Professor argues university’s sports mascot too angry

The University of Iowa’s team mascot, Herky the Hawkeye may be damagung some of the students there. Or so Professor Resmiye Oral seems to think. In a letter to the Athletic Department she voiced her concerns, as the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported:

“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UI, wrote recently in an email to UI athletic department officials. “And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words. However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, faces conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community.”

The email was included in a message Oral sent Tuesday morning to other members of the UI Faculty Senate, where she is one of the representatives from the UI Carver College of Medicine.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Oral said she has been concerned for some time with the lack of emotional variety displayed in the images of the university’s long-standing mascot — specifically the Fighting Herky, the "Old School" Flying Herky and the Tigerhawk logo developed by retired Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry.

These students at the 2016 orientation just held do not look terribly traumatized by the “angry, to say the least” Herky standing behind them:

In fairness, the good professor does not want to enforce a blissed out bird on the students:

Her intention, she said, is to bring diversity to how Herky feels, not to eliminate the ambitious, competitive, go-getter Herky.

But what about aggressive and angry?

Perhaps the professor, who received her medical degree in Turkey, is not fully attuned to the ritual combat Americans relish on the gridiron. After all, even a figure as benign as Methodist Bishop John Wesley has been immortalized by the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops.

He looks kind of P.O.’d, if you ask me.

Professor Oral specializes in “child protection,” and directs the Child Protection Program at the university. So she may be habitually looking for threats. And in a well-publicized case she was rebuked by a judge for hypothesizing an injury to a baby that the jurist found wanting. From the AP:

A judge has found an Iowa man not guilty of shaking and injuring his newborn baby, sharply criticizing a doctor at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for mishandling the investigation into the child's injuries.

Prosecutors failed to prove former Davenport resident Peter Ranke abused the 3-week-old child, whose injuries to the brain and bones may have been caused by other medical conditions, District Judge John Telleen ruled.

"Frankly, I have some serious doubt whether a crime was even committed here," Telleen said from the bench in October after overseeing the trial, finding Ranke not guilty of child endangerment charges. A transcript was included in a written decision this month dismissing the case against Ranke, now 31 and living in Chicago.

Telleen's said UIHC pediatrician Resmiye Oral, director of its child protection program and an expert in shaken baby syndrome, rushed to judgment and failed to investigate other plausible causes of the injuries.

Come to think of it, there is one sport mascot that presents a friendly and smiling face:

Oops, I am guessing Professor Oral would not approve.

Which university will be the first to change its mascot to a snowflake and rename its athletic teams the Snowflakes? I have to admit, “The Battling Snowflakes” doesn’t work very well, but then again, the entire idea these days is project sensitivity, frailty, and an on-the-edge-of-emotional-collapse face to the general public if you are an institution of higher education. Perhaps the “Sensitive Snowflakes” will become famous for forfeiting every game because it is just not nice to compete, since somebody will lose and be traumatized.

The University of Iowa’s team mascot, Herky the Hawkeye may be damagung some of the students there. Or so Professor Resmiye Oral seems to think. In a letter to the Athletic Department she voiced her concerns, as the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported:

“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UI, wrote recently in an email to UI athletic department officials. “And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words. However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, faces conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community.”

The email was included in a message Oral sent Tuesday morning to other members of the UI Faculty Senate, where she is one of the representatives from the UI Carver College of Medicine.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Oral said she has been concerned for some time with the lack of emotional variety displayed in the images of the university’s long-standing mascot — specifically the Fighting Herky, the "Old School" Flying Herky and the Tigerhawk logo developed by retired Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry.

These students at the 2016 orientation just held do not look terribly traumatized by the “angry, to say the least” Herky standing behind them:

In fairness, the good professor does not want to enforce a blissed out bird on the students:

Her intention, she said, is to bring diversity to how Herky feels, not to eliminate the ambitious, competitive, go-getter Herky.

But what about aggressive and angry?

Perhaps the professor, who received her medical degree in Turkey, is not fully attuned to the ritual combat Americans relish on the gridiron. After all, even a figure as benign as Methodist Bishop John Wesley has been immortalized by the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops.

He looks kind of P.O.’d, if you ask me.

Professor Oral specializes in “child protection,” and directs the Child Protection Program at the university. So she may be habitually looking for threats. And in a well-publicized case she was rebuked by a judge for hypothesizing an injury to a baby that the jurist found wanting. From the AP:

A judge has found an Iowa man not guilty of shaking and injuring his newborn baby, sharply criticizing a doctor at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for mishandling the investigation into the child's injuries.

Prosecutors failed to prove former Davenport resident Peter Ranke abused the 3-week-old child, whose injuries to the brain and bones may have been caused by other medical conditions, District Judge John Telleen ruled.

"Frankly, I have some serious doubt whether a crime was even committed here," Telleen said from the bench in October after overseeing the trial, finding Ranke not guilty of child endangerment charges. A transcript was included in a written decision this month dismissing the case against Ranke, now 31 and living in Chicago.

Telleen's said UIHC pediatrician Resmiye Oral, director of its child protection program and an expert in shaken baby syndrome, rushed to judgment and failed to investigate other plausible causes of the injuries.

Come to think of it, there is one sport mascot that presents a friendly and smiling face:

Oops, I am guessing Professor Oral would not approve.

Which university will be the first to change its mascot to a snowflake and rename its athletic teams the Snowflakes? I have to admit, “The Battling Snowflakes” doesn’t work very well, but then again, the entire idea these days is project sensitivity, frailty, and an on-the-edge-of-emotional-collapse face to the general public if you are an institution of higher education. Perhaps the “Sensitive Snowflakes” will become famous for forfeiting every game because it is just not nice to compete, since somebody will lose and be traumatized.