Some clouds. Each day's obituaries, delivered to your inbox. He thinks students are ready, but the issue will require more discussion before a specific mascot is chosen, he said. If it wins approval, student government leaders would likely approach administrators about the general idea, he said. UI students vote down resolution to make 'Alma Otter' next mascot, 'Alma Otter,' 'Champ' lending traction to push for UI mascot, After the vote: No plans to choose mascot now, UI chancellor says, Coronavirus response | Ask the Admin: Safety of takeout, Nonprofit pays mortgages for families of fallen officers, ER visits, long waits climb for kids in mental health crisis, The Latest: Moscow opens coronavirus vaccination centers, High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court, Back on schedule, Illini football gears up for different ranked opponent, UPDATE: St. Joseph-Ogden senior dies after two-vehicle accident north of village, Champaign man accused of shooting at deputies' squad car held on $1 million bond, Mahomet man accused of sexually assaulting child for five years, Sunday's coronavirus updates: In Champaign County, woman in 50s becomes 30th to lose life to COVID in November, seven-day positivity rate drops for eighth straight day, No one hurt after roof of Campustown high-rise apartment catches fire, Results speeding up for COVID tests done at Champaign mall, A Life Remembered | Mahomet businessman, Chief proponent a 'likeable guy' with a 'big heart'. However, as the result of incredibly hard work done by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to reintroduce them to the state, there are now otters in every single county in Illinois. Someone else shared it on a Facebook page called “UIUC Memes for Underfunded Teens,” where it drew 162 comments. Chief Illiniwek symbolized the Illini, a confederation of indigenous tribes who historically had inhabited much of present-day Illinois; however the clothing and regalia for the symbol was from the Siouxnation. This is wildly different! “What we don’t want is just a run-of-the-mill falcon or wolf or something common. … Alma Otter represents just the tip of the iceberg. Oregon Board of Education bans Native … Let me introduce you to the “Alma Otter”, a mascot based on the famous statue on campus called the Alma Mater. We want to build our school spirit, and we want to make sure the entire student body can get behind (it),” he said. The university appears to be rolling out a new otter mascot, for some reason, cleverly named "Alma Otter." The University of Illinois student government is offering a “buyback” of “racist” merchandise featuring the school’s former mascot, Chief Illiniwek. It’s going to take work. I think that’s what the kingfisher is,” she said. “It’s not any other team’s mascot. High 44F. Hulsey thinks it would be unique for Illinois to have a female mascot, “which I don’t think is used by any other college.”. Now I’m not saying we should replace the team name “Fighting Illini”. “Is no mascot at all working for us?” Hulsey said. Ultimately, Hulsey said she doesn’t have a “personal investment” in the kingfisher, but “I want a mascot that can go have fun, crazy antics on the field.”, She thinks the other ideas popularized to date “all have merit.”, “I think the Alma Otter is adorable. Why not a soldier, to represent all the Illini that have served in the military. The Fighting Illini mascot, Chief Illiniwek, first appeared in 1926 when the assistant director of bands at the school got the idea of having a Native American war dance performed at halftime of football games. Inspired by the Illini students who fought and died in WWI, the mascot stands tall in traditional orange and blue WWI uniform. The mascot would have been the first female mascot in the Big Ten. Many ideas have been proposed to replace the old chief, but between the people who are pushing for the return of Illiniwek and the slow moving nature of the issue, nothing has really been able to stick. Beyond the history of otters in this great state, the pun opportunity is also too enormous to pass up. He has expressed strong support for some kind of “new traditions.”. Results have finally been released from a survey of University of Illinois students about finding a new mascot to replace Chief Illiniwek. … URBANA — Alma Otter may have gone down in defeat, but mascot talk at the University of Illinois goes on. Or call a local restaurant the “Otter Side” (so when you make reservations, someone can ask “Why did you cross the road?” and you can say “To get to the Otter Side!”). The latest entry: the belted kingfisher, an appropriately colored bird native to Illinois and inspiration for UI senior Spencer Hulsey, who came up with the idea. Hulsey presented her design to Illinois Student Government last week after getting major traction when she posted it online. From 1926 to 2007, Chief Illiniwek was the symbol for the Fighting Illini. The design was created by a … Photo courtesy of UIUC juniors John Falwick, Austin Lindell and Connor Latham. The reception was fairly enthusiastic there and online, Josellis said. The time period during which the “Fighting Illini” nickname developed coincided with the use of Native American imagery, usually in a romantic style. “It’s just a matter of finding something we can all get behind, which is incredibly hard with a student body of 51,000 students. Hulsey, a senior majoring in physics, grew up on a farm near Kinmundy where kingfishers lived on a pond. The mascot would also fit in with some of the rest of the Big 10 mascots like the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers. Spencer Hulsey/Originally posted on Reddit The University of Illinois says it has no plans to unveil a new mascot after students … “It does seem like it’s time for us to move on,” he said. Illinois is describing its future mascot as the school's first, preferring to call Chief Illiniwek a symbol. The earliest recorded usage of the