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Unmasking the mascots

The inhuman members of wings across campus

By Hope Bolinger | Echo

College requires students to stretch their comfort zones when it comes to roommates. Some blast music at 3 a.m. Others eat Campus Center pizza with a fork and knife. But at Taylor, you could end up with an even odder bunkmate—say, a green dog.

Wing and floor mascots: nearly every dorm has them, and odds are you’ll find an odd creature hiding in the bathroom, chilling in the suite or hanging in the halls.

 

Bergwall

Second Bergwall: The Cone

Senior Connor Salter next to Bergwall's traffic symbol of "degrading coinage."

Senior Connor Salter next to Bergwall’s traffic symbol of “degrading coinage.”

During the Campus Center construction in 2016, a Bergwall resident found a traffic cone and gave it a home. A student threw the Cone (Bergwall insists this be capitalized) into an inhabitant’s room, and the unhappy Bergwall native tossed it out, according to senior Connor Salter. PA and senior Grant Hohlbein quickly made the Cone a prank item. Because of Bergwall’s open door policy, if a floor member shuts his door for an unneeded reason, he could become “coned,” meaning a student tosses the Cone into the offender’s room. The game is tag-like, and the person with the Cone passes it off to the next victim.

 

English

Second South: Sandy

Sophomores Hannah Goebel and Alora Pradel purchased a stuffed green dog for $8 at Goodwill last year. Although Sandy was meant to be an item to prank juniors on the wing, Goebel and Pradel decided to keep the canine as a relic instead. Second South has had to retrieve Sandy six or seven times from thieves.

Third North: Gordon

Junior Paige Kennedy’s dad found the stuffed man “Gordon” by a church dumpster. “He was sent to me by my parents at the beginning of our freshman year,” Kennedy said. “If I started missing (my parents), I would have this lovely person to hug.” Gordon participated in parades, ate meals at the DC, starred in photo shoots and even attended dates with the wing. In 2015, someone from Samuel Morris Hall stole the mascot. Then, an unidentified student pilfered the stuffed man from the previous thief. To this day, the wing has not recovered Gordon. As Third North still mourns for the lost relic, senior Jillian Wilhelm says, “We have not forgotten nor have we given up hope that he will be found again.”

 

Gerig

FOSO: The Captain, Moose Tri-Lion the Tiger and Wormwood

Moose Tri-Lion the Tiger watches over a Gerig hallway

Moose Tri-Lion the Tiger watches over a Gerig hallway

Fourth Gerig (FOSO) has had five well-known relics, according to “unofficial lorekeeper” senior Sean Mitchem. Three remain on the floor today. The Captain, whose name is always spelled with a capital C, is the most respected mascot. He often receives salutes and salutations of “Sir,” “Captain” and “oh Captain, my Captain” from the members of the floor. PA and senior Caleb Dinsmore affirms the importance of the Captain: “He has always been the Captain and always will be the Captain; that’s all I can tell you.” The secretive PA did not let the Captain have any photographs taken of him. Other mascots on the fourth floor include a inflatable tiger head, “Moose Tri-Lion the Tiger,” who watches over the Window Suite (the easternmost wing) and finally a bathroom-pun-telling plastic ghost called “Wormwood.”

 

Swallow Robin

Second Swallow: Susan

Sophomore Bradley Jensen claims the cement hen “Susan” has a mysterious past: “No one really knows where it came from, but there are many legends.” Jensen recalls spotting the bird when he attended CRAM one summer. All those who stayed in Swallow for the high school program named the fowl mascot “Kevin,” even though other residents know it as Susan.

 

Wengatz

Third East: Flag

A freshman has the honor to bear Third East’s flag for four years after the previous carrier passes it on to him. Like other wing relics, this one has had at least one case of looting. In 2004, the flag-bearer’s love interest stole the blue and red flag, according to current flag-bearer and senior Grason Poling. The wing constructed a purple triangular-shaped replacement to make up for the loss. Eleven years later, the plunderer discovered the flag in her attic and returned it to the wing during the van accident reunion in 2016. Now, the wing carries both emblems with pride.

 

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