Miami University has recently changed their official school mascot from the RedHawk to the Inostrancevia: a canine, hairless predator with a heart of gold.
The official explanation given by the Miami administration was that the new mascot,"Sketchy Pete", will give them the "edge" that Miami needs.
"We felt that we weren't doing enough for our students," said spokeswoman Lisa Braune, "So, we decided to bring in a carnivorous therapsid from the Late Permian era."
The mascot was unveiled on the opening day of the 2019 football season to thunderous applause. Sketchy Pete ran from the locker room straight to the center of Yager Stadium , like a true showman. He then darted left, attacking and subsequently eating three cheerleaders - an event dubbed "unfortunate but necessary" by the head cheerleading coach.
Sketchy Pete is adored by staff and alumni alike. Donations to Yager, academic buildings and administrative salaries have increased dramatically since Sketchy Pete's arrival.
However, some of the student body still remain confused.
"It just doesn't feel very different," said sophomore Daisy Bryan. "When they said they were going to change our mascot, I was expecting something new and cool like a Teletubbie, not a sabre-toothed predator from 250 million years ago."
These feelings are being echoed across campus as displeasure grows. A student-led petition calls for a vote on a new mascot. The petition has garnered attention as its signature count rises.
The Student spoke with the petition's creator, Doolie Cowl, about why he felt the need to act.
"I think that the administration rushed to the easiest option without considering any alternatives," Cowl said.
Some of the mascot alternatives Cowl listed on the petition include: a turtle, mud, windmills, Teflon, God and a horde of lizards, among others.
In an official press release to address this displeasure, representatives for the Miami administration issued the following explanation:
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"We understand the displeasure with change. It's hard. But when it is a change for the better, such as a change towards an 11-foot mass of muscle, it is necessary to face this difficulty," Miami president Prawn wrote in an email to the student body. "We are so committed to change that we have decided to allow a vote for the new mascot, as requested. Students will have the opportunity to vote to keep Sketchy Pete or to bring back the classic Miami RedHawk."
The vote will take place during commencement weekend.
Miami has already purchased dozens of voting booths, and said that the voting will be in-person only, as they "don't want fair-weather students voting online."
Will students decide to go back to the old ways, or to leap forward into the distant past?
"Either way , the university seems committed to making the changes that they think their students need," Cowl said.