In 2014, through the advocacy of lacrosse player Aaron Daley ’15, the Student Government Association (SGA) launched a campaign to develop a new athletic mascot for Eastern Connecticut State University. The sentiment on campus was that the existing mascot—“Sheldon the Shield”—did not sufficiently represent the competitive spirit of the school’s athletic teams.
“I believe the student body was in favor of a new mascot simply for the reason that the old mascot wasn’t intimidating enough,” said SGA Secretary Nicole Vigorita. “As a student, I like showing the other team what we’re made of and I think this new mascot will do just that.”
As part of the process for developing the new mascot, the SGA served as a focus group for the redesign process and played a vital role in ensuring that the student body’s voice was heard throughout.
To kick off the design process, an e-mail was sent out to all Eastern students encouraging them to submit a design. The only rules — make sure the design was not offensive, gender specific or overly aggressive. The result was 11 viable options that were distributed via e-mail and voted on by students. After a year of brainstorming, planning and designing, Eastern’s new Warrior mascot was finally ready to be unveiled. The winning design was submitted by student Alexa Senia.
“Having students design their visions and then allowing the campus to cast their vote gave us valuable feedback on a variety of levels,” said Director of Student Affairs Michelle Delaney. “Since students were involved so early in the process, everyone was excited to see which design won. To see that come to life is great.”
As an ambassador for the University, the new mascot will be present at sporting events and other activities all over campus. From athletic events to student orientation, to campus activities, students can expect the mascot to have a big presence on campus. There is also a hope that the mascot will be involved in events in the local community to promote Eastern’s brand. “The new mascot isn’t only valuable for the Athletics Department. This mascot will be the face of the entire University, and can be a source of pride for students, faculty and alumni for many years,” said Equipment Manager Scott Smith.
In the fall 2015 semester, a contest will be conducted through social media to select a name for the mascot. Stay tuned!