But the controversy still simmering around Chief Illiniwek has prevented the school from selecting a new mascot. It’s been over a decade since the University of Illinois decided to retire Chief Illiniwek, the school’s official mascot and logo. “There is no blueprint to follow,” she says, “I’m just making it up as I go along.”, On September 21, Hulsey is presenting the case for the Belted Kingfisher to the Senate. No one under the legal drinking age should drink beer, but those of legal age should have a blast. I am afraid to even type this for fear of getting 2020 stink all over the words, but here it goes anyway: Something good might happen. So, that’s easy. The student portraying Chief Illiniwek performed during halftime of Illinois football and basketball games, as well as during women's voll… Spencer Hulsey, senior in LAS, is serious about her kingfisher. Contact Us Your support helps secure a future for birds at risk. The fish have no idea they’re up there, and so kingfishers can be as loud and brightly colored as they want. Are you ready? Then the Saluki was chosen as SIU's mascot on March 19, 1951 in part because the southern Illinois … Don’t jinx it. Ever since that time, the Illini haven’t been represented by a mascot. This Monday the school's Senate will vote on the proposal. They’ll often perch right out in the open, defiant. Alumni may be the biggest remaining hurdle here: When I pushed her, Hulsey acknowledged that several alums have been “aggressive, at times” in her DMs, but she politely declined to elaborate. It’s been a wild ride, Hulsey says, and one without a clear path ahead or end in sight: There are no official rules or procedures for adopting a new mascot at the university, and no one seems to be clear on who has the final say. The Birdist has some suggestions for what should replace it. It only takes a few mouse clicks to add a U of I logo near the kingfisher and, say, a Northwestern University logo near it prey. Most other predatory birds rely on camouflage or stealth to sneak up on their prey, and so are fairly subdued in color and attitude. The University of Illinois might adopt the Belted Kingfisher as their mascot. “I have to include the alumni vote,” she says, “even if it’s the death of this.”. On Friday morning, Chancellor Robert Jones released an implementation plan to address the controversial figure and pivot the University … Next, Hulsey will try to work with the Chancellor and his committees, as the final decision around a mascot … Kingfishers aren’t especially big birds, but they’ve got swagger unlike any other. Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. And what better way to enjoy a University of Illinois sporting event than with, “The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”. (If you’re surprised that there’s a huge contingent of alums who want the Chief back, well, you’re just not paying attention to 2020.) I might not be able to do anything about the alumni, but this is something I can help with and am honored to do so. The university has been without a mascot for more than 10 years since they stopped using Chief Illiniwek. Look no further than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who retired their race-based mascot, Chief Illiniwek, 13 years ago. Orange and blue are the colors of the University of Illinois. He was named "Colonel Rock" in honor of Western’s legendary Athletic Director and Coach Ray "Rock" Hanson, a Marine colonel. Good riddance. Membership benefits include one year of Audubon magazine and the latest on birds and their habitats. Most other predatory birds rely on camouflage or stealth to sneak up on their prey, and so are fairly subdued in color and attitude. Read how two alums are … Tell Congress to stop efforts to strip away critical protections in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Around the world, kingfishers sport vibrant feathering with bright colors and fancy plumes. Yet the depiction continues to endure, with some even … I might not be able to do anything about the alumni, but this is something I can help with and am honored to do so. The NFL team's racist name is finally gone. Spencer Hulsey will now work with the chancellor on next steps to make the Belted Kingfisher the school's official mascot. Research has shown that the use of Native American mascots, symbols and images can have negative consequences not only for Native American students, but for all students. They’d work even better for the University of Illinois, and here are some reasons why. Farnell, B. They command attention. This two-legged caricature had its start in 1958 when a live four-legged English Bulldog, purchased by Student Government, was marched throughout the football stadium during home games. Chief Illiniwek would perform during halftime at Illinois football and basketball games, wearing a feathered headdress and buckskin clothes, and dancing while … SIU's teams originally competed under the team name "Maroons" from 1913 to 1951. Briefly, the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is a distinctive inhabitant of water bodies around North America. After initially being referred to the Rules Committee, it has been assigned to the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee. I’m 37 years old and decaying rapidly but still managed to come up with this one from one of my own photos. She knows that there will be additional steps to come and is preparing. She knows that there will be additional steps to come and is preparing. Chief Illiniwek was portrayed by a student to represent the Illiniwek, the state's namesake, although the regalia worn was from the Sioux. "These mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and too often, insulting images of American Indians," former APA president Ronald F. Levant in a statement at the time. The NCAA, the governing body of college athletics. