With a history of mascot changes, albeit settled, I think there is one more critter that should have a fair shot of being considered mascot.
1. They're adorable.
Tell me they aren't.
2. They eat like us.
Have you ever seen a squirrel on campus turn down a fry? What about a bagel crumb? Now, have you ever seen a college student turn down Starbucks? What about Insomnia? I rest my case.
3. We sort things out the same way.
Have you ever seen a college student ramble through laundry looking for a specific shirt because no other shirt will do? Now, how you ever seen a Grove squirrel chuck through trash? The resemblance is uncanny.
4. Flying squirrels
Okay, flying squirrels sound cool. It may or may not be borderline an oxymoron, but still, it's an actual thing. A land shark? No logical basis.
Can you imagine a sea of people wearing squirrel shirts in the Grove? Imagine school recruiters handing out squirrel themed merch. Think of the pens. Fluffy tailed pens.
6. They understand us.
College students are always looking. Whether it's for our next meal, the assignment we swore we printed out, or a sense of purpose. We are usually looking and seeking for something. Have you seen those little things frantically scrambling around from trashcan to trashcan? That is each of us at one point or another. They understand us more than a silly shark ever could.
There is an old wive's tale that declares walking in the path of a squirrel leads to good luck. Walking in the pathway of a shark is unlikely and swimming in the way of a shark typically does not lead to good luck.
Squirrels move around frantically as if they forgot where they need to be. That is you when you forget your Tuesday lab. You're a squirrel.
Everyone on campus has a squirrel story. Whether it's from recording a friend's close interaction with one and posting it with the caption "The Squirrel Whisperer" or getting an entire fry from Cane's stolen by the tiny bandits, we all have one. A shark story? That's one for the news.
The heart of campus is nearly a dozen acres of beautiful nature. Squirrels will always be a part of that. Even if we don't agree that squirrels are a better mascot, I hope we can all agree that sharks should not be apart of our tailgating activities.