The Mascot Recommendation Committee is aiming to provide President José Padilla with a list of four possible mascot candidates by early June 2021.

The committee has been meeting in person since the first week of March and established a process for filtering the community’s submissions. In total, over 700 suggestions were made through the committee’s website. In order to begin the initial narrowing of the suggestions the committee worked with each other first.

“When you bring a bunch of people together, that’s the first thing you do, allow them to get to know each other and decide on your process for what you are charged to do. We did that during the first several weeks while the mascot website was open for suggestions. After that, we moved into the next phase in the process,” said Steve Janowiak, the chairperson of the Mascot Recommendation Committee.

The committee of 12 represents an array of groups affiliated with the university. These perspectives allowed the committee to develop a rubric of criteria to help focus the members’ efforts while going through the suggestions.

“There was a team assigned to start the rubric and then we reviewed it as a group, it went through a couple incarnations and we got settled on it and we liked it,” Janowiak said. “At that point, we identified another small group to then take the massive amount of suggestions we got and give it a green light, yellow light or red light.”

Suggestions given a green light were moved to the next phase of the committee’s process, while yellow light suggestions posed more of a hesitation. Submissions that received a red light were immediately taken off the list. These suggestions were most commonly recorded as Crusaders or an idea similar to the previous mascot.

The rubric of criteria that each suggestion was scored on included a variety of measures. These measures ranged from the new mascot’s marketability to the uniqueness it gives the university.

“We have things like [the new mascot’s] adherence to what we feel are Valpo values, its feeling and vibe you get from it, does it feel like Valpo,” Janowiak said. “We wanted it to feel like it’s us, it’s Valpo, it’s different because we’re different.”

Suggestions then continued to be discussed by the committee to further delve into the opportunities and disadvantages they would offer the university.

Currently, the Mascot Recommendation Committee has the list narrowed down to less than 336 suggestions.

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