Campus Free Speech

This Iowa Professor Thinks Herky the Hawk Mascot Promotes Violence, Discrimination

Herky's face ' conveys an invitation to violence.'



A professor at the University of Iowa has a problem with its sports mascot, Herky the Hawk: he looks too angry, and if delicate students are exposed to images of a fake scowling bird, they might just kill themselves.

Pediatrics Professor Resmiye Oral wrote to the athletic department to request that Herky be given a different expression. "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," she wrote, according to The Iowa City Press-Citizen.

She later said that Herky's currenty expression is "against the nonviolent, all accepting, nondiscriminatory messages we are trying to convey through campus."

Here is Herky the Hawk.

To be absolutely clear: No students are actually expressing fear, depression, or a desire to hurt other people because they are triggered by Herky. Only one person thinks this might be a problem: Oral.