CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– A senior at the U of I may have created the next mascot. It’s an orange and blue bird flying with school spirit. It is called a Kingfisher. Students are voting Wednesday and Thursday to decide if they want it to become their next mascot. A university spokesperson says U of I has no plans to choose a new mascot at this time, but the results from this election will be shared with the administration and Board of Trustees.
The Chief was the symbol for U of I from 1926 to 2007. The NCAA ruled in 2006 certain Native-American college mascots were hostile and abusive to minorities. Since then, students have created other mascots. There have been designs like the Alma Otter and a Doughboy. Now Spencer Hulsey has created a Kingfisher design. It’s a referendum for student voting. Hulsey is hoping it passes.
A spokesperson for U of I says student voting by Illinois Student Government is a non-binding resolution. The student government can share the results, but there is no process in place right now to choose a mascot. The results of the vote will be announced Wednesday, March 11th.