Herky the Hawk is the University of Iowa’s mascot and has been since 1948. But a professor at the university thinks Herky should be put out to pasture and it isn’t even a “cultural appropriation” thing this time.
Rather, this professor fears Herky looks too menacing because he sports a constant grimace and that expression might trigger bad reactions in sensitive students.
Incredibly, Professor Resmiye Oral is urging the athletics department at the U of I to come up with a kinder, gentler-looking mascot. Here’s the professor in her own words:
“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages. However, Herky’s angry faces conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instil in our students and campus community.”
Thankfully, Professor Oral’s quest for a kinder, gentler Herky isn’t gaining traction despite repeated pleas including one packaged as concern for student “safety”.
Maybe Professor Oral can choose a less angry bird to serve as her own personal mascot. I suggest a cuckoo.