Saint vs. St. Bernard dispute might over bite

The dispute about whether Seward County Community College should adopt a mascot continues from the previous semester. Last year, Sports Information Director/Assistant to the Athletic Director Roy Allen was put in charge of receiving entries for a mascot contest by the IMPACT committee. The contest started because the athletic department wanted more of a face instead of the interlocking SC to represent the athletic teams at games. Most students think that Seward already has a mascot. However, the well-known Fighting Saint is actually the bookstore’s mascot; not the athletic department’s. Perhaps because people think we already have a mascot, the contest was not very popular, as it ended with only seven entries. One of those entries was that of a St. Bernard. The entry was discussed with the IMPACT committee with no real negative feedback, Allen said. Afterwards, several people expressed disagreement toward the St. Bernard. The marketing committee then discussed the idea, and Jerri Lynn Lyddon, director of the bookstore, decided that the voice of the student should be heard. She made a poll on Facebook and let the public voice their opinions. “I wanted to hear what the students thought, so I put it on Facebook,” Lyddon said. The results were astounding: out of 114 votes, only four people voted yes towards having a St. Bernard as our mascot. Even though not every single student voted, the results reflect a feeling for a majority of the student body. The St. Bernard has no real connection to the college. Kansas is not a state known for having mountains. Much less do we have cold weather year round. Also, St. Bernards originate from Italy and Switzerland, and were rescue dogs. On the other hand, the Fighting Saint is recognized throughout Seward County as our “mascot.” Clubs and organizations, such as Hispanic American Leadership Organization, use the Fighting Saint on hoodies or other items to promote the college. The Fighting Saint is already very popular with the student body, why change it to a dog? Who wants to be a dog with all the improper references that could be made at sporting events? Improper references about a Saint are rarely heard. On the contrary, Saints are positive, full of enlightenment, and hold the ground for all things good. According to Allen and Lyddon, the process to get a mascot is long and has important consequences, and it’s too early to tell if the dog can bark up a fighting chance.