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.
Students and faculty will have the opportunity to vote for a new school mascot this week. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Garnet Club have been running the mascot search for three months, after receiving approval from the Athletic Department and the Board of Managers, and have narrowed the field of potential mascots to four.
According to SAAC co-chair Heidi Fieselmann ’06, the Phoenix, Manticore, Griffin, and Gorilla were selected from a field of between 50 and 60 potential choices. These options were chosen after receiving several nominations and because the committee deemed them to be appropriate.
Students and faculty can vote online at http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/mascot between today and Sunday, April 23, and voting may occur in Sharples if not enough people vote online. The mascot choice that receives a majority of votes must get approval from the Board of Managers and the President’s Office. According to Fieselmann, although the mascot that is chosen will replace Swarthmore’s current mascot (the “Garnet”), the Garnet color will remain.
SAAC and the Garnet Club have also been collecting signatures on a petition in support of getting a new Mascot for Swarthmore. They have approximately 700 of the 750 signatures that they would like to obtain. Additionally, the group in charge of the mascot search has been working in conjunction with the administration and the Alumni Office in order to get input from a variety of sources.
The four potential mascots were described in a press release sent to the Gazette. The Phoenix, also the name of Swarthmore’s weekly print newspaper, is a fire bird that is reborn from ashes; three colleges/universities currently have this mascot. The Manticore (part man, lion, and scorpion) is not used as a mascot by other colleges or universities. The Griffin (part lion and eagle) is the mascot of several schools across the country including two schools from Pennsylvania. The only school that uses the Gorilla (noted for its intelligence in the press release) as a mascot is Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.