Below, the UNews editorial team writes our first impressions of the re-redesign of the Billiken, which was unveiled on Wednesday night.
Tom: My initial thought on the newest incarnation of the Billiken was that his chin is entirely too big. But that’s okay, because it is not the old Billiken, and quite better than the two-toned devil that we held as our mascot for a few short months. I can’t imagine the widespread reaction being too negative, simply because the mascot is an improvement on what we previously had. While the new one is not terrible by any means, I still yearn for the old Billiken who was harmless and goofy looking in contrast to the “angry” look the new Billiken has.
Trevor: The new new Billiken looks like a combination of the Billiken introduced in the fall and the previous mascot. I think it’s a good compromise between the two, looking a little softer than the fall Billiken and less like the TCU horned frog but still looking tougher than the old mascot. That said, I think the University should have spent its money on something other than a mascot in a time of budget cuts. I do not believe people, especially students, peruse a school’s logo or mascot when deciding where to spend their next four years. Faculty matter more than logos and mascots.
Lauren: The best part of this Billiken is that we all know that it could be worse because we’ve seen worse in the two-toned devil that once graced our presence last fall. I’m mostly happy the administration listened to the backlash and responded so quickly. However, I do miss the wink of the old Billiken. It also still has overly sharp facial angles. The craziest part of the whole modification process was the addition of a chin with an exceptionally large surface area. It’s almost impressive. Overall, would the new mascot be a figure that I would want to run up to and hug? No. Would I want to take a selfie with the new Billiken? Still probably no. But, at least I won’t have nightmares about this one. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Kendra: At first glance, the new Billiken seems much less terrifying than the last. On closer inspection though, I notice that it still looks too threatening. I suppose it is understandable since it represents SLU at sporting events where we want to seem more intimidating than we actually are. The chin is the worst part. The weird dimple on the bottom is like a second mouth from which I cannot look away. I think I feel so outraged about the new Billiken in general because I believe that the money spent on the rebranding could have been better used somewhere else. Change is good, but I think the SLU administration should have asked themselves if it was necessary before deciding to fix something that was not broken to begin with.
Alexis: The newest Billiken reveal was not nearly as jarring as the reveal only a few months ago. While the new Bill has both eyes wide open, rather than its winking predecessor, his eyebrows still prove a tad menacing for the traditionally cheery mascot. Its closed-mouth smile is a far better improvement than the gaping void of a smile which occupied the previous mascot. While I can understand the two-toned Billiken in the marketing logo, the mascot appears much more aesthetic as the traditional white Billiken we’ve all come to know and love. Amongst the heated political and social debates of 2016, the light issue of the mascot has brought about a good-humored passion from fans and alumni across the country, but has proved that it’s virtually impossible to please everyone.
Kyle: My thoughts? Enough is enough. No more change! This is my last semester at this school, and this school is hardly recognizable from when I first arrived. In just four short years, I’ve witnessed a mascot redesign, a mascot re-redesign, a new logo, new dining halls, new residence halls, a new Humphrey’s — I’m even graduating with degrees from a department that no longer exists. Why all the change? Why does everything need a sleek, sexy overhaul? The latest iteration of the Billiken is, admittedly, an improvement upon the abomination released last fall, but I can’t help but feel that some things are better left unchanged.
Megan: I like this version of the Billiken much better than the previous redesign, however, I will always love the old Billiken. With that being said, I’ll miss the wink but at least it’s one color again. The two-tone was a weird attempt at trying to be dynamic or something? It’s intense but not scary like the previous version and still seems playfully competitive. Frankly, I’m glad the suspense is over and we can all move on. In a few months, maybe we won’t miss the way things used to be so much.