Mascot for morale

A Viper mascot would revamp school spirit and representation


Bailey Niles

The viper mascot could be customized for special occasions by students to represent the school’s culture and values.

Aisha Rashid, Editor

Hundreds of dollars spent on school spirit wear, tapestries and designs, yet the traditional, integral source of school spirit has been neglected-mascots. A common Viper identity and a central source of amusement/entertainment, a school mascot would bring the diverse community of students together under a single symbol.

The school should establish a mascot with a twist to add personality- unique add-ons designed by students to customize our Viper for specific school occasions like spirit days and holidays such as Halloween and Christmas.

Having a variety of viper mascot designs embraces our specific school identity and the individuality of each student. For example, mascots could “dress up” for white-out or pink-out, instead of wearing their usual viper costume at football games. They could also engage in spirit days such as Adam Sandler day, western day, or favorite band day by wearing customized add-ons. Schoolwide competitions to design add-ons would encourage students to contribute their ideas and find ways to express themselves through accessories. When students see their mascot wearing a symbolic part of them, it shows that our school values individuality while simultaneously unifying the community.

Add-ons are a cost-effective alternative to multiple costumes and offer an original way of portraying our school’s culture. According to Olympic mascots, simplistic designs typically cost $4,000-$6,500, a huge investment. Complex, customized costumes may cost up to $10,000 or more. Rather than buying an additional costume for specific spirit days, Fashion Design II students could create add-ons as a class assignment. This would utilize student’s creativity while giving them real-world practice of their chosen endorsement to create free add-ons for a simple but effective design.

The concept of a mascot creates unity among students and increases school morale. According to The Culture Crush, in the 1800s a young, lively boy who helped run errands for a baseball team became known as their good luck charm and inspired the idea of mascots as part of a sports team. Mascots have remained popular and rallied liveliness since. An integral value of mascot culture is the hidden identity of the face behind the costume, responsible for exciting students. It’s a fun mystery that can serve as a centripetal force for students, giving them a common topic of discussion. While the student section at sports games is euphoric, a mascot would generate additional energy and advertise the lively, dedicated atmosphere of our school community.

Critics believe that investing a few thousand dollars in a mascot is useless and impractical. Additionally, there are some dangers to being a mascot. The costumes can get uncontrollably heavy and warm, especially outdoors in Texan weather and can feel claustrophobic for the performer. All of these factors at school events as well as the attention of the crowd could overwhelm the mascot and cause larger complications.

While purchasing a mascot is a large expenditure, there’s a high likelihood that the funds spent will be restored by extra revenue that the mascot produces. While it may seem that mascots are just a small component of events, they attract great attention and publicity, inviting more and more attendees to school events. Mascot merchandise will also be undoubtedly popular among students, staff and fans. In regard to safety measures, the mascot should be chosen through tryouts and great consideration of the student’s ability to handle pressure. Wearing light clothing underneath the costume as well as sweatbands, ensuring clear vision will prevent overheating. The mascot could also switch out of their costume every 30 minutes for a quick rest to avoid exhaustion.

For these reasons, Vandegrift would highly benefit from upgrading their school spirit game and introducing a Viper mascot to personify the school and its originality.