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Sunday, August 30, 2015

'Victors' not yet a sure thing

By Allison Shoup

With a total of 297 votes, students decided on "Victors" as the new possible nickname and mascot for the University of Michigan-Flint.

The search for a mascot began in January with a naming contest held by the Student Athletic Association. The contest was designed to gage interest in the prospect of having a name, as well as to generate ideas.

During the recent student government elections, students had the opportunity to choose between three finalists, the "Flash," the "Stones," and the "Victors."

Though "Victors" came out 59 votes ahead of the second place "Stones," many are still wondering if the new mascot will even be implemented.

Student Life Director Jessie Hurse said that though the students voted on the mascot, "right now everything was just unofficial." He continued by saying, "any mascot approval must go all the way up the chain of command reaching the regents of the university; they will have to agree on anything of this magnitude."

Also, the university must review whether the new moniker is even legal, Hurse said.

"One of the things that I know we'll definitely have to look into is whether or not the word 'victors' is copyrighted or trademarked by the University of Michigan, and if it's even allowed," Hurse said.

Before the mascot can be finalized, the university must also come to some conclusions about competitive sports.

"Right now the university has created a Blue Ribbon commission to look into the notion of athletics and having competitive sports teams on this campus," Hurse said. "I'm assuming when those plans are actually implemented, that's when we'll begin to seriously discuss the possibility or the names of a mascot for our particular campus."

However, some involved with UM-Flint athletics feel it is more important to focus on bringing in new sports than getting a mascot.

"I don't think a mascot right yet is the way to go; these teams might not even pan out," said UM-Flint hockey team goalie Dan Nance.

With the cost of joining the hockey team starting at $2,100 a season, Nance is concerned the sports teams will be so expensive that many students will not want to play. "Good hockey players don't come to pay, they come to play," Nance laughed.

However, a new mascot may be a boost in morale, Nance said. "We had the [UM-Flint Wind Symphony] band this year and that was really maybe a mascot might be interesting" he said.

Despite the conflict, many like the idea of the "Victors" mascot.

"When I first was aware of the University of Michigan-Flint Victors I thought 'wow that's pretty creative,'" said Hurse. "So I actually like it. I don't know if it will stand, but if it did I think it'd be pretty cool."

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