New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Violets victorious as NYU’s mascot, WSN survey finds

Most students and faculty agreed that NYU’s mascot should be the Violets, not the Bobcats.

Violets or Bobcats? A dilemma that has plagued the minds of NYU students for decades. 

Approximately 73% of students and faculty said they prefer Violets over Bobcats when asked which mascot they preferred as the school’s representative in a WSN survey. 

Of the 500 students and faculty surveyed in Bobst Library, 367 said they preferred Violets as NYU’s mascot, while 132 chose Bobcat. One student could not decide between the two. Sophomore Brielle Karolak said she preferred the “Violet” as the university’s mascot because of its familiarity.

“I feel like ‘Violets’ is used more often than ‘Bobcats,’ so that’s just what I’m used to,” Karolak said.

According to the university’s Faculty Handbook, the Violet mascot stems from the colors of the uniforms NYU athletes have worn for over a century, although the origin of the university color itself is debated. Following a brief period when a student dressed up as a violet flower at sports events, NYU decided Violets “did not instill great awe or foreboding in NYU’s opponents.” 

On Dec. 8, 1983, NYU made the bobcat its official mascot. The name came from a shortened form of Bobst Catalog, a reference to the library’s register of all bibliographic terms.

At the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, however, NYU Athletics underwent an apparent rebranding,  reconstructing the school’s logos and highlighting ‘the Violets.’ The NYU Athletics statement said that post-pandemic, the student body’s desire to compete grew, warranting a change in mascot representation.

Max Oliveira, a sophomore and a member of the NYU baseball team, favored the more popular “Violet” mascot. 

“When the athletic program got a new logo, it was a new era, and we needed to move away from the Bobcats,” Oliveira said.

On the other hand, First-year Milo Castronovo believes the Bobcat would be a better choice for athletic events than the former violet flower.

“Bobcats are a better mascot for sports because we can have someone actually dress up at halftime and hype up the crowd,” Castronovo said. 

The debate between the two mascots has left many students perplexed. First-year Chloe Stone, who is on NYU’s softball team, said she believes that the discourse between two separate mascots only divides an already lackluster university spirit. 

“I’m kind of confused, honestly, because, for sports, our mascot is the ‘Violets,’ but then I guess for the university as a whole it’s the ‘Bobcats,’ I don’t know,” Stone said. “I’m really confused by why we have two, and it does not make sense to me at all.”

Contact Krish Dev and Maisie Zipfel at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with the other Multimedia Editors, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.
Maisie Zipfel, Deputy News Editor
Maisie Zipfel is a first-year double majoring in Journalism and Politics, and double minoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Spanish. She is a Yerba Mate enthusiast, a Taylor Swift fanatic and an anti-Greek Life turned sorority girl (Deeph or Die). When she’s not writing in the WSN basement you can find her isolated in Palladium for NYU’s Competitive Dance Team practice, obsessing over her Four-Year Plan or trying to weave in time to take a nap. You can reach her on instagram @maisiezipfel, on LinkedIn (her favorite social media platform) @MaeZipfel or preferably on Venmo @mkzipfel.
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