Mascots are integral to a university’s culture and the message that they portray to both the students that attend that university, as well as students at other universities.
Capital University is currently going through a culture change and, as a result, changing the mascot from the Crusaders to something different.
The university has put out a call for students to come up with a new mascot for Capital. As a result, there are several candidates currently in the running, most notably, the Capybaras, the Comets, and the Phantoms.
The campaign for the Capybaras is being led by Aaron Butts, a Capital alum.
Butts said, “Crusader…had been in debate for decades…when I was a student in 2010, people were already hating the Crusaders; professors would speak up about it, students wanted it changed.”
Additionally, there is an advantage of convenience with electing the Capybara as the mascot that the other candidates do not have going for them. That being, Cap students already refer to the current mascot as ‘Cappy;’ if the Capybara is elected as the new mascot, that name can be kept.
The reasoning behind choosing the world’s largest rodent as the new Capital mascot is that the nature of the Capybara does sort of fit Capital’s general culture.
Butts said, “Capybaras are pretty laid back, pretty relaxed creatures, while also being territorial, but in times of crisis they come together to work together for greater goals.”
The next candidate is the Comets, led by students that wish to remain anonymous. The reasoning behind this name is interesting. In the book War and Peace, there’s a bit referred to as Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet, which features a comet that symbolizes transformation and new beginnings.
The idea came from a group of students working together in the CMC when the university sent out the original email about the mascot campaign. One of them had the idea for the Comets and had already made some sketches of logos. The rest is history.
The third and final candidate for the new mascot is the “Phantoms,” which is being led by Trinity Langbein, a sophomore majoring in English Literature, Creative Writing, and Spanish.
The inspiration behind the name comes from Capital’s rather ghostly history, as well as Langbein’s own experiences in Schaff hall.
Langbain said, “I love how people are like a little community over this and there’s inside jokes and stuff with Cap Griffins, Capybaras, the Comets; it just seemed like a really fun thing that was going on.”
Some things that all of these candidates have in common: basically all of the promotion has been done on Twitter. The Twitter handles are listed here in the order they appear in the story:@CUCapybaras @capitalcomets @CapitalPhantoms. Some honorable mentions are the Capital University Griffins (@CapGriffins) and Capital Punishment (@CapitalPunish13).