MHS enters final round of mascot voting

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

In the near future, students at Manhattan High may see a bison or wolf roaming the sidelines of sporting events.

According to senior Lily Colburn, student body president, 58 percent of respondents in Student Council’s recent survey responded in favor of having a physical mascot. Bison and wolf were the top two choices and are moving on to the next round.

“The top two, by a landslide, were bison and wolf,” Colburn said, “so that’s what the students will be picking between.”

Although sunflowers was one of the most requested mascots in the preliminary voting, very few students chose sunflowers in this round.

“I’m pretty sure there were less than 80 votes for sunflower,” Colburn said. “It was a very vocal minority, but none of the results showed that it was even close to winning. I think people just thought it was fun.”

Once again, the next round of voting will ask the students if they want a physical mascot.

“Student Council is still kind of working on the wording of how it’s going to work,” Colburn said, “but it’s just going to be one single question, kind of phrased as, ‘Do you want one of these physical mascots or no mascot at all,’ so you choose bison, wolf or nothing.”

StuCo wants to make sure students understand what they are voting on.

“We want to make it clear that the name and the symbol of the Indian will remain intact for forever or another round of voting by the school board,” Colburn said. “We haven’t had a physical mascot for decades, and nothing is being replaced. There’s not going to be a huge shift in how our teams are referred to or anything like that, because that’s still a misconception.”

Regardless of the results of the voting, StuCo will prepare a report for the Board of Education’s Dec. 6 meeting.

“If we do select to have a physical mascot,” Colburn said, “I think it’s really going to be just as simple as, ‘This is what the student body voted throughout,’ just kind of show them how it changed. [It would include how] the breakdowns of the different mascots worked, and then our final recommendation, whether that’s bison or wolf.”

If the Board of Education approves the choice, StuCo has to figure out how to implement it.

“It will come back to the student body to decide how it’s designed and anything like that,” Colburn said. “The school board is just going to put their stamp of approval [on it], because there was some concern with having gendered mascots or it being a person.”

Though unlikely, there is some chance the physical mascot could be seen this year.

“I don’t want to rush into it,” Colburn said, “and I don’t think StuCo wants to rush into it, because we do, again, want this to come from the students. We want the students to be able to help design what the mascot looks like, and exactly what it’s place will be at the school and at games. I think there’s a chance that maybe towards the end of basketball season there could be a physical mascot.”