New kid on the block: College gains new mascot as result of rebranding efforts

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By David Hurtado

During the English Civil War, cavaliers fought on the battlefield as cavalry troops under the king’s banner. In modern times, they serve as college mascots.

Last month the college added a new mascot, Jean Claude, to the campus community. Tryouts for the role of college mascot were held Oct. 2 in GYM 125.

Amy Sellers, dance team coach, said judges were looking for students who were energetic, exciting to watch and could give the mascot a personality. Sellers also said the size of the uniform played a role; the judges did not want the uniform to appear too big or too small on the selected candidate.

“We were looking for outgoing, energetic, spirited students who wanted to increase the energy of the atmosphere at athletic events or campus events,” Sellers said.

During the first round of tryouts, students were asked to come up with their own skits before taking the stage. Round two involved the judges asking interview questions, allowing them to get to know the candidates better. Cuts were made between three rounds.

Once cuts were made, selected applicants were asked to don the mascot uniform and spend a minute energizing the judges like they would at a game. Candidates were also asked to deal with a scenario they might encounter at a game. Scenarios included interacting with small children who are afraid of them or accidentally bumping into someone.

Pam Vassar, assistant dean, Student Life, said the mascot will most likely be attending the same athletic events the Golden Girls do. Vassar also said the mascot has attended the state of the college address and the soccer game between the Lady Cavs soccer team and Butler Community College on Sept. 28.

“The plan, I think, is to have the mascot at the athletic events that are like basketball, kind of the same events where our dance team performs and participates in,” Vassar said. “In addition, they will go out to some of the soccer games and he’s already been out to one of the soccer games.”

Sellers said the Golden Girls plan on including the mascot in a few of their events.

“I think the mascot will be on his own for awhile, free styling,” she said. “We’d like to incorporate him into a few things, but he will not be a regular team member.”

Although the college has spent months promoting the mascot to the student body, not everyone is aware of the changes. Ben Steffen, student, said he did not realize the college had gained a new mascot.

“I’m kind of neutral, I don’t mind it,” Steffen said.

According to Sellers, the schedule of events Jean Claude will be attending is still being worked out. However, she said students can expect to see him at major athletic and campus events.

The college mascot is not a paid position. Sellers said the identity of the student playing the mascot will not be revealed.

Judges for the tryouts included Sellers; Carl Heinrich, Athletic Director; Julie Haas, associate vice president, Marketing Communications; Arvaughn Baker, Men’s basketball player; and Kalyn Maugh and Audrey Reynolds, Golden Girls.

The college conducted a poll for the Cavalier mascot’s name Oct. 8 through 10. Poll participants could choose between Carlton, Carl, Calvin, Jean Claude and Johnny. Jean Claude, or JC for short, won 48% of the vote at 69 of 143 responses.

Contact David Hurtado, features editor, at dhurtado@jccc.edu.

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