By Samantha Werkheiser
When ESU’s new branding and mascot were revealed, I was among one of the many students who was less than impressed with them. There was much fanfare around the new mascot for many months leading up to the reveal in January, so it was a huge letdown when the warrior mascot was finally revealed. For starters, it is almost identical to Rutgers’ and Northampton Community College’s mascots, with of the colleges being local to ESU. It is not in the least way unique, nor is it even an original mascot idea. Though Burgy the bear (that somewhat resembled a dog) was not a very appealing mascot, he was certainly different than other college mascots. Yes, he was sort of creepy looking and no, he didn’t have much to do with a school that calls themselves the “warriors”, but he stood out, which is more than I can say for the current mascot.
This leads me to another issue I have with our warrior mascot; he is in no ways representative of the students who go here. Picking an animal as a mascot is usually the safer choice in the political correctness realm of things, because animals don’t have a race or a clear sex all the time. The warrior, however, is clearly white and most definitely a male. To me, it seems like ESU is taking a step back instead of forward. They had an opportunity to show that we are a progressive school that rejects traditional conventions and they chose not to take said opportunity. There are hardly any female mascots in sports, aligning with the age-old belief that women have no place in the world of sports. This is unfortunate because our female sports teams do better than our male sports teams most years. It is also ironic because half of the time the person wearing the mascot outfit is a female. The race of the mascot is the one that really gets me though. It is abundantly obvious that the mascot is white, just look at the picture of President Welsh and the mascot together, they’re the same skin tone. Not to sound like a broken record, but once again, the university had an opportunity to do something different and they blew it. Along with there being hardly any female mascots, there are hardly any human mascots that are not white. This also brings up the issue of why the mascot had to even have a race at all. The university could have made it so none of the warrior mascot’s skin was revealed, which would have made it inclusive to everyone.
The logo looks like a pack of cigarettes, and I am not the only one who thinks this either. I know that it’s supposed to be mountains, but I only know this because I was told that’s what they were supposed to be. The graphic designing that went into making this seemed to be minimal at best. Maybe that was the idea, to have something simple, but it’s so simple that it can be confused for other logos or symbols that are similar.
My biggest grievance with the new branding for ESU is the cost if this endeavor, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. This money could have been spent in so many better ways that students would have been pleased with. Like more parking or more funding for clubs, maybe even more trips to different places. The fact that we have a student graphics design department on campus who would have done this project for no cost adds insult to injury. The university could have included students in making this logo and mascot, and instead chose to spend tons of money on something that people don’t really care for. It also seems like huge cost just for designing a mascot and logo (not well, might I add). And what was all of this for anyway? To give ESU a fresh new face? By ripping off other schools’ mascots and making it as unoriginal as possible.
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