Story and Illustration by Dominic Hure, Contributor
On September 20, 2018, Long Beach State officially retired Prospector Pete, our mascot since the ‘60s. According to the article that announced his retirement, Prospector Pete was an outdated symbol that no longer represented our student population. Over the years, our population has become diverse and inclusive, which conflicts with the violent, racist actions of the prospectors. We became “The Beach,” which is an excellent title, but not a concrete symbol that a student body can root for and rally around. What this school needs is…the giraffe.
The giraffe is a perfect mascot for plenty of reasons:
- Every spot on a giraffe’s body is unique, like a fingerprint. This combination of unique elements is reflective of our campus’ diversity and inclusivity.
- Like our students, giraffes reach high for success.
- The giraffe is peaceful and graceful, but when threatened, it is a force to be reckoned with, as is our student body (Google “Giraffe vs lion,” it’s hardcore).
- Giraffes literally have the largest heart of any land animal, just like our students.
- It’s already our school colors.
- “The Long Beach Longnecks” has a nice ring to it.
My post promoting a giraffe mascot was one of the most popular posts overall on Imagine Beach 2030, the online discussion about LBSU’s future. On Twitter, LBSU President Jane Conoley said, “I love your analysis. Diversity. Uniqueness. Big heart. Peaceful. Reaching high. Black and Gold. All good.” Students and faculty can clearly see the giraffe’s full potential.
If you would like to show your support for the giraffe, scan the QR code with your camera app and it will take you to a petition. You can also use the hashtag #longbeachlongnecks and follow @Giraffe4Mascot on Twitter for updates and witty giraffe jokes. Stand tall, Long Beach!