Should Uni change its mascot?


“Go University of Illinois Laboratory High School!” This is a cry that is rarely heard in sports meets and games. While other schools shout in support of their teams with the names of mascots, Uni students and coaches simply yell “Let’s go Uni!”

Now, I see nothing wrong with cheering “Go Uni!”, and the matter of a mascot is trivial in comparison to other improvements our school requires, *cough* asbestos *cough* but it is something small that could change, and I personally think that it should. 

As of right now, Uni’s mascot is the Illineks. “What is an Illinek?” you ask. I have no idea. “Illineks, that’s like the next version of Kleenex,” said freshman Amelie in response to hearing the name. Even our own students do not know what the mascot stands for. Because of our association with the U of I, though lack of university funding, we also have to use particular orange and blue colors to fit in their identity standards, no matter what mascot we choose. The University of Illinois also lacks a definite mascot because of complications with the former problematic “chief” symbolism. Whether or not the Illineks mascot was originally meant to connect to the U of I’s is unknown to me. However, just because we must use the colors of the U of I does not mean that we cannot have an independent and more interesting mascot to put on shirts and things than a linked “U” and “I” that says “University High School” on the top. 

Now comes the question of if we are able to claim a new mascot for our own, what should it be? Some suggestions that I have heard already include but are not limited to: The Unicorns, Otters, Flying Squirrels, Cockroaches, Gargoyles, or Kingfishers, though the last was part of a competition at the U of I for the University to find a new mascot. Personally, I think that the Unicorn is a strong contender, as it incorporates the word Uni, and though the word unicorn has connotations that might lead people not to take it seriously, I think it can be redefined as a powerful symbol. I also may be slightly biased as I designed the blue and orange unicorn pictured above. 

So what do you think? If we’re already changing our blue and orange colors, though admittedly to very similar shades as before, should we get a new mascot too, and if so what should it be? What image would you be proud to wear, what name proud to hear, what representative could speak for Uni?