Most recently, it has come to the attention of the Student Government Association (SGA) that several students have been fraught with confusion and frustration in regard to the school nickname (Prairie Stars) and the school mascot (Cosmo). Confusion as to what a PrairieStar is and what Cosmo represents. Furthermore, there has been overall frustration with these selections representing the UIS nickname and mascot. A popular and recognizable nickname and mascot is essential for the fundamentals of athletics and school spirit at the university.
As a result, the SGA conducted a survey through the UIS Survey Research Office and found that 75% percent of respondents were in favor of changing the current UIS nickname. SGA has since moved to create a task force to analyze this issue. This task force is charged to reach out to members of the UIS community in order to seek their opinion on the issue, analyze all intended and unintended outcomes of a nickname change, and ultimately provide SGA with a recommendation as to whether the current UIS nickname should be changed. This recommendation will then go to university administration, where a final decision will be made.
All UIS communities were given the opportunity in February to provide feedback to the UIS Nickname Taskforce. The feedback was compiled and will be compiled with additional research. The next step in the process of considering a change from the Prairie Stars is an analysis of cost and other related issues. Following that, all UIS communities including student, employees, and alumni, will be surveyed electronically about changing the nickname and alternatives will be presented. The results of this survey and the results of other analysis will ultimately aid in the final recommendation from the task force to the Student Government Association.
Please like the task force Facebook page here to keep updated and feel free to email the SGA with any concerns.
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