Photographs by Cassie LeBel
By Victoria Chiaramonte
The shark mascot image can be found all over Cape Cod Community College (4Cs). From T-shirts to stickers, the shark mascot makes its appearance throughout 4Cs, but what does it represent? Many are confused on what the shark’s purpose is, how 4Cs can better integrate its purpose, or should it be done away with all together?
“It’s the college mascot, it’s not the official logo for the college,” said Casey Pinsonneault, manager of the 4Cs bookstore. “The shark was founded in a competition at 4Cs taking place two years ago which allowed faculty and students to create a school logo.”
The other familiar 4Cs image is the lantern with the statement “Powerful Futures Start Here”. The lantern is the official 4Cs logo that is used in advertising and promotion for the school. The shark mascot’s purpose is to display school spirit.
“What our struggle is, is we don’t have athletics,” said Patrick Stone, 4Cs Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing. “We used to a long time ago, but now it causes some confusion to some students whether we have athletics or not.”
The sight of the mascot leads perspective students and their parents to perceive that the shark is associated with organized sports at 4Cs. Informed that 4Cs has no sports teams creates further confusion as to why the mascot exists. As a first impression, the lack of meaning can bring about doubts whether the students should choose a school that can’t explain its mascot?
“It is a push and pull, because we have it. It’s there, but we don’t have anything to relate it to; necessarily,” said Stone. “I have gotten a lot of feedback from parents and students asking what exactly the shark is; or represents.”
The conversations about what the shark is and how it will be implemented in the future are ongoing, and it is expected to take some time before making any final decisions.
“A lot of it comes down to the student’s feedback and what they want the shark to be,” said Stone. How the shark is used in future semesters comes down to how the majority of students feel about it.
“The mascot brings a sense of belonging, college spirit and acceptance, but there is a lot that goes into planning and strategizing how we can make it relevant,” said Stone.
There has been some conversation discussing if the shark should be on any of the merchandise in the 4Cs bookstore.
“In the communications department we don’t use the shark in our branding anymore,” said Stone. “Minor things seem unimportant, but they make a big difference.”
Even though the issues are there, nothing can be done until further discussion is had.
“Unfortunately, until we sell through what we have there isn’t much we can do,” said Pinsonneault of the shark emblazoned merchandise that lingers in the student bookstore.
Until more discussion has taken place, and more opinions have been heard, there cannot be a final decision to what exactly will be done with the shark mascot. The shark, for now, is our mascot to promote school spirit.