By Sarah Wung
The Pioneer, LIU Post’s university mascot for many years, is approaching retirement. With the Oct. 3, 2018 announcement that the LIU athletic teams from Post and Brooklyn would merge, many changes are coming, including a new mascot.
Over the winter break, in January 2019, members of selected sports teams were asked which mascot they would prefer, a shark, eagle or falcon. Some student athletes said that they were not asked. Debbie DeJong, director of athletics and recreation, clarified the process of choosing a new mascot. “Our status is that we’re trying to have it very student and alumni driven, and we’re looking at trying to pick a mascot that takes the tradition of both Brooklyn and LIU Post and incorporate them in the new mascot,” she said. Is this happening all because our school is becoming Division I? No, according to DeJong. “It’s from the unification of both of our campuses so that’s what it is and it has nothing to do with the merger of D1 and D2.”
The campus already changed its colors from green and gold to blue and gold during the fall semester 2018. The new mascot, though, had not yet been chosen when the fall semester ended. “I think we want to make sure that we respect both campuses and start to listen to some of our students about what they will get excited about as a mascot and get that integrated in. I’m not sure as to if we have a time frame to finalize this or not,” DeJong said. Yet, she said that the choice of the new mascot will be solely based on what students are excited to see, not what administrators would like.
Sophomore nursing major Nicole Palmer is pleased that there will be a new school mascot. “I like the new mascot change. I think the Pioneers were not the most attractive option as a mascot,” she said. “The new mascot will give a fresh face to LIU.”
Junior business and marketing major at LIU Brooklyn, Eric Casarez, is not fond of the mascot change. “I am definitely against the new mascot change because the blackbird mascot for us at the Brooklyn campus has been more than a mascot for us,” he said. “To have a new mascot that supposedly represents both schools is just not fair for the students that had so much pride in their schools’ mascot and didn’t even get a say in this decision.”
“From what I’ve learned and heard with everything happening, I don’t think anyone knew about the merge between both Post and Brooklyn,” Casarez said. “It was honestly just a shocker to everyone at LIU Brooklyn; from students to faculties to even administration.”