Love It/Hate It: The Turkey Mascot

By Nayeli Cardozo

Love It: The Turkey Mascot Brings Spirit and Authenticity to Harvard — Tehle E. Ross

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we know what’s on everybody’s mind: finally going home turkey! At the end of October, the Harvard Undergraduate Association sent out a newsletter addressing all the issues that the College faces — which include, most importantly, the Harvard mascot. Is our mascot the Crimson? Is it John Harvard the Pilgrim? Not even Google seems to know. Implementing a turkey mascot is the best way to end this confusion once and for all.

The turkey mascot encapsulates the Harvard student experience. After all, who hasn’t encountered an all-too-domineering turkey when heading to class? The turkey mascot also represents a win for conservationists across the country. One hundred years ago, turkeys were facing extinction until organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation intervened to revitalize the turkey population so they could terrorize us on campus for years to come. The turkey mascot truly sums up what we as Harvard students strive to be. Turkeys are social, intelligent, curious, inquisitive, and loyal. Turkeys would help you with your pset and get your whole section an extension on that paper no one had started (if they could).

What’s even more exciting than the implementation of the turkey mascot are the endless naming opportunities. The Harvard Undergraduate Association released a list of potential names for the turkey mascot on which the student body could vote. Are you Team Trottie or Team John? Team Tami, perhaps?! These lively debates spark more school spirit than the color red ever did.

Although we may never reach the level of iconicness of Dartmouth’s Keggy the Keg mascot or Y*le’s Dan the Bulldog, the turkey mascot is certainly a step in the right direction. I am hopeful for the years to come when we finally have a mascot to rally behind, proudly and loudly.

Hate It: Gobble Gobble: Do We Really Need Another Reason to Be Mocked? — Stephany Gutierrez

Imagine this: you’re walking through the Yard, and out of nowhere, you’re ambushed by a gang of rather unattractive oversized birds. Sure, they may be frightening, but unlike a tiger or bear, a turkey’s fear factor is dismissed by the fact that they are consumed in the dhall every single day in the form of a sandwich. And if that weren’t enough every single year, we’d endure the neverending chorus of the same old joke: “Just here to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey!” That’s right, our proposed mascot is the star of the Thanksgiving menu, devoured by the millions in the days following The Game. We’re not just talking about one or two birds here — we’re talking about a nationwide poultry phenomenon.

What’s worse is that Y*le’s mascot is a bulldog. Bulldogs are loved by many throughout the country rather than raised to be eaten at perhaps the most American holiday after the Fourth of July. Lovable pet > meal. The least we could do is try to find a mascot that isn’t food.

The proposed names are equally as bad. Let’s be real — Tami, Talon, Allston, John?!? Most disrespectful of all: Remy. Not only did we choose not to make Remy the cat our mascot, but to steal his name? Shame is what you all should feel.

Now, why on Earth would we choose these feathered fowls as our mascots? Another important question is, who thought the turkey was a good idea? I am convinced that they may be the most unhinged person on this campus. Out of all options, a TURKEY? Now, will I be fake and don turkey merch if the proposal becomes a reality? Most likely. But I beg for all of our sakes that we reconsider this decision. (I really don’t want to wear a fake beak or feathers.)

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