The University of Illinois Senate voted last night (Monday, September 21st) in support of naming the kingfisher the new mascot. In a vote of 105 to 2, the faculty agreed with the students that the belted kingfisher, a bird native to Illinois and naturally orange and blue, should fill the vacuum left by the racist mascot.
The U of I Senate vote is advisory, so the final decision is up to Chancellor Robert Jones. Jones has dragged his feet on this matter for years, most notably setting up “listening sessions” about the matter. The fate of the racist mascot was decided in 2007, when it was forcefully retired for, you know, being racist.
There’s an opportunity here for the U of I to gain some goodwill and perhaps divert attention from the thousands of positive COVID-19 cases currently on campus.
You can read a little more about the vote in the Chicago Tribune. Follow the kingfisher’s journey on Facebook.
Top image from the Kingfisher at UIUC Facebook page.