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 28(2): 212-215. What's a Saluki? Chief Illiniwek was the mascot (often referred to by supporters as the "symbol") of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), associated with the University's intercollegiate athletic programs, from October 30, 1926 to February 21, 2007. Chief Illiniwek was a Native American symbol portrayed by a white student. Chief Illiniwek symbolized the Illini, a confederation of indigenous tribes who historically had inhabited much of present-day Illinois; however the clothing and regalia for the symbol was from the Siouxnation. Let us send you the latest in bird and conservation news. The university appears to be rolling out a new otter mascot, for some reason, cleverly named "Alma Otter." "Chief Illiniwek" was the mascot of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for decades until the school decided to retire it in 2007. They’re boldly patterned with blue, white, and orange, and have a big head supporting a massive bill and a shaggy mohawk crest. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards. Overwhelmed and Understaffed, Our National Wildlife Refuges Need Help. Not kingfishers. Zero-Sum Game: An Update on the Native American Mascot Controversy at the University of Illinois. Don’t jinx it. When I asked about other challenges to getting the new mascot adopted, Hulsey said that unfamiliarity with Belted Kingfishers was a big one. “I have to include the alumni vote,” she says, “even if it’s the death of this.”. This one is just from personal experience, from almost two decades of birding: Kingfishers are special. Until—if there is any goodness in the world—now. Back in March, students voted in favor of adopting the kingfisher as a University mascot 4,222 to 3,597 in a non-binding poll, included on the Illinois Student Government ballot. From 1926 to 2007, Chief Illiniwek was the symbol for the Fighting Illini. Farnell B. It's time to change that. There aren’t Spartans around the campus of Michigan State, and there isn’t much, In fact, choosing a local animal for their mascot would fit right in with the rest of the Big Ten Conference teams: Wisconsin is the, No one under the legal drinking age should drink beer, but those of legal age should have a blast. But Sakiestewa Gilbert is skeptical that a new mascot — even one supported by a majority of the university… Pumpkin Bird Feeder Makes a Happy Harvest For Birds, To Help Birds This Winter, Go Easy on Fall Yard Work, Learn to Identify Five Owls by Their Calls, One of These Birds Should Be Washington, D.C.'s New Football Mascot, Belted Kingfishers Nest in Burrows Up to 15 Feet Long, Rude: Kingfishers, Grebes, and Gulls Are Among the Internet's Least Popular Birds, Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. But the controversy still simmering around Chief Illiniwek has prevented the school from selecting a new mascot. The idea for the kingfisher mascot came from Spencer Hulsey, who graduated from U of I in May with an astrophysics degree and is now working in Madison, Wisconsin. Belted Kingfishers, like many other kingfishers, are famous for their hunting technique, which involves diving from a perch or a hover and snagging or spearing unsuspecting fish. Still, she plans to ask the administration for help getting alumni support, which she knows is critical. Until—if there is any goodness in the world—now. Updated 4:41 PM ET, Thu February 27, 2020. Spread the word. SIU's sports mascot is the Saluki.A Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds, and is an Egyptian hunting dog similar to a greyhound or whippet. Students at the University of Illinois last week voted in favor of adopting the Belted Kingfisher, an orange and blue bird native to the state, as the school’s mascot. "This legislation is an opportunity to ensure we are teaching our children how to properly respect the heritage and culture of Native Americans we draw inspiration from.". Explore Student Life at Illinois State. The choice has already passed an important test by winning a school-wide student-body vote back in March. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s senate on Monday endorsed the idea of making the belted kingfisher -- a blue and orange bird native to the state and known for its high-speed … Spencer Green/AP) Thirteen years after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign retired their racist, Native American-themed mascot, the image continues to pop up everywhere amid … Information for students, alumni, and parents from Illinois flagship public university, a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. In 1971 a 900-pound cement statue of Rocky was set in place just north of the University Union, adjacent to Hanson Fi… The University of Illinois says it has no plans to unveil a new mascot after students voted in a non-binding referendum last week to adopt a blue and orange bird as the official replacement for … There are tons of photos out there of kingfishers raining complete destruction upon dumb little fish. Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. . How Bird-Friendly Are Your Holiday Decorations? "These negative lessons are not just affecting American Indian students; they are sending the wrong message to all students.". Larry Dietz … Bang! Orange and blue are also the colors of the female Belted Kingfisher. Two representatives in the state House have introduced a bill that would prohibit schools from using Native American logos, mascots or other imagery unless they: Schools that fail to comply with the ban would be ineligible to participate in any playoffs, according to the text of the bill. And what better way to enjoy a University of Illinois sporting event than with Kingfisher beer, one of the most popular beers in India? The school has been without an official mascot since 2007 when they rightly canned Chief Illiniwek, a … They’ll often perch right out in the open, defiant. Part of the reason, I think, is because they don’t need to hide their badassery. The thinking is that the Illinois team name would stay the same—the Fighting Illini—but the kingfisher would appear on logos and on the sidelines. National Audubon Society Wouldn’t that noise sound awesome pumped through the speakers at Memorial Stadium as the football team runs onto the field? I love Belted Kingfishers and recently recommended them as the potential mascot for, Kingfishers aren’t especially big birds, but they’ve got swagger unlike any other. Part of the reason, I think, is because they don’t need to hide their badassery. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign students start voting on a new school mascot Wednesday. "Sports logos and mascots should not be used to caricaturize and misrepresent cultures," state Rep. Maurice West, who introduced the bill, said in a. "There are logos and caricatures that have been used through the course of sports history that should have never existed and deserve to be left in the past," West said. The fish have no idea they’re up there, and so kingfishers can be as loud and brightly colored as they want. Or take action immediately with one of our current campaigns below: The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. The Reggie Redbird is the mascot and the university has a 74% acceptance rate. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. But there are plenty of Belted Kingfishers near the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. The issue of schools invoking Native American traditions through their mascots is not new for Illinois. Illinois State University: Illinois State University was founded in 1857 and has an enrollment of 20,788 students. CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – A referendum on the University of Illinois’s spring 2020 ballot proposing a new mascot for the school passed on Monday night. On Wednesday and Thursday, students will vote their preference on the belted kingfisher as a school mascot through the Illinois … Not kingfishers. For decades, Chief Illiniwek wore imitation Lakota dress and danced during halftime at games as the mascot for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2010 Choreographing … (CNN)Sports mascots that invoke Native American imagery and traditions have long been considered offensive by tribal nations. There are recent eBird reports from the University of Illinois Arboretum, from Crystal Lake Park and Busey Woods, and from the main campus itself. Rocky the Bulldog is the mascot for Western Illinois University athletic teams. The school has been without an official mascot since 2007 when they rightly canned Chief Illiniwek, a Native American stereotype who was (nearly always) played by a white male student wearing warpaint and a feathered headdress while dancing around during halftimes. Primo meme-o. We protect birds and the places they need. Still, she plans to ask the administration for help getting alumni support, which she knows is critical. A problem with a lot of mascots is that they’re either not real or not relatable. Around the world, kingfishers sport vibrant feathering with, A problem with a lot of mascots is that they’re either not real or not relatable. “I’ve been studying other colleges that have gone through a similar process, and the biggest hurdle for other colleges is that they left some group out—either the students or the alumni or someone else,” she says. It’s the least you can do. "Chief Illiniwek" was the mascot of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for decades until the school decided to retire it in 2007. In fact, choosing a local animal for their mascot would fit right in with the rest of the Big Ten Conference teams: Wisconsin is the Badgers (local animal), Michigan is the Wolverines (formerly a local animal), Maryland is the Terrapins (local animal), and there are presumably Golden Gophers in Minnesota. The Belted Kingfisher isn’t just a concept: It’s a real wild animal in the area. The energetic Hulsey recounted for me in her charming Midwestern twang how what began as a doodle during physics class and subsequent, On September 21, Hulsey is presenting the case for the Belted Kingfisher to the, Senate. The University of Illinois might adopt the Belted Kingfisher as their mascot. “I’ve been studying other colleges that have gone through a similar process, and the biggest hurdle for other colleges is that they left some group out—either the students or the alumni or someone else,” she says. In the late 1940s, there was a growing interest on the part of the University's student body and others to adopt a more imaginative mascot for their athletic teams than … How the Kansas City Chiefs got their name, and why it's so controversial, receive written permission from a tribe within 500 miles of the school, which would have to be renewed every five years, conduct a schoolwide program on Native American culture at least twice a year, offer a course on Native American contributions to society, file an annual report with the state on the academic programs they offer about Native Americans. The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll, had its first reading in the House last week. A spokesperson for the University of Illinois says that administrators are working on a plan to move the campus forward, which will include a process to establish new traditions. