By Katelyn Marshall
Volunteer State Community College would like students to apply to become the next mascot for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year.
“We are looking for at least four students who will be enrolled in Vol State classes this coming fall, are academically progressing well in their classes, can fit comfortably into the costume, can walk in costume, and be reliable to show up to events to portray Patch,” said Tabitha Sherrell, the Vol State coordinator of Student Activities for seven years. Sherrell also co-advises the Student Government Association (SGA) and advises the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Eric Melcher, who has been working as the coordinator of Public Relations and Marketing at Vol State for 13 years with prior work in television news for 18 years, explained how Patch the mascot was discovered ,
“We have seen in our work with other schools that college students are more interested in mascots than they have been in the past. This came about from focus groups with college students from other schools and presentations at conferences.”
Melcher added that Vol State had been without a mascot for many years, “When last used, it was a Pioneer. We decided it needed an update. So, we developed the Pioneer mascot, based on a design by a freelance artist named Cindy Stone. She does much of the design work for Vol State.”
Vol State started a naming contest for Patch in October of 2017 and Patch was picked as the winning name, said Melcher .
The responsibilities of being Patch include attending a selection of events and conducting himself or herself in a suitable manner required of representatives of Vol State.
More information about the responsibilities of Patch is in the application.
“The application is available in the Student Engagement and Support office, Wood 215,” Sherrell said.
“Students who are chosen to be Patch will receive a $300.00 book scholarship in the fall and again in the spring as long as they fulfill their responsibilities,” Sherrell said.
The importance of Patch the mascot to Vol State, “is meant to boost spirit and showcase that Vol State’s mascot is the Pioneer,” Sherrell explained. “The goal is to have Patch at different events throughout the year to boost pioneer pride.”
“It’s nice to have a logo specifically for athletics and for fun,” Melcher said. “It provides a human element to our name.”
The deadline to apply is Friday, April 5, 2019, according to Sherrell.