The Mascot Wars

So the Student Assembly held an unofficial poll on the mascot. In a move straight from Bashir al-Assad’s playbook on democracy, the Indian was not allowed as an option. Despite this, 19% of respondents — almost one in five — chose Chief Wah-Hoo-Wah. Only the sad moose came in with more votes, and the moose has the benefit of quasi-incumbency.

In any vote, when second-place is held by a choice not even offered, it’s clear that the poll is not addressing what people want. Likewise, it’s clear that SA’s vain attempts to cajole the campus into picking something else don’t get to the heart of the debate, because they assume that the Indian is a dead letter. It’s not.

Can anyone send me the text of the poll? I’d love to see it…

NOTE: As always, I stand by my post on the assumption, perhaps ill-advised, that The Daily Dartmouth has reported accurately.

ALSO: I really think this is encouraging news. I hope The Dartmouth Review still refers to our sports teams as “the Indians.” That should not stop, least of all now. If, after twenty years, the Indian still commands the loyalty of one-fifth of Dartmouth students — even when they are told that their choices won’t count — then we have by no means lost.

What would an honest poll show, I wonder? Probably something like this.

UPDATE It’s even better. Seven years ago, in a similar poll, the top three choices were the moose, the dragon, and the “mountaineer,” with the Indian receiving just 10%. (No word on how this compares to the other choices, though. Was The D ever any good at reporting?)

Support for the Indian has doubled since then, and the tepid alternatives still can’t seem to generate any buzz.