SGA breathes life into Cavalier

By Diana Campeggio
September 22, 2010

The redesign of the new and improved Cavalier costume and logo hopes to promote a rejuvenated sense of school spirit throughout the Cabrini community.

The Student Government Association worked with both the athletic department and Students Engagement and Leadership to create an improved Cabrini icon that would help school spirit around campus flourish.

“I think that many of us on campus felt like we needed a new costume and a new design,” Anne Filippone, director of SEaL, said. “But Student Government was really the group that came forward and said we are lacking pride on campus and we needed to do something about it.”

The athletic department knew that a new mascot costume was needed because the previous costume was in pretty bad shape.

The departments came together in the spring of 2010 to come up with a contest in which students could submit their ideas to update the mascot.

“Let’s come up with a contest to develop a new logo and to design the costume to let the students feel included and invested and we get what we want which is maybe a little bit more school spirit, a new costume and a new logo,” Joe Giunta, director of athletics and recreation, said.

SEaL received eight different submissions for the contest from students, faculty and staff, alumni and even one parent.  The SGA, SEaL, athletic, marketing and communication departments came together to agree on a winner.

“I did have something in mind, yet I was open to what the students came up with and what they wanted,” Giunta said.

The students questioned why the previous mascot scarcely came to athletic games and other events on campus and were envious of Eastern University’s pride in their mascot.

“We are so competitive with them and we don’t have anything that rivals that,” Filippone said.

Students were also disappointed in the mascot’s lack of participation at sporting and campus events.

“Some of the students last year were angry that school spirit was lacking and it was something that we felt very passionately about,” John Solewin, president of SGA and senior political science and history double major, said.

In the end, the departments found two clear winners and decided on the ideas of two graphic design majors.

Anthony Casazza, ’10, who is behind the development of the logo while Brian Birdsall, ’10, designed the mascot’s costume.  They were notified at the end of the spring semester that the college was choosing their ideas.

Some people might think that the use of another logo seems unnecessary but in fact many schools have two or three different logos.  Cabrini has not had a logo that displayed the mascot for many years.

“I wanted to create something that was intimidating but also recognizable as a cavalier,” Casazza said in a recent telephone interview. “I think they needed a logo that showed the actual mascot.”

Casazza drew up several different logos before deciding on his submission.  Once chosen, he submitted several versions of the mascot logo in both black and white and variations of the school’s colors.  The only thing that Cabrini wished to change was the font type, which Casazza resubmitted.

The newly created mascot logo did not cost anything to develop.  Because the development of the logo was completely internal, with the help of the marketing and communication department, no money needed to go into the development.

The logo will begin to make its appearance on merchandise within the bookstore in a few weeks but is already available through the CAVS club, an organization that helps supports Cabrini athletics.  It is also swiftly adorning several sports uniforms and their gear, but the logo will soon be available for everyone to access.

SEaL will also continue to give out shirts with the new logo throughout the semester at different campus events and athletic games.

“It’s cool to have students and the whole community like a logo or a mark and to be proud of it and want to wear it,” Giunta said.

The mascot costume debuted at Move-In day on Aug. 19 and received a positive response from students.

“I was walking around with him and the turn out of kids that were flocking to him was incredible,” Solewin said. “Everyone wanted a picture, to give him a hug and I’m happy to see that our hard work paid off.”

The mascot costume was a larger financial investment but the campus completely supported the cost.  The cost of the costume was added to the athletic department’s budget for the year and no funding from other athletics was used in purchasing the costume.

Brian Birdsall was not available for comment on his role in designing the mascot costume.

“I’m not surprised he also won,” Casazza said. “He is very talented.”

The athletic department could not release the name of the person behind the Cavalier costume.  The school believes in keeping this a secret to promote the mascot as a symbol of Cabrini Cavaliers and not a man or woman in a costume.

“We knew of a student who was interested in doing it,” Giunta said, “and because we got the costume so close to the beginning of school and move-in day was the first day we rolled it out, this student was interested and available.”

The departments hope that students begin talking about the new costume and logo and embrace them positively.

“Students are really excited about it so I think that was the outcome we were hoping for and really wanted,” Filippone said.

The Cavalier has already been to Move-In Day, Cabrini night at the Phillies game, and the orientation picnic.  SGA has worked with the athletic department to set up a few larger athletic games that will be preceded with a pep rally, in which the Cavalier will attend.

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Diana Campeggio

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