MANHATTAN — The New School Narwhals?
Greenwich Village's New School will soon vote on its first school mascot — and the candidates are anything but ordinary.
Next Thursday, Oct. 25, students will choose from six characters that could appear on merchandise: the Narwhals, Owls, Villagers, Trail Blazers, Swans and Red-Tailed Hawks.
The director of the school's office for recreation and intramural sports, which is running the contest, said the offbeat, student-submitted options reflect the unique identity of the school.
"People here are not thinking mainstream, like Bears or Wildcats," said Diane Yee.
Each candidate includes a short description of why it is appropriate for the school. For example, the Narwhal is "friendly but fierce," the Swan is "beautiful and monogamous, but very aggressive" and the Villager "is one who thrives in and has intrinsic knowledge of an area," the school's website says.
Yee explained that even though The New School is a creative, urban university, students still want a feeling of community.
"There is an interest in having a mascot for identity purposes and to boost school spirit," she said.
The winning mascot could even appear in the form of someone in costume riling up crowds at athletic events.
The New School has intercollegiate men's basketball, as well as women's and men's cross-country running teams. There are intramural teams for volleyball, soccer and more, and regular classes in yoga and Zumba.
Anyone with a New School ID number and valid New School email address can vote online for their favorite mascot Thursday, Oct. 25.
Students will get the opportunity to vote on a design for the selected mascot later this year.