|(above) Westword continues to turn up the heat|
Something will be missing from Homecoming and Parents Weekend at the University of Denver, which kicks off on October 24: a mascot. If all had gone according to plan, by now DU would be rolling out its choice for the school's new symbol for the Pioneers at a special "Evolution of DU's mascot" event. But little has gone according to plan in this pioneering effort. Last February, the student government determined that it was time to officially ban Denver Boone, the on-again, off-again Disney cariacature that had been DU's official mascot from 1968 to 1998, then booted and replaced by the lamentable Ruckus the Red-Tailed Hawk, then allowed back on a limited, unofficial basis in 2008, when Ruckus got plucked. Alumni, in particular, were big Boone boosters — but after some students complained that he did not represent the greater DU community, a 76-member mascot development committee of students, alums, faculty members and others was charged with coming up with a new mascot. And bringing back Boone — or the Fighting Parsons or Pioneer Pete, earlier mascots — was never an option. Instead, the committee whittled the list down to three possibilities — Pio the Elk, Pio the Mountaineer, Pio the Jackalope — and polled the greater DU community for its favorite...and no winner emerged. And so for now, the Pioneers remain logo-less [read entire article].