By MACKS PREWITT and DAVID SILVA
The buzz is out: Eastfield’s new mascot is the bee. The college keep the Harvester name and blue and orange colors, but ditch the long unused image of a farmer for that of a pollinator.
Suggestions to adopt the bee were presented to faculty and staff during the spring, and the decision to implement the mascot was made over the summer.
Although there no official logo image, the bee has already been integrated into college marketing and outreach design elements.
The website now sports a background design that resembles hive-like honeycomb and hexagons abound.
“Come see what the Buzz is all about,” reads a message from President Jean Conway.
While the administration is excited about the change, some student opinions sting.
Marisol Munoz, an education major, thinks there are better options.
“In a way I see it, but why not a bear?” she asked. “It doesn’t make sense with the school’s colors because we are blue and orange and bees are black and yellow.”
Mike Harper, a business major, is firmly set against it.
“Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to have the bee as the mascot and to still keep the name Harvesters,” he said.
But student John Hassel, who is considering going into animation, sees the administration’s point.
“I like it,” he said. “I understood it from the moment you said it.”
Also among the bee’s supporters are some of the faculty and staff, including technical theatre coordinator Lori Honeycutt.
“When I heard this news I was overjoyed at the prospect of not only having a mascot, which I believe is integral to fostering school spirit, but also that it is a bee,” she said. “We do, and always have, worked as a family, or a community here to give the students the best opportunities possible going forward. Bees work as a community, working together, taking the load from one another.”
Honeycutt believes that a majority of the faculty and staff support the idea of a bee mascot, and those who oppose it fail to see the benefit it brings.
“I think [they] feel like we’re taking away from something instead of adding to it,” she said. “We’re still the Harvesters. It’s still Eastfield. We’re just adding to that by incorporating community.”
During fall 2017 convocation, Conway officially announced the bee as the mascot, emphasizing that it could be integrated in every aspect of the college experience.
“We want a tough looking image for our athletic teams, but also an image that can be a gentler image,’ she said. “And when we go out to the community, we want a professional image. The bee is an image that is robust and flexible.”
The event, as well as the following celebration, was decorated with hexagon décor, bee trails and a banner that reads “Bee Inspired.”
Conway said the presence of a mascot will benefit branding and school pride, as well as giving students a sense of belonging.
She closed by speaking on how representative the bee is to the goals and spirit of the college.
“Above all, we want an image to portray what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, why,” she said.
An official logo is planned to be finalized in the spring.