be introduced into the running.

Traditionally, mascots are used as a rallying point for sports teams, and it’s difficult to envision athletes coming together around the ox or voyageur. The mascot, however, would not replace the team name of “Blugold.” It would just be a symbol or image to represent the university.

In order to get the best mascot, the university should continue to use student input in its final decision.