Students advocate for female mascot

Gurl Nexdore—Staff Writer

Goodbye, Carl. And hello—Carla?

Nearly 1420 female students, representing all females in a 1500-student campus, plan to stage a walkout on Friday, April 13, to protest their lack of representation in Dordt College’s mascot, Carl the Defender.

Carl is a familiar face around campus and Defender Nation. He can be found stitched on apparel, slapped onto the rear window of your mom’s minivan and painted on a massive mural in the Rec Center. When Dordt released its new mascot in 2012, students found it exciting to finally have a real mascot. But following the feminist movement which has gained steam in recent months, the women on campus realized that they too have something to fight for.

“The men have had their time. Now the women need a chance to be the image of Dordt College,” junior Rosie De Riveter said.

Female students, along with one male who desperately wants to impress his crush, are fighting for a mascot name change from “Carl” to “Carla.” It’s just one letter, but the movement it has sparked on campus is astonishing. The walkout’s organizers are doing all they can to inform women about the issue. Posters hang on every Covenant bathroom stall, and West Hall wing events have become pro-Carla rallies.

The walkout will take place at 8:00 a.m. on April 13, a time suspiciously aligned with Professor Cosgrove’s CORE 140 class. Campus security is currently undergoing riot control training, as their beloved tire boots and tickets will be of no use.

Although the walkout has not yet happened, administration has been proactive by forming a new logo committee to address this feminist uprising. They found it difficult to fill all of the committee chairs.

“Women are unpredictable and sometimes downright scary. Believe me, I’m married to one,” said a faculty member who wished to remain anonymous for fear of backlash. “I declined the invitation, because I’d rather not sleep on the couch.”

Although change might not happen right away, designers are discussing ways to make Carl less masculine. One designer suggested adding some curves to the mascot’s body shape. Another wanted to add locks of hair extending out from the bottom of the helmet. But pro-Carla supporters lashed back, saying those were gender stereotypes and fed into the unrealistic expectations pressed on women. They do not want the physical features of the sword-wielding mascot to change—only the name needs updating.

The voices of Dordt women are finally being heard, and the campus community waits in anticipation to see how this movement will play out. To make matters more complicated, Carl and Carla are competing against another potential mascot. A chairman on the mascot committee offered an idea for a mascot which would please every side of the debate. His solution: the Gift statue.

“Is it a woman? A man? Some sort of celestial being? We don’t know what that thing identifies as, and that makes it the perfect solution.”


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