The University of Northwestern–St. Paul has officially decided to change the university’s mascot from Screech the eagle to Roy the campus dog. In addition, the UNW sports teams will now be called Roy’s Retrievers instead of the Eagles.
For several years, Roy has been a long-standing member of the UNW community, garnering respect and admiration from many members of the student body and faculty. His popularity has grown so much that t-shirts with Roy’s image are sold in the campus store. Many students and faculty across campus recognize this brown-and-white spotted canine wandering around campus and greet him with happy calls and smiles.
Not only does Roy have the admiration of many students, staff, faculty and visitors, he also works hard. While roaming the campus grounds, Roy helps keep the invasive squirrel population in check. He also keeps students safe from these creatures. The number of student/squirrel-related incidents has declined significantly since Roy started coming on campus.
Several students expressed feeling much safer walking to classes with Roy around. “I used to be so scared walking across campus with all those squirrels running about freely. At one point, it seemed like they would take over. Thanks to Roy and his skills in squirrel control, I can walk confidently to my classes without fear of a squirrel ambush,” commented Rebecca Menning, a junior psychology major.
Roy is always on the move, wandering from one end of campus to the other. If they are quick enough, students are sometimes able to get one or two quick pats on Roy’s head before he is off to the other side of campus.
At times, Roy almost seems to be purposely avoiding the attention. When students try to approach him, he often hurries away. The only time Roy ever seems to sit still is when he is getting a ride in the groundskeeping vehicles.
Roy’s constant energy and skillful evasion of students represent the athletic skills of the UNW sports teams. For this reason and others mentioned above, Roy’s hard work and dedication to the university demands that he be offered greater public recognition and respect, which the office of mascot would endow.
Roy’s official role as UNW’s mascot will begin in the fall semester of 2021. Screech the eagle will finish out his role as mascot at the end of the current spring semester. A special ceremony commemorating Screech’s service as mascot and passing the mascot title on to Roy will be held during orientation for the fall 2021 semester. All students are encouraged to attend this ceremony.