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The River Monster Remains

Story by Omenka Webb

The River Monster, LSUS’s newest mascot, made its grand debut to mixed reactions from, “He’s cute and fun,” to “What is it?” No matter what the reactions are, according to Chancellor Larry Clark, “The River Monster is here to stay.”

Some students were pleased with the new mascot. LSUS student Bailey Brantley shared her thoughts about [The River Monster]. “I absolutely love [The River Monster],” said Brantley. “I’m ready to do the ‘Monster Mash’. However, other students interviewed by Almagest reporters did not like the mascot at all.

Chancellor Clark told the Almagest, “Our hope was to create a fun mascot that would set us apart and give us attention, The latter we have certainly received, especially via Facebook responses.”

One Facebook comment, “To me, this mascot choice demonstrates that the students want our institution to distinguish itself, and it is certainly easier to make a statement by choosing an over-the-top mascot than it is to organize and build a powerful local political constituency that will put the LSU System on notice that we in Shreveport will not be treated like an afterthought anymore. Unfortunately, it is the accomplishment of that latter (harder) task that matters most in terms of defining the value of our institution to this region, but the students are apparently doing what they can do now."

The same Facebook comment continues, "Those of us who are optimistic will keep waiting for the momentum to materialize to build that powerfully focused local political constituency, inspired by dedicated alumni and concerned citizens, that will eventually help distinguish our campus through new academic infrastructure, new academic programs, and new campus life opportunities that will synergize together to enhance the academic experience at LSUS and set us up as a powerful engine for economic development for this entire region.”

Many students didn’t understand the process of how the mascot was chosen. According to another Facebook comment, “You would think that the SGA would want the student body’s opinion on the mascot and maybe send out a mass email or a poll link.”

Clark explained the process of choosing the mascot in LSUS News & Notes. “Last winter the Student Government Association requested mascot ideas from the student body, in particular from digital arts students,” said Clark. “Five mascot proposals were received. The SGA, over several meetings, whittled down the list of proposed mascots to three, then two…I asked the SGA to consider the possibility of a different mascot. They did. They also solicited input from our LSUS student athletes. Ultimately, the SGA over-whelming voted to recommend the proposed River Monster.”

The River Monster will be strutting its green furry self at LSUS sports events so get used to it because it’s here to stay.