Is there anything more beautiful than a uni’s iconic mascot? Well, of course: have you ever tried day drinking after finishing an exam? But that doesn’t mean that these costumed characters aren’t brilliant. They terrify first years, celebrate with graduates, and can potentially provide employment to those desperate for sushi money.
However, while I do love a whack of university mascots, I also believe that some of them deserve a critique. In Australia, we’re chock-a-block with decent designs and have eight top-tier contenders. So, which critters should be our national treasures? Whelp, I’m glad I asked this strawman’s question, because here’s a ranking of every uni mascot in Oz. You know, excluding the sporting, dorm-room, and completely offline imps.
16. Laurence the Peacock – The University of Western Australia
Laurence is a mascot that may’ve been sent out to the pastures. In 2015, this peacock was indirectly called a “cynical marketing ploy” by a Facebook page called ‘Lawrence.’ He was also critiqued for posting material that made fun of student life and posing in a controversial photo with some street performers. The bird hasn’t been seen on their Instagram since then.
15. Trim the Cat – Flinders University
Trim was a shipmate of Matthew Flinders as he sailed around the 1800s coastline of Australia’s mainland. And more importantly, he’s now a toy cat that once warmed a photocopier. That being said, it’s pretty strange that you’d name a stuffed plaything after an actual dead animal. How about we just let him rest folks?
14. Barry the Bear – University of Melbourne
Spotted Barry yet? #uomopenday pic.twitter.com/XI1X9TNhy8— University of Melbourne (@unimelb) August 21, 2016
Look, I have nothing against Barry. I’m sure that he’s a swell bear. But I will say this: he looks like a Homebrand version of Winnie the Pooh.
13. Phil the Phoenix – University of Southern Queensland
This phoenix isn’t a dumpster-fire chicken. Honestly, I rather like his muppet-esque design. However, this birdie is being neglected. His last FB shout-out was in 2013, and you can’t easily buy ya boy’s merch.
12. Razor the Razorback – Swinburne University of Technology
Razor terrifies me. Not only is he based on a feral pig, he also exudes this hyper-masculine energy. I look into his eyes and feel pressured to skull a litre of Red Bull.
11. Birdy McBirdface – Central Queensland University
#BirdyMcBirdface visited Townsville this week for the senior leadership conference & took the chance to do a little sight-seeing! #cquni pic.twitter.com/pGRnWXUT2G— CQUniversity (@CQUni) October 27, 2017
I don’t love McBirdface’s surname; it truthfully feels a little played out. Nevertheless, I genuinely like how this rosella was given this title. In 2017, the Vice-Chancellor of CQU wanted name suggestions for their new mascot but ruled out Birdy McBirdface. One week later, the masses defied the chancellor’s wishes, and this ridiculous branding was born.
10. Mumford the Lion – University of Tasmania
Thanks to everyone who made #UTASopenday in #Launceston a success, despite a little rain. Mumford, Rosie the Dinosaur and the rest of the #UTAS team will be in #Burnie tomorrow to do it all again! pic.twitter.com/hVB72yWIH7— University of Tasmania (@UTAS_) August 11, 2018
Mumford’s a rad lion on paper who’s also friends with a dinosaur. However, I’ve been extremely wary of anthropomorphic felines ever since the Cats movie came out and used them to make me feel empty.
9. Clancy the Lion – University of New South Wales
Even @MerlinCrossley can't resist a photo with Clancy our lion at #unswopenday pic.twitter.com/PivZWo3aJH— UNSW (@UNSW) September 3, 2016
That’s right, Australia possesses two lion mascots. But what makes Clancy better than Mumford? Well, despite having the UNSW logo branded on their skin, this kitty looks more like an actual cat.
8. Bondy the Bull Shark – Bond University
Bondy is a top-tier mascot if ever I saw one. They not only celebrate Halloween and Valentine’s Day, but they’re also neighbours with the real bull sharks that swim near the uni.
7. Rupert and Ruby – Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
These spiders are the cutest redbacks you’ll ever see. I know that this fact isn’t a high bar to jump over, but RMIT gets bonus points for having multiple mascots.
6. Scottie the Scottish Terrier – Carnegie Mellon University
Get yourself a mascot who can do it all pic.twitter.com/8lkhUVOnbo— Carnegie Mellon (@CarnegieMellon) January 24, 2020
Scottie is a very good boy. He’s a Scottish Terrier wearing a kilt for blimey’s sake! I’d like to raise a glass to the humans at CMU that exported this doggo from Pittsburgh.
5. Charlie the Cockatoo – Charles Sturt University
All sulphur-cresteds are fantastic, ergo Charlie is fantastic. I mean, have you ever admired the cockatoo that tore up those anti-bird spikes?
4. Baxter the Duck – University of Wollongong
The @UOWStudentLife mascot Baxter is loving #uowopenday! pic.twitter.com/s9sHCDCKk2— UOW (@UOW) August 16, 2014
Look y’all, take this grade with a grain of salt. I’m a UOW grad that adores this university’s ducks. I love that they’re everywhere and that they steal bread from Subway. These quackers are prolific, and it’s wonderful that Baxter shines a light upon their infamy.
3. Parchie and Koala – University of South Australia
Parchie and Koala may be the strangest duo in history. I mean, whose idea was it to unite a marsupial with some paper? Having said that, this pair’s friendship is so bizarre, authentic, and wholesome that you can’t help but root for these two.
2. Ernie the Emu – Edith Cowan University
This emu is the best designed mascot in the whole of Oz. His puppet head is genius, and the rider’s fake legs are undiluted comedy gold. If you can look at Ernie without beaming, then you have to unharden your heart.
1. Dayton the Robot – Monash University
#WhereIs? … Oh wait, we've found our mascot Dayton at Clayton campus. Hello! #MonashOpenDay2016 pic.twitter.com/PhyiJofmt7— Monash University (@MonashUni) August 7, 2016
Dayton is The Room of uni mascots. Their chilling design is so bad that it’s perfect. Their costume is a prison made out of comedy. This robot deserves a 0/10 or 10/10. And in my books, they’ll always be an eleven.
So, there you go, a definitive ranking of every uni mascot in Australia. I sincerely hope that Dayton gets an Instagram and a lower-tier character doesn’t kill me while I’m asleep.
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