Laura is a graduate of Swarthmore College and we are heading to suburban Philly in a couple of weeks for her 15th reunion.
One of the topics apparently not roiling the beautiful campus is the debate over the adoption of a mascot for the Swarthmore athletic teams. I know, I know. From what I can tell they go through this every ten years. (Scroll down a ways for the article in question. Warning: JJV should avoid going to the link as it will make him froth.)
This is being spearheaded by the School Spirit Subcommittee of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. While I support their third planned Initiative ("Barbecue"), the words "school spirit" to me summon visions of high school auditoriums, and so it would not seem to fit well into what I know of the Swarthmore experience. The last time we were at a reunion I saw a shirt in the gift shop that said "Swarthmore: Guilt Without Sex." Think they just pulled that out of thin air?
The current choices are between a gorilla, a phoenix, a manticore, and a griffin. While adopting the manticore would give them the award for Busiest Mascot, my suggestion would be for having a mascot without actually having a mascot. Instead, at athletic events one of the school spirit types would apologetically explain that the mascot had a big paper/lab report/problem set due the next day so they couldn't make it. You could save a lot on the costume that way, too.
Now, my (and JJV's) alma mater didn't fool around when it came time to choose a mascot. They chose one of these guys. Much better than our regional competitor. Remember, no matter how cold it is at an Amherst game, NEVER let them share their blanket with you.