Can someone please explain to me why our mascot is not a groundboi? 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a mascot as “a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck.”

Who denoted a yellowjacket was the symbolic figure that would bring UR good luck? Or, even worse, a dandelion?

The groundhog — colloquially called the groundboi — is native to the northeast region of the United States and Canada. Many groundbois have made the UR River Campus their home. From the fraternity quad to the engineering quad, no one blinks an eye at the sight of a groundboi. Lackadaisical with their movements, groundbois meander across campus, searching for food and otherwise just enjoying life. The students, mesmerized by their presence, love the groundbois. 

And what is the one thing UR students hate more than RIT? Yellowjackets.

Most yellowjackets are not like Rocky. They are not human sized, nor do they have subpar dance moves and ample high fives to give out. They are, instead, a nuisance and a danger to society. 

Imagine you’re studying on the balcony of Rush Rhees, when suddenly you’re met by an obnoxious buzzing and a sudden sharp pain in your arm. What could it be? A yellowjacket. These predatory wasps prefer to bring pain and suffering instead of the joy their Rochesterian brethren, the groundbois, deliver. The yellowjacket has not been accepted by the student body as seen by its lack of an endearing nickname (unlike the groundboi, the favored local species of the student population).

One may argue that due to its aggressive nature, the yellowjacket strikes fear into the hearts of our opponents in athletic competitions. In actuality, no one cares about your school’s mascot. When playing a game of basketball, no one is more terrified of a tiger than they are a mouse. 

Some schools accept their quirky mascots with pride. The Ephs — a purple cow — at Williams College, or the banana slugs of UC Santa Cruz, demonstrate that school mascots don’t have to be intimidating to be accepted by the students. 

Yellowjackets have a spot at UR as an important part of our ecosystem, but not as our mascot. Sure, wasps are important for pest control in the local environment. Groundbois most likely do nothing for the local environment besides act a source of food for Quad Fox, but they do bring joy and a sense of belonging to the students of the University. 

Students would take pride in a mascot that represents them as a student body. What represents the University more than a groundboi? They move slowly from point A to point B, disappear in the winter, and spend hours on end holed up in a confined space. All of these are striking similarities between the groundboi and UR students. 

Although some members of our student body may be annoying, a yellowjacket does not represent the University as a whole. We do not have an overabundance of energy, a bite to go with our bark, nor the ability to fly. 

 yThe groundboi deserves to be our mascot and the administration should make this change at the soonest possible opportunity. The yellowjacket is loved by no one but Rocky, and should not represent our school. The groundboi, a jovial and furry mammal, provides nothing but good vibes and support. Thus, a groundboi deserves to take the throne as our school mascot.

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