By | Phillip Santos
I want to be a Snowflake, not a Lumberjack! Imagine the announcer’s voice rolling over the Redwood Bowl, “And here comes the Humboldt State Snowflakes!” What a better mascot to represent Humboldt State. It’s better than a term used by conservatives to make fun of us sensitive liberals. If you think this is absurd, then we need to talk about Lucky the Lumberjack.
Almost 60 years ago the Lumberjack was selected as HSU’s mascot. It made sense historically as logging was still a major practice in the area. Times have changed and Lucky the Lumberjack just doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s time to pick another mascot. Electing a new mascot could be a move towards strengthening HSU’s message of environmental responsibility and promoting gender inclusion. It would also be a fun opportunity to keep Humboldt State relevant to contemporary times.
When I see Lucky the Lumberjack, I see the legacy of lumberjacks. Lucky represents the unchecked destruction wrought by the timber boom. Most of the area around us was once a redwood forest. What we know as the Arcata Community Forest is what was allowed to grow back. Enshrining the legacy of lumberjacks by having it as a mascot directly counters the sentiment of environmental stewardship that HSU represents. If you think the image of a lumberjack is flexible, I challenge you to imagine Lucky the Lumberjack chaining himself to a tree to keep it from being cut down. It just doesn’t work; it’s comical.
Lucky the Lumberjack is a presumably buff and bearded white man, but I have a question. What do you call a female lumberjack? The lack of an answer to this question shows us that Lucky the Lumberjack promotes the classic white male archetype. In a society which seems to be promoting gender inclusion and deconstruction of patriarchy and toxic masculinity, Lucky the Lumberjack needs to go because he reinforces all of those things.
Finally, let’s talk about why this would be fun. Electing a new mascot would be an exciting way to update the relevance of HSU’s mascot. I am not saying that history doesn’t matter, but rather emphasizing that it’s perfectly fine to move away from reinforcing a history (through our mascot) that is destructive and undesirable. We are not confined to the past.
It’s funny to think about us as the HSU Snowflakes, but what’s wrong with funny? Think of the endless possibilities that could become our mascot: a cannabis plant, an oyster or a space cat. You get the idea! If you have an idea for a new mascot, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put together an online poll. Vote Snowflakes!