SA: Moose leads, Foresters falter
By Zachary Goldstein, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, October 6, 2003
With only two days to go in the elections, the Dartmouth Moose has taken a pronounced lead in the race for a new College mascot, garnering 36.9 percent of the vote thus far. The next closest candidate is a Dr. Seuss character, receiving 13.9 percent of the vote, while 22.6 percent of those who responded are not satisfied with the candidates offered.
Early results were less friendly toward the Yeti, Salty Dog and Foresters, who garnered just 11.4, 9.9 and 4.4 percent of the vote, respectively.
Though all current Dartmouth students are eligible to vote for their mascot preference, roughly half the student body, nearly 2000 students, has responded thus far, according to Stella Treas '05, chair of the Student Assembly's Student Life committee, which is in charge of the voting. Polls close this Wednesday at 11 p.m.
Nonetheless, Student Assembly President Janos Marton '04 said he is pleased with the voting turnout.
"The search is going extremely well," Marton said. "The response rates we're getting to the survey are the highest rate since we polled the student body on the swim team crisis. One of the issues we have to determine in SA is how much of a plurality is sufficient to declare a winner."
Once a winner is declared, the next phase in the mascot search is the design phase. Students will be given a two-week period to submit drawings and designs of the winning mascot for consideration.
With a chosen mascot and design established, the Assembly hopes to begin looking for larger-scale support throughout the Dartmouth community before the end of the fall term.
"SA is trying to approach the mascot search from the angle that the mascot is something that needs to represent both Dartmouth's past and future students," Treas said. "Hence, we recognize the importance of getting support for the chosen symbol. If this is to be a mascot that is to represent all of Dartmouth, it is important that the whole Dartmouth community feels involved in the selection process."
This support gathering process will begin with the Alumni Athletic Council, according to Marton, but will undoubtedly expand to other prominent alumni groups over the next couple months, Treas said.
However, no matter how much support the new mascot receives from current and past students, the ultimate decision of whether or not to officially adopt the new mascot rests with the Board of Trustees.
"The Board of Trustees is the final step in the process of getting the mascot officialized. By the time that we approach the Trustees, we hope to have enough support from both students and alumni to justify adopting the symbol," Treas said.
In an interview with The Dartmouth last month, Board of Trustees President Susan Dentzer said she thought the Board would approve a new mascot if there was sufficient student and alumni support and the proposed mascot was appropriate.
"I think if we could demonstrate that there was substantial student support and solidarity behind a new mascot, and assuming the mascot was deemed appropriate to the institution, I think the trustees would certainly be in favor of that, and I think probably gelling on a final alternative for a mascot is a good idea," Dentzer said.
Dartmouth has never officially had a mascot, and since the elimination of the Indian as the College's unofficial mascot, Dentzer said she has seen the idea of a replacement "come and go." Currently the College does has an officially recognized nickname, the Big Green. Students who have not yet voted are directed to the website http://sa.dartmouth.edu/survey/public/survey.php?name=MASCOT where they can vote for their choice.