Illustration of a school mascot

It’s about time

As a very busy and nearly graduated student, I rarely have time to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. And I have even less time to stop and consider the fate of the next LBSU mascot, yet I still find myself wondering what’s in store for the identity of the campus I will inevitably leave behind.

Regardless of how anyone feels, the decision to excommunicate Prospector Pete is set in stone and the announcement of the six final contenders has hit the press. The possibilities have been narrowed down to: the Kraken, Giraffes, Pelicans, Sharks, Stingrays and “Go Beach,” essentially no mascot.

The campus as well as entire community of Long Beach has the opportunity to vote on these six interesting and vastly different choices.

It’s been a little over six months since the official announcement to get rid of Pete was released in March 2018 by Associated Students Inc. and later confirmed by President Jane Close Conoley. The former mascot’s premature and for some sudden retirement, despite complaints that the statue embodied a time period where Native Americans were treated poorly, brought with it an onslaught of speculation.

Since the announcement, the Daily 49er has continued to received an influx of opinion-based pieces from students who all have the desire to voice their perspective of the situation.

Some argue that the decision to give Pete the boot and move the long-standing statue commemorating him is a waste of time and money. Their point is that Pete wasn’t ever a real person and bears no literal representation of the Gold Rush time period.

Others argue that it’s time for change, openly welcoming the idea of a new and improved mascot and suggesting figures that could replace old Pete.

It is refreshing to see that ASI accepted ideas from a variety of outlets and extended their reach beyond the student population, and this decision has been reflected in the variety of choices that have been offered for the mascot.

Though the mascot decision will ultimately not affect me because I am graduating and have no personal attachment to Pete, I think it’s important for those who care, to access the online voting site. After months of rumors, multiple discussions, and shameless campaigning for the LBSU Giraffes, we finally have the opportunity to vote.

Regardless of whether you take the mascot hunt seriously or not, the school is currently in the midst of change. There’s nothing that can be done to reverse the decision to go out with the old and in with the new, which in itself is a  profound transition for those of us who began our college career with a mascot and now have none.

The best thing that can be done about this change is to accept it and participate, despite any reservations you may have about doing so. By broadening the type of feedback being received, ASI is allowing the voices of the community and the campus intermingle.

The six competing figures provide a broad scope of fun mascots to choose from, even going as far as to include the option “The Beach” which doubles as a vote for no official mascot.

Now that ASI has provided the student body with the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, I am excited to see the outcome.

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