Let Carnegie Mellon’s mythical mascots be known
Carnegie Mellon isn't known for school spirit. People generally attribute this to grueling academics, the almost equal undergraduate-to-graduate student population, and students’ inherent apathy on the subject. In order to enhance Carnegie Mellon’s pride, the university should promote the mascots of each school, just as the School of Computer Science does with its dragon.
On the banners at commencement, creatures and flowers are displayed with the names of other Carnegie Mellon schools: The College of Fine Arts banner displays a lion or chimera, Tepper's banner sports a griffin, and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences depicts a unicorn.
Admittedly, the banners for Heinz College, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the Mellon College of Science exhibit different types of plants, not creatures — but it would be simple to establish mythical creatures as mascots for these departments. The students in MCS would probably trade a phoenix mascot for their current bluebell any day.
Having official mascots for each school — preferably mythical creatures like those of SCS and Dietrich — would not only induce playful competition between schools, but also encourage pride for one’s school and the university as a whole.
Establishing multiple mascots to instill competition and camaraderie is hardly a novel concept: Yale has been doing it for a long time. Each of Yale’s residential houses has its own mascot, from a walrus to a thunder chicken. These may seem like quirky choices for the faces of schools, but they’re no quirkier than Carnegie Mellon's plaid emblem. Students across campus would no doubt enjoy having school-specific mascots that they could call their own.
If mythical mascots like the Tepper griffin were well–known, Carnegie Mellon could even incorporate them into its University Store merchandise. New merchandise would be a welcome change from the numerous and relatively boring realizations of Carnegie Mellon attire.
Pride is important at any university. Mascots could help to achieve the increased sense of pride and school spirit that is in need at Carnegie Mellon.