If you ask any student at SVSU the name of our mascot, they will likely have no problem telling you the name of Coop, SVSU’s first and best-known mascot.
A good handful of students will even be able to identify Scarlet, Coop’s female companion. However, most students will have a difficult time naming the third mascot of the flock, “#1 Fan.”
Introduced alongside Scarlet in 2015, #1 Fan stands at 5 foot 7 inches and embodies “the likeness of a young cardinal,” according to the Office of Student Life’s Mascot Program, the office in charge of our family of Cardinal mascots.
The introduction of both Scarlet and #1 Fan by the university is interesting when you consider the details of the two.
For starters, Scarlet, Coop’s “female companion,” is red in color. This is not an accurate trait of female cardinals, as they are typically brown.
This may seem like a picky gripe to have about a foam inanimate bird; however, it goes to show the lack of thought put into the additional mascots.
With the detail of feather color left out of the mascot choice, it comes as no surprise that #1 Fan was given such a terrible name.
The meaningless name does nothing to excite students, let alone create a compelling back story for our young mascot.
However, there is a glimmering sliver of hope that comes from such a poor name, that being the opportunity to engage students with the mission of renaming him.
The Office of Student Life should host an online contest giving students the opportunity to rename #1 Fan, giving him an identity within our university.
Think about the excitement and buzz a contest like this would create on campus. This could truly be one of the most opportune times for the university to do something unique that would attract the attention of so many students. Of course, with all great ideas come the inevitable drawbacks, like students rallying together to name #1 Fan something absurd.
A similar issue happened in 2016 when a multi-million–dollar Antarctic research vessel was fittingly enough named “Boaty McBoatface.”
As hilarious as it would be to have a third mascot named something entertaining like “Cardinal McCardface,” I can understand why SVSU would take issue with the idea.
This should not be a deterrent for Student Life, which should at the very least come up with a list of names for students to vote from.
If Student Life spent an hour brainstorming potential names for our young Cardinal, we could have a lot of fun arguing our favorites as a campus community.
The idea of allowing students to name their own mascot is not a foreign idea and was done by Ohio University in 2006.
At the time, Ohio University gave its students a list of eight potential names, with Rufus being chosen as the winner. The name was then announced at halftime of an Ohio University football game, giving students even more reason to attend and celebrate their school spirit.
There is no reason SVSU couldn’t start a similar naming campaign that would finally rid #1 Fan of his truly dreadful name. I’m sure the university could even get behind some naming event merch, selling shirts to raise a few dollars to put to a good use.
All in all, is the name #1 Fan really a big deal? Not really, but it offers a unique chance for the university to show its fun side, all while engaging students to be involved in a campus-wide event.
With Coop’s birthday party coming up in just a few weeks, I can’t think of a better time to begin what could be one of the highlights of the academic year.
If all else fails, maybe Student Life will at least hear my personal favorite potential name, “Donnie.”