U of I Mascot Survey Results Released
By Sean Powers
Results have finally been released from a survey of University of Illinois students about finding a new mascot to replace Chief Illiniwek.
The results were held up a year and a half because of a complaint alleging the referendum interfered with two earlier referenda about re-instating the Chief as the Urbana campus’ official symbol.
In its ruling, a U of I student moot court that took up the case said the two earlier surveys focused on the status of Chief Illiniwek as the "symbol" of the University of Illinois, and did not make any mention of the word “mascot.”
The moot court said it is not uncommon for mascots and symbols to be separate entities, saying while the Chief’s role as a mascot has ended, it remains a symbol of the University.
With that ruling, results from the disputed 2011 survey were released, showing that out of 11,440 students who responded, 15 percent did not want a new mascot.
The rest favor a change, and the largest group among them asked for one of 48 possible mascots that were listed on the ballot, with the Eagle being the top vote getter.
The group Campus Spirit Revival said it hopes the results start a discussion about what it means to find a new mascot.
A pro-Chief Illiniwek group on campus that tried to block the survey could not be reached for comment.
The University, meanwhile, has said that it has no plans to reinstate Chief Illiniwek.
Results from the 2011 Campus Mascot Survey:
|The Fighting Illini||559|
|Grand Owl 1||332|
|Honest Abe 2||217|
|Grand Owl 2||216|
|Blue Bison 2||124|
|Commander In Chief||121|
|Illini Abe 2||84|
|Lincoln I Face||55|