Scotty has long been a staple of Alma College’s campus community from the days of old when it w as a Scottish Terrier, to a more cartoonish figure to its current state as a masculine Scottish man. These changes over the years reflect a change in branding associated with Alma College the same as switching the school ’s nickname from the Fighting Presbyterians to the Scots in the 1930s.
Across campus students and faculty alike have seen changes in the way in which Scotty has been portrayed across campus this year. From his removal in the Admissions office to his decreased presence at athletic events, everyone has taken notice and formed opinions on the matter.
Nonetheless, students and faculty can rest assured that Scotty is not going anywhere and will retain his current form for the foreseeable future.
“I think the rumors [about Scotty] have been squashed at the cabinet level and Scotty is not going away,” said Sarah Dehring, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Alma College.
Melinda Booth, Vice President for Communications and Marketing agreed with Dehring stating that there are no current plans to phase out or replace Scotty in any way.
The rumors Sarah mentioned were ones started by students who were under the impression that Scotty would change his outward appearance and take on the likeness of a Highland cow or possibly even a squirrel. Posters ha ve sprung up around campus both in favor of and against the squirrel as a potential new representation of Scotty.
All of this comes as schools across the country have been forced to reconsider or outright change their mascot in the name of better reflecting diversity and inclusion.
Some of the pushback against Scotty as he currently stands is that he is not representative of Alma College’s mission of creating a diverse and inclusive community for all students. His overt masculinity is just one example of an aspect of his outward appearance that comes under scrutiny.
Other examples of things highlighted as problematic with Scotty include his Northern European likeness which to some may represent colonial values and oppression.
Jonathan Glenn, Director of Diversity and Inclusion could not be reached for comment on this article.
In terms of utilizing Scotty in athletics, he has never been a key part of any logo and according to Dehring, the Alma College community can expect to see the Plaid “A” being representative of Alma College Athletics.
“We are the Scots, we are in Scotland, USA, I don’t think the Scotty name will ever go away,” said Dehring.
The same may not be true for the Alma College tartan however at other levels in future Alma College marketing. One specific aspect that the Alma College community may see slight changes in is the Alma College plaid or tartan.
“The plaid is not being phased out of all marketing materials,” said Booth, “we have begun to use less of [the plaid] ondigital platforms like web and social media where it can look heavy or a bit dark.”
Others involved in making future decisions about Scotty as well as the Alma College tartan include Raymond Barclay, Chief Operating Officer of Alma College, who also could not be reached for comment on this article.
Despite swirling rumors, it seems likely for now that Alma College’s mascot will remain to be Scotty for the future.
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