March is a month that revolves around college basketball and Mascot Madness is a competition throughout the Pennsylvania state schools to bring students, alumni and friends together to participate in a fun competition.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) created this competition to involve each state school and their mascot in the month-long basketball tournament and to emphasize the pride of the state system.
Mascot Madness aims to direct eyes to the official social media accounts of each university. The voting of the mascots takes place on Twitter.
Freshman psychology major, Nicolette Glenn said she’s always loved the concept of Mascot Madness.
“I think it’s really cool that I now get to be a part of the contest,” Glenn said.
The schools competing from the western PSAC division are California, Indiana, Shippensburg, Clarion, Lock Haven, Edinboro and Slippery Rock. The east includes: Bloomsburg, Cheyney, East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Kutztown, Westchester and Mansfield.
The competition goes through four different voting rounds to eliminate mascots in order to make their way to the two remaining mascots.
The championship took place on April 4. which is the same day as the NCAA Tournament championship game.
For the second straight year, Slippery Rock University’s mascot, Rocky, made it to the finals and competed against Kutztown University’s mascot, Avalanche, in the championship round of the Mascot Madness contest.
Senior business management major and president of Green and White Society, Samantha Rivet said Rocky is always ready to get other students involved and engaged around campus.
Rocky was not always the mascot Rivet said. The first mascot of Slippery Rock University looked like an actual rock. The second mascot displayed the pride of SRU, but didn’t fully represent the university’s look. Our newest mascot since 2007 represents the pride and originality of Slippery Rock with great honor.
Rock Nation wanted to help propel SRU to victory in this contest by encouraging all supporters to visit SRU’s website to cast their votes for Rocky. People also shared the voting link on social media which allowed additional users to become aware of the voting.
The voting for the final round started Monday morning and ended on Tuesday morning. Everyone was told to use the hashtags #MascotMadness and #VoteRocky on their Twitter accounts to raise awareness.
“I was tweeting and trying to get everyone to vote because I love Slippery Rock University and I wanted everyone else to show that they do too,” Rivet said.
Rocky campaigned in Boozel Dining Hall on Monday at both lunchtime and dinner. He took pictures with students walking through the doors and made his way around the inside of the dining hall to spread the word.
“Rocky had so much energy and it just made everyone hope even more that we would win,” Glenn said.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education announced the champion Tuesday afternoon via Twitter after all of the votes were cast. Kutztown’s Avalanche was declared the winner of the 2016 PASSHE Mascot Madness contest coming in with 6,153 votes. Rocky was 15 votes behind finalizing at 6,138.
“Next year, we as a campus could make a whole spirit week of events promoting Rocky to let everyone know about the contest and finally take the victory,” Rivet said.
The students around campus and the Slippery Rock community are still very pleased that Rocky made it to the championship round and hope to take the title next year.
“This competition reminds students to keep their pride in our mascot, and I think that is really important,” Glenn said.