Red For The Win!

Rachel Dobkin, Staff Writer |

SUNY Oneonta’s very own college mascot, Red, was crowned winner of SUNY’s 2021 Mascot Madness competition by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. After beating 33 other SUNY schools, Red will take on the title of “New York’s favorite college mascot!”

In congratulating Red, Chancellor Malatras said the SUNY Oneonta community has “banded together and come back in a big way this year.” He went on to say, “We know that this year has been a unique one for sports and finding ways to show off school spirit in a safe manner. Mascot Madness has been a bright spot for us all in the SUNY family, giving people the opportunity to vote for their favorite mascot and participate in friendly competition.”

Jessica Reynolds, who was the lead person on Red’s campaign, said, “We were all very excited to hear from SUNY that Red had officially won and to be able to share that news with our campus community. In the end, it felt like a win for our whole campus because it was all because of their votes. Red couldn’t have done it without them.”

SUNY Oneonta gained a lot of student participation during the competition. Although our college doesn’t have official numbers, Reynolds said, “Based on clicks on links in emails and swipe-ups in Instagram, it seems like students really got into it and voted each day.” Reynolds said the school tried to increase participation by featuring “Red in different ways throughout the competition on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, taking a look back at Red’s makeovers over the years, offering a list of reasons why Red is the best, and using fun photos from the past.” They took advantage of Instagram Stories and Snapchat where they could include links to the voting site. The college’s Social Media Users Group also spread the word about the competition on their social channels.

Reynolds reflected on why it’s important to have competitions like Mascot Madness. She said, “Especially during this time, it’s a great way to foster school spirit and offers a chance for all of us to come together virtually and rally around a common cause. I think Student Association President Gabby Cecere put it best in the press release we sent out announcing the win: ‘It’s been really fun for us as students to vote for Red in each Mascot Madness round and see our mascot advance over all these other schools. Having Red win, the whole thing is a bright spot in the semester for us and for our campus community.’”

Red would also like to thank the Oneonta community. Reynolds said on behalf of Red, “We did it! This was my first year competing in Mascot Madness since 2016, and I’ve really missed being at in-person athletic and admissions events this past year, so I was FIRED UP and ready to battle! Red Dragons are extremely loyal and stick together. I’m so grateful to all of my fans who voted for me during each round.”

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