They came, they frolicked, and they conquered.
A black squirrel was selected by the administration and student body as the mascot for Albion College after a campus-wide vote was distributed via email to the student body this week. The ballot included a British knight, a British king, a British guard, and a black squirrel figure. President Ronna Dandall publicly announced the final verdict on April 1.
Dandall is pleased with the unity that the administrators and students displayed during the decision-making process. A focus group made up of students and administrators was formed last year to begin proposing and debating the selection of Albion’s first ever physical mascot. Dandall said the group agreed upon a black squirrel mascot to satisfy the student body’s wishes while incorporating the abundance of skittish black squirrels on campus.
“When the idea of the black squirrel being the mascot was brought to our attention, some of us were unsure about the idea,” Dandall said. “But after some debate and persuasion, the idea really grew on me to have our institution be represented by these creatures scurrying about our campus. So adorable.”
An official black squirrel mascot costume is being created by student volunteers, and the athletic department is planning to hold auditions for the mascot at semester-end. The black squirrel mascot will make its debut to the student body in fall 2011.
Many students expressed their excitement with the choice, including Jim Shorts, Grand Haven senior.
“I honestly could not be more excited about this selection.” said Shorts. “I’ve been waiting my entire college career for the school to embrace the surplus of black squirrels here. It’s about time. I’m going absolutely nuts.”
According to Ima Mammal, Benton Harbor junior, Student Senate was divided when it came down to the final decision.
“As a Student Senate representative, I was really rooting for the ‘British guard’ option for our mascot,” Mammal said. “That would have been classy and timeless. Now I feel like our mascot isn’t going to be taken seriously.”
Another student, Seth Blacktail, Lansing freshman, was also dissatisfied.
“I can’t believe I go to a school with a squirrel as a mascot,” Blacktail said. “What a joke. I’m transferring.”