The “Thunder Cat” will soon be done


by Will Steingreaber

For most sports teams, a mascot is an essential component tobuilding a reputation. The World Famous San Diego Chicken, thePhoenix Gorilla, and Ralphie the Buffalo are just a few of the cultcreatures all as well known as their respective teams.

But for our Simpson Storm, the beloved Thundercat is extinct,rendering us mascot-less in this mascot friendly world. The actionsof a few caring Simpson faces are aiming to buck that trend.

No one really knows for certain why the Thundercat couldn’tweather the storm, but the Student Athletic Advisory Committee ishoping to put an end to this mascot dry spell.

Operating on a strong desire to increase student participationat athletic events, SAAC is holding a contest open to all Simpsonmembers to decide on a furry new representative. Both students andfaculty are encouraged to put their artistic skills to the test tocreate a new mascot that embodies all the qualities of the SimpsonStorm. The winner, decided upon by a campus-wide majority vote,will be awarded $100.

Lana Smith, SAAC advisor, hopes the contest will spark more thancreative inspiration among the Simpson community.

“It’s about tradition,” Smith said. “We want to create a senseof pride in our school-some enthusiasm and excitement. We wantstudents to have that school spirit.”

And it’s some student leadership that’s helping lead the way.Sophomore Kelli Demitri, a member of the Simpson soccer team andSAAC, is just one of those students promoting more audienceparticipation.

“I think it’s important to increase population at sportsevents.” Demitri explained. “This contest is a good opportunity forpeople other that athletes to get involved. Hopefully, since theyhave the opportunity, they will get involved. Maybe something willstick, and we can build a solid tradition.”

The contest asks for Simpson members to design a mascot theybelieve will best represent Simpson College. After the top four arechosen, the student population will be able to vote for which willbe the next school mascot. Then the idea will be sent to adesigning company to finish the process.

Smith, also Senior Women’s Administrator and Simpson HeadVolleyball Coach, believes a mascot is a crucial factor toenhancing the rich tradition Simpson athletics hold. Demitri andthe other SAAC members agree.

“One of our main goals this year was to increase tradition hereat Simpson.” Demitri said.

And it may very well begin and end with a good mascot. AfterSimpson was forced to change its name from the Redmen to the Storm,the Thundercat mascot was fashioned-but faded just as quickly. Toensure that our next mascot doesn’t fall prey to apathy, SAAC isalso planning to fund for a mascot costume.

The contest runs until March 5, and Smith believes that with thehelp of the Simpson community, everyone will have something tocheer about come next year.

“I encourage everyone to get involved. So far we have had a lotof forms picked up, but only a handful have been returned.” Smithsaid.

With the possibility of winning money, Simpson students shouldpick up on this contest. Who knows, the new mascot could just beour next claim to fame.