Different desert animals, mythical beasts and icons of the American Southwest are all being considered to be Dixie State University’s next mascot.
Ideas for the new mascot will be narrowed down in the coming weeks from input by university stakeholders including students, faculty, alumni and community members.
An online survey with six to seven different proposals for the new mascot will be public within the next month, said Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership and director of the identity committee. The identity committee is also using research and data compiled by Love Communications, an advertising and communications firm based out of Salt Lake City, to make its decision on what the mascot will be.
Sharp said some of the mascots being considered are the Heat, Suns, Scorpions, Rattlesnakes, Raptors, Dragons, Coyotes, Pioneers, Trailblazers, Renegades, Mustangs and Red Devils. However, the official choices for the survey have not yet been finalized and may be changed and refined as time goes on, Sharp said.
“We’ve been combing through past data we’ve collected over 10 years on what students want in a mascot, and we’ve also been collecting new data to see what the stakeholders want in a mascot,” Sharp said.
Looking at options
The identity committee and Love Communications recently met with alumni, faculty, and focus groups composed of members of the DSU Student Association, DSU Student Alumni Association, D-Crew and ambassadors.
“In these meetings, the student leaders were all able to come together and voice their opinion on what we as the students would like to see happen,” said Student Body President Matt Devore, a senior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, and member of the identity committee. “I’m just [part of the identity committee] as the student voice and student advocate.”
The research from Love Communications will help create the mascot ideas for the survey that will be unique to DSU without any alternative definitions and without any trademark issues, said Aaron Evans, vice president and group account manager for Love Communications.
Evans said Love Communications has researched the history and heritage of the St. George area and DSU, the history of DSU’s former mascots, prior student input on the mascot, and what makes mascots successful at other universities.
“In meeting with everyone at the university and in the community, it became more and more clear how invested the overall St. George community is in Dixie State and the history of the university,” Evans said. “So we feel strongly that the ideal mascot will play off that and resonate with students and the community in a way that the Red Storm doesn’t do.”
Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership and director of the identity committee, tweets on Oct. 20, asking for the public’s ideas for the new mascot of Dixie State University. Ideas for the new mascot are currently being evaluated by the identity committee and Love Communications, an advertising and communications firm based out of Salt Lake City.
Sharp said, while it’s impossible for everyone to be happy with what the mascot will eventually be, the identity committee will try to make sure there is no group on campus that feels silenced or unable to weigh in on the process.
“But if we open it up for a complete vote, a lot of people aren’t thinking about branding and components that are important for the institution,” Sharp said.
After the survey, the list of potential mascots will be narrowed down to three choices. Sharp said the final decision will be made by Love Communications and the identity committee after the three finalists have been analyzed by “higher-end stakeholders,” including administration, faculty members and alumni.
“Love Communications and the (identity) committee will choose one authentic brand that we feel encompasses who we are and where we’re going,” Sharp said.
The mascot isn’t scheduled to be chosen for another several months and won’t be implemented until fall 2016, Sharp said. DSUSA will help implement the mascot by distributing swag with the new mascot logo once it is chosen.
Devore said whatever the mascot ends up being, “it’ll be better than the Red Storm.”