An Otter Might Be The University Of Illinois’ Next Mascot
This is NOT a blog on whether or not the University of Illinois should still be using Chief Illiniwek as a symbol for the school.
That's a much longer, much more nuanced, and much less fun conversation.
The truth of the matter is that U of I decided to not use the Chief as a mascot back in 2007. Ever since then the school has operated with no official mascot. They are still referred to as the Fighting Illini during sporting events but there is no physical embodiment of the school mascot or symbol.
SIDE NOTE: I know that I said this wouldn't be a blog on the removal of the Chief but..... That last sentence where I had to put both mascot and symbol because I'm not exactly sure what the PC term should be is EXACTLY why I've always been jealous of schools with just a dumb animal for a mascot. You can do whatever you want to a badger and the worst that will happen is PETA might get angry at you.
Back to the blog.
For those not familiar with U of I campus, this statue is right in front of the main student center, the Illini Union.
That statue is called the Alma Mater. It's where everyone goes to get their picture taken. It surprisingly hasn't been vandalized, since it's right on Green Street where some late night activities can take place.
The Alma Otter is a (decent) play on words for that statue.
I'm personally down with the University of Illinois Otters. Traditions are meant to be broken and it would be nice to get a nice furry mascot down in Champaign. Plus they're pretty adorable. Have you seen the YouTube videos? Adorable.
That's only one of the videos, there are literally thousands more. Sorry for sending you down that rabbit hole.
There will be a meeting on campus next week to discuss the future of the school's mascot. The otter started off as a joke but I can definitely see them taking it serious now that it's gone a little bit viral.