Belted kingfisher advances as University of Illinois new mascot – Herald & Review

The proposal passed by a narrow margin, and since then, Hulsey and others have come up with ideas on how to knit the mascot into campus life, from orange and blue kazoos that would emulate the birds' long beaks to spirit rituals students could perform during games.

New student section traditions are a vital part of integrating a new mascot into our community, they wrote in the proposal considered by the senate. For example, as kingfishers are diving birds, a student could do a simple, dive-bombing hand motion that ends with a splash noise or explosion of hands when our team scores a touchdown or a free-throw.

A belted kingfisher sits on a branch in Oak Brook in 2011. University of Illinois students approved the bird as the school's mascot.

The authors said some student organizations, such as the badminton and geology clubs, have already started to incorporate the kingfisher into their logos.

During the senates discussion, some students said the Block I logo has been an insufficient representation of the university, and that the lack of a mascot has allowed Chief Illiniwek to persevere.

Without the university taking action to adopt a new mascot, which the student body already voted in favor of adopting, it is easier for these students to hold onto this racist imagery as a symbol of Illinois pride, said Sofia Sinnokrot, a student senator who endorsed the measure.

Faculty members had little to say on the Zoom conference other than to praise the students for advancing the concept.

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Belted kingfisher advances as University of Illinois new mascot - Herald & Review