Rocky’s got a new groove.
Rocky the Yellowjacket debuted a revamped look during YellowJacket Weekend: The mascot’s costume now features pointier wings, darker blues and brighter yellows, rejuvenated antennae, a rounder header, and smaller shoes.
The makeover was officially announced last Thursday in a YouTube video.
“We have about 100 requests for Rocky appearances a year, so naturally there was some wear and tear,” Assistant Director and Leadership Training Coordinator of Wilson Commons Student Activities Stacey Fisher said. “Rocky’s shoes started to get holes in them. Rocky’s antenna had been drooping. Rocky’s clothes had been approximately five to six years old.”
The project of Rocky’s costume change, which took a year to complete, was undertaken by Wilson Commons Student Activities, the Athletics and Recreation Department, and University Communications, according to Fisher.
The new costume is designed to let the mascot be more active and energetic.
“The previous Rocky outfit had some limitations in terms of being able to do dynamic movements,” explained Fisher. “We wanted to make sure that the new outfit allowed Rocky to be more spunky.”
Some students, however, weren’t sold on the new Rocky.
“I don’t like the new one,” junior Ashley Lin said. “It’s eyes make it look mean.”
Others thought Rocky had lost some resemblance to a bee.
Freshmen Cameron Isaacs said that Rocky looked “less bee-like and less scary.”
A few students were unsure if Rocky was even a bee anymore.
“We’re moving in the wrong direction,” freshman Daniel Allara said. “First it was a bee. Now it’s more like a turtle. It should just be a groundhog.”
Rocky, or some iteration of a UR wasp or bee mascot, has been around since the mid-1920s, according to UR’s website. In 1983, the mascot was name URBee — pronounced “Er-Bee” according to the UR’s University’s “Symbols” page on its website — and was replaced by Rocky the Yellowjacket in 2008 to “better reflect the University’s athletics programs and competitive spirit.”