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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The Warrior mascot needs to be renewed

Does the “Spartan” represent the high school? Joey Elasmar doesn’t think so. He says the metal helmet lacks interactivity, but more than that it lacks the ability to unite the student body.

As someone who’s been a Brookline High School student for two and a half years, I feel a lot of connection to the school’s identity. As a member of our Nordic Ski team, I feel affinity to the “Warriors” name. I cheer for and watch Warriors soccer, basketball and other teams. I take pride in our vast buildings, facilities and values of individual freedom, bragging about them to my extended family during holidays.

But there’s one part of our school I don’t feel attached to: the mascot. I think others feel the same way. Our mascot just doesn’t have anything to connect to; it’s boring. For that reason, I think we should consider updating it.

Beyond the fact that it’s boring, there are a couple of reasons why I think an update is necessary. The first one is that the mascot is too vague. Initially, I had a hard time telling what it was. The name Warriors is also nonspecific, so anyone looking at it has to use a bit of guesswork.

I now know the mascot is supposed to be a Spartan, but before I knew that I used to second guess myself because we weren’t the “Spartans.” I’ve even heard people say it looks like a skunk. It’s hard for me to feel connected to other students through a mascot that too many students don’t even understand.

Even now that I know what the mascot is supposed to be, it feels like it has no meaning. I say this with a hint of ignorance because the mascot may have had meaning when it was designed and approved, but that meaning has been lost to time.

Even if there is some sort of symbolic, implicit, meaning hiding behind the floating helmet, there is so much unused potential for a mascot that relates to our town or community.

A good example of this is the town Bourne, situated along the Cape Cod Canal. Their mascot is the “Canalmen,” a caricature of an old sailor who traverses his ship with a wooden wheel, alluding to their geographical location and historical economy. Our mascot doesn’t allude to anything. Unless there’s some sort of substantial Greek heritage at the high school of which I am unaware of, I don’t think our school has anything to do with Spartans.

Another grievance I have with the mascot is it is not at all interactive. Since it is just an abstract, stylized helmet, no one can even dress up as our mascot. At schools like Newton North, people in tiger costumes cheer their teams on at games. This simply isn’t possible with our current mascot.

Another layer of interactivity that our mascot lacks can be realized when looking at the 1958 yearbook. In 1958, the yearbook committee filled the margins with representations of the old mascot, caricatures of Indigenous people doing activities relevant to the page. For example, the page for the ‘Chefs’ Club’ had an Indigenous person cooking and the ‘Concert Choir’ club had an Indigenous person singing. Obviously, I’m not advocating for our mascot to use racist imagery as it did in the 50s, but with our current mascot, which is just the profile of a helmet, it would be impossible to have that level of creativity and interactivity.

The final issue I have—probably the root of the other issues—is that the mascot feels rushed or unfinished. It probably was. Our mascot was designed to fill in a void after the previous racist mascot was removed.

The committee that made the mascot must have omitted the aspects which I have stated it lacks in order to finish quickly. The result was a mascot that ended up lacking clarity, meaning, interactivity and ultimately the ability to be a unifying symbol for students.

I propose that the school establish a committee to update the mascot. The committee could collect insights from the student body so they know what needs to be done in order to create a new symbol that can truly bring us together as a school, as a mascot should.

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