By Justin David Tate, Life & Arts Editor
The college is seeking a new mascot by encouraging students to submit their own original designs in a contest to determine the new image that will represent Eastfield.
The student who creates the best design by the deadline of Nov. 13 will win a $500 scholarship for next semester.
Director of Student Life Judy Schwartz, who is coordinating the contest, said she is open to completely overhauling the old mascot from a scythe-wielding farmer to anything ranging from a plant to an animal. As long as it makes sense within the context of being a Harvester, the name of Eastfield’s sports teams, she’s comfortable with change.
“Do we want it to be a man, a shaft of wheat?” Schwartz said. “I think one student drew an ox.”
While the image of the mascot will change, the name Harvesters will remain. Not all students are happy about that. Science major
Keonte Grant would rather the old name leave the field.
“I think they should change both of them, [the image and the name],” Grant said. “I want to be the Eastfield Tigers. It sounds better.”
Graphic design instructor David Danforth argues that changing the name would disregard the college’s history and tradition, something he believes many still hold valuable.
“Some people say, ‘Well, you have new students coming in,’ but there’s a lot of people that are a part of our community that have known Eastfield as the Harvesters for a really long time, and we’d like to keep that tradition,” Danforth said.
Danforth will help turn the winning image, be it paper or digital, into a vector graphic that can be easily transferred to T-shirts, banners, uniforms and other promotional items.
“I’ll probably have to redraw it a little bit, maybe simplify it, but I’ll work one-on-one with the artist,” Danforth said.
Though he will be involved with making the image look professional, Danforth has removed himself from the selection process because many of his own students are entering the competition.
Instead, Schwartz will form a team of students, staff and alumni to vote on the best images.
“We’re going to narrow it down to maybe two or three or four, if there are four really good ones,” Schwartz said. “We’ll create a survey that anybody can go to so that the student body will get a chance to vote.”
The voting period will be during the last three weeks of the semester to give students time to vote before their holiday break.
By next semester, the college will have a new mascot and Schwartz will finally get to spend the $3,000 set aside for a costume after almost using the money for an unusable mascot last year.
That’s when the college received a cease and desist letter from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) asking it to stop using the former Harvesters logo due to its similarities to UTEP’s Miners logo. The college has since removed all promotional items that contained the former Harvesters mascot and Schwartz is excited about the opportunity to find a replacement.
“I’ve got money saved. I really want to buy a head,” Schwartz said. “If it’s an animal that needs a whole suit, we’ll buy it and have a mascot that’ll go to the ballgames, that will be out on campus during orientation and registration week, go out to the chamber of commerce events and let people know Eastfield’s doing important things out here.”
Schwartz hopes instructors will announce the contest to their students.
“This is a real unique opportunity to choose a mascot for your college,” she said. “Not very many people get a chance to do that.”