Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This coming fall a new mascot may be representing Swarthmore at Clothier Field. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Garnet Club are working together to initiate a search for a mascot. Heidi Fieselman ’06, Zach Moody ’07, Kristen Traband ’08, Patrick Christmas ’08, Sam Faeder ’07, Sam Sidhu ’07, Susannah Blair ’08, and Kyle White ’08 comprise the committee that has come together to take on this task.
The mascot search is already underway. Anyone with suggestions can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org until March 17. According to Fieselman, co-chair of SAAC, the committee will narrow the field to about five choices; these would include the most-suggested items and other appropriate suggestions. An online vote will be held in April and will be open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni according to White, president of the Garnet Club.
If a mascot is selected, the committee will meet with Development, the mascot will be designed, and it will it would appear at athletic events beginning in the fall semester of 2006. The group of students working on the search were given approval by Adam Hertz, Director of Athletics, and Amanda Bayer, Chair for the Physical Education and Athletics Advisory Committee. White also stated, “We have met with Bob Gross to get our initiative on the Board of Managers agenda, met with Alumni Relations and the head of the Bookstore to create a way to get the alumni involved, and set up a contact with the Swarthmorean, the local weekly paper.”
The idea for the mascot search comes from a variety of places. According to Christmas, athletes often discuss the lack of a mascot at Swarthmore. Fieselman added that the idea had been on the SAAC agenda for a while, and that it became their priority this semester after working on Katrina Relief in the fall. White noted that prospective students on campus tours often ask if Swarthmore has a mascot, and this sparked his interest coincidentally around the same time that Fieselman asked him to help SAAC in the search.
This is not the first time in recent years that members of the college community have attempted to get a mascot to represent the school. Christmas noted that the concept of having a mascot was voted down approximately ten years ago. In an e-mail, Christmas said, “We hope that we are able to come up with a strong list of options from the mascot suggestion process so that we actually find something this time.”
Fieselman noted, “One of the main reasons we decided to take on this project is because it would be great to rally behind a mascot at games and other events. The past few years we have been working on improving school spirit and basically getting people out to games and other athletic events. A mascot will get everyone involved and hopefully increase attendance, enthusiasm, and pride in not only Swarthmore athletics, but also in the campus’ general atmosphere.”
Christmas added, “I believe having some animal or character to identify with would have a huge impact on Swat’s athletics as well as the rest of the institution. This mascot wouldn’t only appear at athletic matches but would also be great to have at other school events (like Ride the Tide, when the campus is covered with prospectives).”
Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to submit their suggestions and to be creative. According to White, the committee has already received suggestions but that they hope to hear from anyone that may have ideas.