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. The idea originated with senior physics and astronomy student Spencer Hulsey… You can hear the rattling call of a Belted Kingfisher coming from a mile away. Alumni may be the biggest remaining hurdle here: When I pushed her, Hulsey acknowledged that several alums have been “aggressive, at times” in her DMs, but she politely declined to elaborate. Friends, it would. But rest easy, Illinois is on the case! They are one of three American kingfisher species, and the only one found north of Texas (there are more than a hundred kingfisher species found worldwide). There aren’t Spartans around the campus of Michigan State, and there isn’t much Jazz in Utah. The University of Illinois will drop its 81-year-old American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek, following the last men's basketball home game of the season on Wednesday, officials said. Spencer Hulsey, a former U of I student, began the campaign last year. . When you join a student organization, you gain a full support system that helps you succeed. In just a few days, the Senate of the University of Illinois will decide whether to adopt the Belted Kingfisher as the school’s mascot. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s senate on Monday endorsed the idea of making the belted kingfisher — a blue and orange bird native to the state and known for its high-speed … A new analysis of Google searches suggests some pretty great species aren't getting the attention they deserve. CHAMAPAIGN, Ill (WCIA)– The University of Illinois’ old mascot, Chief Illiniwek, hasn’t been seen since 2007. The idea for the kingfisher mascot came from Spencer Hulsey, who graduated from U of I in May with an astrophysics degree and is now working in Madison, Wisconsin. Illinois State University Find Your Community. Bald Eagle. Update 9/22/20: The University of Illinois Senate passed the resolution 105 to 2, with 4 abstentions. Mascot: Tommy the Titan "The Wesleyan Titan" made his inaugural appearance, entering Wilder Field in a Roman chariot, at pre-game ceremonies for a football game against Illinois State University on Sept. … That could be … Illinois senior Spencer Hulsey came up with the idea to make the Kingfisher the new university mascot. These 5 Threatened Places Could Be Spared Under Biden, Top Wins for Birds 2020: State Efforts to Address Climate Change. Two Illinois lawmakers want to ban them. By Nicholas LundContributor, Audubon Magazine. Bielfeldt Athletics Administration Building, 1700 S. 217-333-3631. When I asked about other challenges to getting the new mascot adopted, Hulsey said that unfamiliarity with Belted Kingfishers was a big one. Are the Trump Administration's Environmental Rollbacks Built to Last? It’s not a COVID-19 vaccine or anything, but I’ll take what I can get right now. 2004. Can This Critically Endangered Bird Survive Australia's New Climate Reality? Just imagine what some undergrad Gen Z computer whiz with free time before philosophy lab or whatever could do . After years of protests by tribal nations and pressure from the NCAA, the university decided to retire the mascot in 2007, though an unofficial "Chief". Type in your search and hit Enter on desktop or hit Go on mobile device, The school has been without an official mascot since 2007 when they rightly canned Chief Illiniwek, a Native American stereotype who was (nearly always) played by a white male student wearing warpaint and a feathered headdress while. Starting Wednesday, students at the University can determine if her mascot idea has any air beneath its wings. The energetic Hulsey recounted for me in her charming Midwestern twang how what began as a doodle during physics class and subsequent Reddit post became a campus movement complete with Facebook groups, discussions with staff from the Mascot Hall of Fame, guidance from David Raymond, legendary mascot designer and self-described Emperor of Fun, and a design by character-creation guru Tom Sapp. You’d never guess that these regal birds use their claws and beak to tunnel through muddy riverbanks. (CNN) Sports mascots that invoke Native … Whenever you see a Belted Kingfisher you always say something like, “Oh, a kingfisher,” with a hint of pleasant surprise. I love Belted Kingfishers and recently recommended them as the potential mascot for another team ditching its Native American mascot. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. The University of Illinois would be lucky to have an ounce of kingfisher bravado. The APA cited a body of literature showing that racist stereotypes and inaccurate portrayals of Native Americans used by schools and organizations had a harmful effect on the self-esteem of young Native American people, as well as the development of their identity. Mascot. Kingfishers bring a bit of joy to everyone who isn’t a fish, and that’s reason enough to pick them as a mascot if you ask me. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret.