Illinois says no plans for new mascot after Belted Kingfisher passes student vote

In a non-binding resolution, 4,222 students voted to adopt the blue and orange bird, while 3,597 voted against it.

SHARE Illinois says no plans for new mascot after Belted Kingfisher passes student vote
Screen_Shot_2020_03_10_at_2.27.17_PM.png

A mockup of an Illinois logo with the Belted Kingfisher.

Spencer Hulsey/Originally posted on Reddit

The University of Illinois says it has no plans to unveil a new mascot after students voted in a non-binding referendum last week to adopt a blue and orange bird as the official replacement for Chief Illiniwek.

Students at the university in Champaign were polled by the student election commission last week on whether they wanted to adopt a blue and orange Belted Kingfisher, a bird commonly found across North America, as their new mascot. According to results released Monday night, 4,222 voted in favor of the bird, while 3,597 voted against it.

Given that the poll was non-binding, the school does not have to embrace the new mascot at this time. A spokesperson for university chancellor Robert Jones told The News-Gazette that the vote results will be shared university administrators and the board of trustees.

This is a different result from the last push for a new Illinois mascot: When the “Alma Otter” went to a non-binding vote in the spring of 2019, 3,807 students voted against it compared to only 3,510 for the furry mammal.

So the school did take a step closer to its first official mascot since 2007 this week, but there’s still more that needs to happen before a blue and orange bird is running around State Farm Center.

The Latest
The officer was the second hurt by shattered glass in less than an hour early Sunday.
“You don’t need the ordinance, you need common sense,” Dr. Demetra Soter said. “This management company knew what to do and didn’t do it.”
Tierra Franklin was fatally shot Friday near the parking lot of a business in the 2500 block of South Kolin Avenue.
In fatal attacks this weekend, a woman was killed and a gunman was among two others wounded in a shootout Friday night in Chinatown, Chicago police said.
The second edition and first paperback of “Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois” was released Tuesday.