AURORA, Colo. - Michael Festag, a senior at the University of Colorado Denver and fan of the newly formed hockey club on campus, thinks it's high time the university got our own mascot.
"It would be awesome to have a mascot," he said, while watching the hockey team play its homecoming game at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 20. "I don't know what we would be. I would definitely love to see one, though. It means a lot, just because of the external support and trying to build a following."
Natalia Gayou, chair of events and planning for the Student Government Association (SGA), said student leaders are trying to gauge whether there's an interest in establishing a mascot for the downtown campus and Anschutz Medical Campus.
The SGA collected 1,125 surveys in September asking students about the kinds of events they'd like to see on campus and whether or not they support having a University of Colorado Denver mascot.
Of the students who answered that question, 600 said "yes" and 200 said "no," Gayou said.
"We want an identity. When people think of CU Denver they're like, 'Is that the Buffs? Who are they?' No one knows," Gayou said. "We want the campus to have a mascot. We're so diverse. We want something to represent the students here."
In the survey, the SGA asked for suggested mascots. Gayou said the SGA's Mascot Committee is poring through the suggestions and will narrow them to the top five or 10, which will then be put up for a student vote early next year.
The top five so far -- Black Bear, Lion, Tiger, Prospector and Bandit. Stay tuned...
Gayou said survey results showed students have three main concerns about campus identity: a lack of overall identity, a lack of school spirit and only one sports team. "We're truly trying to work on all three of those issues. We think having a mascot will help a lot," Gayou said. "University of Colorado Colorado Springs is the mountain lion; Boulder is the Buffaloes; now it's our turn. We want to have an identity."
She said the SGA hopes to announce the new mascot, complete with a design, possibly produced by the College of Arts & Media, by Spring Fling.