Administrative Executive Editor
The crowds cheer, a goal is scored or a basket is made, the cheerleading team do their routine, but the Keene State College Owl mascot is nowhere to be seen.
Assistant AD for Sports Information Compliance and Operations Abe Osheyack said he thinks a major reason why they haven’t been able to find a volunteer to be Hootie the Owl is because the Athletics department had to remove it as a paid position from the Work Studies Program. Osheyack said, “It’s not a job opening we chose not to pursue. It’s always been a little difficult to find a consistent Hootie.”
2018 KSC Alumnis Dominique Pascoal was employed as Hootie starting in 2016, her sophomore year and ending when she graduated. Pascoal said, “I didn’t do it for the money…it was just fun.” She said she accepted and enjoyed this position as it gave her the opportunity to do whatever she wanted and practice crazy antics without people knowing it was her.
“It was something I always wanted to do – just a personal endeavor.” Pascoal said.
Osheyack said, “to find a student who has the kind of A. the flexibility to deal with that schedule and B. is not really concerned with a consistent wage sometimes proves a little bit difficult. Combine all of that with what you want someone in the suit to do and that’s even more challenging.”
Osheyack said a lot of students say they want to take the position without considering what it takes to be the Hootie of KSC. “the idea of being a mascot is kind of a romantic one.” Osheyack said. He added that often times when students come in to talk about becoming the mascot they don’t consider how hot the suit becomes, how heavy it can be, or the complications with schedule conflicts.
Pascoal said, “One day I just showed up and I told Abe ‘I want to be in the suit.’ And he was like ‘Ok awesome, we’ll pay you.’ And I said ‘You’re gonna pay me! Even better.’” Pascoal said this was an opportunity for her to play a character in someone outside a theatrical performance. Osheyack said that anyone who wants to be a mascot can reach out to him.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org