Moose mascot extinct, athletic fans fear

by Joshua Stern | 10/27/00 5:00am

Got Moose?

This is the question that curious Big Green sports fans may be asking themselves these days. Well into the fall term athletic season, Dartmouth teams take to the field absent one key player: their mascot.

Though the moose has not always made regular appearances at Dartmouth sporting events, recent Homecoming games have almost always featured the double-horned creature.

But not this year.

Drawing attention to an unresolved campus controversy, this year's absence of Dartmouth's pseudo-mascot underscores the lack of consensus on just how Dartmouth should symbolically represent itself in the athletic arena.

While officially competing as the "Big Green," the moose has often been considered an acceptable -- if not ideal -- replacement for Dartmouth's retired Indian mascot.

Yet the moose still lacks widespread support among members of the College community.

While saying that the moose mascot "has possibilities," College Athletic Director Richard Jaeger noted that there are those, himself included, who doubt the viability of the moose as a mascot for Dartmouth.

Jaeger noted that the moose is hardly an athletic animal, and that it might not successfully symbolize the institution as a whole. Hesitant to take the initiative to "conjure up or impose a mascot," the athletic department has left this issue to be resolved in the court of student opinion.

In fact, the idea of a moose mascot was originally proposed by a group of students. Their proposal, however, was never fully embraced.

Chance Hill '02 served as one of the men behind the moose costume during the fall of his sophomore year.

"I don't know why it has died down," he said.

While met with a very warm reception by the younger football fans eager to meet the furry bleacher-dwelling creature, Hill recalls some drawbacks.

Asserting most alumni were more than accepting, he does recall the occasional shout of "Where's the Indian?"