term "Illini" appears to have been in January 1874, when the weekly student newspaper changed its name from The Student to The Illini. That’s right, I am in full support of this new mascot. We recommend using the Illinois Fighting Illini colors … The unofficial vote in Friday's election was 3,510 in support to 3,807 against. “Our mascot or new symbol has to be OK with the majority of the student body. Now I know what you’re thinking: This is ridiculous! I think we need something unique and something special. Students at the University of Illinois last week voted in favor of adopting the Belted Kingfisher, an orange and blue bird native to the state, as the school’s mascot. Will latest proposal for new UI mascot take wing? Get the latest headlines on local sports! The student election commission released results Monday night, two days sooner than planned: 4,222 voted in favor of the Belted Kingfisher while 3,597 were against it. Josellis said some students who voted against Alma Otter were Chief supporters who don’t want any mascot. The Champ definitely fits the Fighting Illini really well,” she said. And not a cartoonist soldier. In 2007, the University of Illinois stopped using Chief Illiniwek as their mascot in order to respect the cultural heritage of the Illini tribe. That stays in line with the Memorial Stadium theme. “I just think there’s something unique about the kingfisher.”. The Chief appeared at a variety of Illinois sporting events and wore Native American garb and a headdress with f… Heck, Ohio State’s mascot is a tree nut and Indiana’s mascot is literally just a person who lives in Indiana, and both of those schools have massive school spirit. The two-day, non-binding vote will gauge whether to make the belted kingfisher the new mascot. There was an error processing your request. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@jawurth). Hulsey was invited to present the kingfisher to members of the student government’s publicity committee, who liked it, and they took it to the full student government meeting on Oct. 16. The new mascot would take the place of Chief Illiniwek after the NCAA banned it in 2005. Other students conflated the new mascot with a name change from “Fighting Illini.” The proposal simply concerns a mascot, not a name change. The student body has recently been pushing this adorable mammal as the new mascot, finally filling the hole left by Illiniwek’s departure. Success! However, the Otter isn’t just a random choice to fit with a pun. All that, of course, is unofficial, and while many Illini alumi and fans continue to hope the university will bring back Chief Illiniwek, they will have to settle for whatever this new mascot ends up being. It’s been over a decade since the University of Illinois decided to retire Chief Illiniwek, the school’s official mascot and … The male is blue and white. Illinois Fighting Illini Primary Logos History. It would be nonbinding, “more a straw poll than anything,” he said. The Daily Illini also ran a feature on Hulsey and her kingfisher designs this week. What began as a joke and a viral meme among Illini students has turned into an official petition to make "Alma Otter" the new mascot of the University of Illinois. Not everyone liked it. In 2007, the University of Illinois stopped using Chief Illiniwek as their mascot in order to respect the cultural heritage of the Illini tribe. Hulsey gave a brief talk about it and showed them her designs. But when she later showed her physics friends, they “were excited about it,” she said. For 12 years, people have fought over whether or not taking away the Chief was justified and what the new mascot should be, and for 12 years, the games and campus events have continued without a mascot. Receive occasional local offers from our website and its advertisers. I’m being serious. The resolution called for … But most importantly, it will bring back the spark to the campus that it’s been missing ever since Illiniwek was removed. The Alma Otter has become so popular that the Illinois Student Government even voted this week to put the Alma Otter on the official university symbol ballot. So what does that look like; how is it going to be utilized in new ways?” he said. Josellis said the next step for student government would be to approve an advisory referendum question for the March student election ballot. However, a recent proposal that has gone viral may finally fill the vacant position. In October 1989, Charlene Teters, a graduate student from the Spokane tribe, began protesting the Chief at athletic events after her young son and daughter's reaction to the Chief's dance at a basketball game. To learn more about the logistics of each mascot, a simple … Therefore, it is not surprising that Native American … It’s orange and blue. “When we do get a symbol or mascot, that’s probably how it will start.”. #Illini | … Chief Illiniwek would perform during halftime at Illinois football and basketball games, wearing a feathered headdress and buckskin clothes, and dancing whil… Yes, it’s cute, which isn’t typically what a sports team would want representing them. A vast majority of the University Senate voted in favor of an orange-and-blue belted kingfisher as a new mascot for the University at Monday’s meeting. 1947 - 1956 1989 - 2003 2004 - 2013 2014 - Pres The University of Illinois will drop its 81-year-old American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek, following the last men's basketball home game of the season on Wednesday, officials said. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. The plan is not to replace the Fighting Illini nickname the school's teams now use, campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said. This push has led to the Otter becoming a miniature viral sensation, as it now has its own petition and Facebook page. The idea won positive reviews from that organization, which could put it up to an advisory vote in the spring, though that process is just beginning, President Connor Josellis said. Winds light and variable.. So she posted it to Reddit, where it got a substantial number of "upvotes." A female belted kingfisher is shown perched on a branch along the shore of Sprague Lake in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. In 1989, there were less than 100 otters in the entire state of Illinois and their numbers were on the decline. One commenter suggested she bring the idea to Illinois Student Government, which held an advisory vote last spring on the Alma Otter concept. The kingfisher can be both aggressive and cute, she said. It lives here,” she said. This is crazy! It's a bird native to Illinois. Chief Illiniwek was the mascot of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign ( UIUC), associated with the University's intercollegiate athletic programs, from. The name “Fighting Otters” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Something serious, dignified and historically correct. Winds light and variable. Many simply said “Bring back the Chief.” At least one critic argued that collegiate teams with bird mascots typically don’t fare well. The vote ended up being “41-0 vote in favor to be put in the ballot.” In a couple weeks university students will vote on if this will be our new mascot in the future. However, it would be nice to finally get a unifying mascot back on the fields and courts to support the Illini as they try their best to win (but typically don’t). Wait- please don’t leave. “We haven’t had one in over 10 years. Error! But the school wants to select a mascot to be on the sideline and at events… The idea … A new Illinois mascot is being pitched and it's been met with plenty of criticism. It’s become tiresome. The time period during which the “fighting Illini” nickname developed coincided with the use of Native American imagery, usually in a romantic style. We'll send breaking news and news alerts to you as they happen! Jones said last week that a mascot is a possibility, but he and his team are still reviewing that recommendation and others from the Commission on Native American Imagery. External organizati… The NCAA did not see a distinction in 2005. The ultimate decision lies with UI athletics and Chancellor Robert Jones. Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. “It’s kind of reminiscent of the Alma Otter mascot, just because it was another one started as a UIUC meme page on Facebook or Reddit,” Josellis said. From the mid-1970s, the Chief was the subject of debate at the University of Illinois. University of Illinois senior Spencer Hulsey's design for a new mascot: the appropriately orange-and-blue-colored belted kingfisher, which is native to Illinois. That idea lost by only 300 votes out of more than 7,300 cast, a big turnout for a student election. The students hope to do its part in … Her grandmother always loved birds, so she did, too. That was in early June, and she didn’t think much more about it over the summer. The female belted kingfisher, as it happens, is mostly blue, with an orange belt — sometimes a dark navy, sometimes a bluish gray, but definitely blue. Or tell someone, “I’m sending Alma my love to my significant Otter”? Josellis said Jones will need the backing of the student body if he decides to move forward with a mascot. Maybe it’s time to give the “Alma Otter” its chance to swim into the hearts of all of America. The first performance ended with a drum major, dressed as the University of Pennsylvania’s mascot, who met Illiniwek at midfield with a peace pipe and the two walked off the field arm in arm. Since that controversial decision, the university has been completely mascot-less. Have the latest local news delivered every afternoon so you don't miss out on updates. An editorial (pdf, 150KB) in the … Soon, individuals and organizations, some from outside of the University, began to support the Chief's elimination. A mockup of an Illinois logo with the Belted Kingfisher. The nickname of the athletics team is the Fighting Illini. The results were held up a year and a half because of … Why not call student sections at sports games “Otter Boxes”? Otters have a lot of historical significance in Illinois. Hulsey started sketching out a design one day just for fun while learning Adobe Illustrator and thought, “This would be a good idea.”. Julie Wurth is a reporter covering the University of Illinois at The News-Gazette. But some just didn’t like that particular concept. Low near 25F. Get our expert short-term forecast, summary of the weather details and news of any severe weather. Since that controversial decision, the university has been completely mascot … The pun potential is otter-ly ridiculous, and we can’t throw away an opportunity like this. Introducing Alma Otter: The Mascot Illini Nation Deserves. University of Illinois senior Spencer Hulsey's design for a new mascot: the appropriately orange-and-blue-colored belted kingfisher, which is native to Illinois. THIS IS YORK • Copyright 2020 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNO • Log in, Is this UIUC’s next mascot? You have permission to edit this article. “It seems like the majority of students are ready for something new,” Josellis said. The color codes: RGB, CYMK for print, Hex for web and the Pantone colors can be seen below. There’s also another mascot option in play from sophomore Mike Skibski, who looked into the history behind the “Fighting Illini” and found the term surfaced in the 1920s as Memorial … The question is open to interpretation. Chief Illiniwek was a Native American symbol portrayed by a white student. While a new mascot would certainly not end the fighting, it would provide an outcome with far less controversy and more spirit for the school. “It wasn’t really a campaign by me,” she said. Some academic departments adopted official stances in favor of retirement of the symbol.

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