Why Millie the Bear?

by Katherine Aliano Ruiz

Lately there’s been a smidge of debate around campus about our mascot, Millie the Dancing Bear. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the bear part of the equation, it’s the dancing that seems to set people off. Technically, dancing bears of the olden days were animals submitted to immense cruelty. But Millie the Bear, named after the first president of Barnard, Millicent McIntosh, was derived from Frederick A. P. Barnard’s family arms and seems to dance out of her love for the zest of life. Millie’s place on her throne isn’t being threatened, but here are some would-be usurpers:

In this hypothetical election, we’re voting for dragons.

Dragons
Dragons are poised to be the next symbol of femininity, I can feel it (Shrek anyone?). And just think,  if our mascot was a dragon we’d all by default be Khaleesis. While every other school is yelling out boring old cheers, we’d all shout in High Valyrian, “Dracarys!” and have posters that said, “Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Basically we’d be badasses.

Lionesses
It’s well known that lionesses are the ones who do the actual work in the pride—hunting included—while the lions just chill all day. Plus our hard-working, cool lionesses would work out with Columbia’s own Roary the Lion, but hopefully have a less cringe-worthy name (sorry Roary).

Nike

Poor GW

We have to give a shout out to Nike, our scarf wearing, snow-enduring statue. I think it would be nice to have this goddess as our mascot. Having the goddess of victory as a mascot and on your side definitely wouldn’t hurt. But the risk with having a person as a mascot is always that we’ll end up with a terrifying Nike foam costume à la George Washington University’s horrifying mascot.

Bears
Ultimately we have to admit that bears are kind of perfect for Barnard girls.

    1. They love to eat, tearing into salmon with the same voracity as all of us jumping in and taking five piles of sandwiches on Big Sub.
    2. They hibernate during winter.
    3. They are simultaneously adorable and deadly.
    4. They let themselves get furry. 

     Katherine Aliano Ruiz is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

    Image courtesy of The George Washington University.

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    2 thoughts on “Why Millie the Bear?

    1. I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital information. The risk with having a person as a mascot is always there but it looks awesome in the events.I would like to see more posts like this.

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