Many have been whispering about the new and improved Allegheny College mascot the past few weeks. On Sept. 17, Portia Hoeg, director of athletics and recreation, announced at a Students-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting that Chompers, the official Allegheny Mascot, will now be blue and will be unveiled during Homecoming events in Oct. Visuals were passed around the room as everyone took in the change.
Since April of 1925, Allegheny’s mascot has been green. However, for the College’s 200th anniversary, Hoeg, along with a few executive members of SAAC, decided a change must be made. This transformation sparked students’ attention. Allegheny’s official colors do not include the color green, however, according to the Gator Logos page on Allegheny’s website, green, white, and grey are the only appropriate colors for the alligator. A blue gator is not an acceptable logo according to the site.
However, Chompers is not a logo, he is a mascot and therefore does not need to follow the logo guidelines.
Patrick Cole, ’14, and Kevin Snyder, ’14, 2013-14 executive board members of SAAC, responded to a petition by Admissions Counselor Zeben Ashton stating in an email to SAAC members and Hoeg, “We want one thing to be clear: logos and images are not changing, only the mascot.”
“I personally don’t really care. It’s an alligator but our school colors are blue and gold,” Patrick Orr, ’17.
Although Orr may not have a strong opinion on the matter, 508 Allegheny members, including faculty and students, have signed Ashton’s petition on change.org where Ashton used the website against Hoeg with the trend #gatorsaregreen.
Cole and Snyder agree with Orr, stating “The Allegheny colors are blue and yellow, not green. Have you ever seen an Allegheny sports team decked out in a green uniform during a competition? We haven’t.”
Melissa Lunz, ’17, disagrees with their argument.
“I have been to numerous athletic competitions to support my friends and they all have some sort of green in their uniforms,” Lunz said. “Whether it’s a hair bow, shoe laces or pre-wrap, they always incorporate it. Plus, alligators are not blue.”
Cole and Snyder responded that other schools such as Wittenburg University have a red tiger as their mascot.
Athletic staff were asked for comments and opinions concerning Chompers’ improvement, however all were advised to make no comments by higher officials.
“I would really prefer the focus be on the students,” Hoeg stated in an email concerning the matter.
Athletes and nonathletes were asked throughout the week if they would like to say anything about Chompers turning blue. Unfortunately, many athletes wished to not be named.
“I like it green. I don’t really have a big opinion, but I do like Chompers green,” Fran Weber, ’18, said.
Although Chompers staying green is a very large topic in the Athletic Department, Allegheny Student Government (ASG) also had a lot to talk about concerning the mascot.
During the Sept. 23 meeting, Hoeg addressed the mascot costume changes. In an email by Veronica Schuver, the significant points of the meeting were documented for all to see. A poll was taken asking the color of Chompers where 40 students voted Chompers should be dark green while one voted blue.
Another matter of Chompers’ masculinity has been added to the Chompers situation.
With new concerns on the table, Hoeg announced by the end of the meeting that there is no release date for the new mascot costume, which left everyone wondering if a change would actually happen.