Report: Illinois moving closer to potentially having new mascot
A new mascot may soon be approved at the University of Illinois, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
Per the report, the University of Illinois’ senate “endorsed the idea of making the belted kingfisher” the school’s next mascot. The bird is native to the state and is orange and blue, which is the colors of the team’s athletic programs. An advisory vote went through via a 105-2 decision.
The mascot would replace Chief Illiniwek, which was retired in 2007.
From the Chicago Tribune:
During the senate’s discussion, some students said the Block I logo has been an insufficient representation of the university, and that the lack of a mascot has allowed Chief Illiniwek to persevere.
“Without the university taking action to adopt a new mascot, which the student body already voted in favor of adopting, it is easier for these students to hold onto this racist imagery as a symbol of Illinois pride,” said Sofia Sinnokrot, a student senator who endorsed the measure.
According to the report from the Chicago Tribune, the next step is to get approval from alumni and others within the University of Illinois community. There has not been a timetable set for a potential decision on a new mascot, whether it be the kingfisher or any other mascot.