Op-Ed: Panther Pride? — Archer’s mascot needs an update


Archer’s mascot, the Panther, demonstrates its team spirit during the game. Leyla Namazie ’17 and Kaia Turowski ’17 each took turns in the Panther suit for the night. Photo by Meghan Marshall ’17.

From the NFL’s Carolina Panthers to the 2018 blockbuster movie “Black Panther,” there have been a lot of panthers in the media recently.

But does this large cat really encapsulate what it means to be an Archer girl?

You’ve probably seen the mascot posing in the Winter Wonderland photo booth or parading the field during half-time of a soccer game. Someone might put up a “panther paw” during an assembly to get the crowd to quiet down. Panthers are often associated with aggression, power and courage. Although these traits can be positive, we believe that the current mascot does not capture the true spirit of Archer.

Archer’s identity is inherently feminist and tied to Greco-Roman mythology. The school itself is named for Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and protectress of women. Mythological names are already abundant at our school: The Arrow, The Artemis Magazine, Hestia’s Flame, The Oracle, etc.

So why does this theme not continue into our mascot?

Many meaningful symbols are associated with the goddess Diana. Some of our favorite options are the Heroes, the Stars (which would also pay tribute to the original Eastern Star Home), the Hunters or the Arrows. 

These are just a few of the potential options, which are more connected to Archer’s history and feminist, mythological identity, and there are many other options that could be interesting to discuss. Revamping our mascot would also work well with our new athletics logo of Diana.

Ultimately our goal isn’t for the two of us to decide on our official new mascot but to rather open the up conversation regarding a potential change to the entire community. Archer is a unique school with a strong identity. It’s time we have a mascot that reflects that.