As Cal Poly Humboldt becomes the third polytechnic university in California, new resources and academic programs are on the horizon. However, the question remains about any potential changes for a new mascot. If that were to happen, it would permanently retire the nearly 63 year-old mascot “Lucky the Lumberjack.”
Throughout the years, students have requested to get rid of the Lumberjack mascot.
“I would like to see a change… this would mean getting rid of a mascot that represents settler-colonial narratives,” said Eddie Carpenter, a senior communication studies major at Cal Poly Humboldt, who believes a new mascot is needed for Cal Poly Humboldt.
“I think the ethical decision would be to find a mascot that represents diversity and intercultural student, staff, and faculty values,” Carpenter said.
There are also unfavorable opinions on changing the Lumberjack mascot. Caleb Davis, an undeclared freshmen student, talked to El Leñador about his thoughts on the potential change.
“We shouldn’t change the mascot, it’s reflective of the longstanding legacy for alumni and students that attended this university,” Davis said.
Davis believes that it’ll be unlikely for Cal Poly Humboldt to change the Lumberjack mascot.
“Throughout the years of this university changing its name, the Lumberjack mascot has remained, and it still represents our school,” Davis said.
According to Kristen Gould, Cal Poly Humboldt director of marketing, there are no current plans to change the mascot.
Cal Poly Humboldt is working with the marketing firm, Simpson Scarborough, to evaluate the university’s brand. Gould explains, Simpson Scarborough’s conducted branding initiative interviews and found that members of the campus community were interested in alternatives to the mascot.
According to Gould, any possible changes must be made based on feedback. Simpson Scarborough remains committed to share input involving the Lumberjack mascot with Cal Poly Humboldt’s Polytechnic Implementation Communications Working Group and university leaders.
“Any possible changes to our mascot must involve engagement and feedback from alumni, as well as students, faculty, staff, and supporters,” Gould.