The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 33.0°F | A Few Clouds


We Are Beavers All

Akshay Patil

I’ve always been a fan of nerds. In moderation, nerdiness is a quality that should be admired and encouraged in everyone. There are times, however, when we get carried away by the sensuality of being a nerd and do things that we may regret later. We make decisions that at first may seem fine, but over time they begin to lose their appeal.

I’m talking about the Engineers. Not the student engineers. I’m talking about our sports teams.

When did we decide that we would ignore our school’s mascot and call our sports teams “the Engineers?” I mean, it sounds like a perfectly nerdy thing to do, and MIT most definitely epitomizes nerd-like tendencies, but still.

It makes no sense to relegate our beloved beaver to the same position as the Stanford tree. No one understands why the Stanford Cardinal have a tree on their uniforms except for the reason that no sports team would ever call itself “the Trees.” But Tim the Beaver isn’t some boring object that evokes no emotion. He embodies our engineering spirit in small, furry animal form. We should not strip him of his dignity by denying him the honor he deserves.

Even our “fight song” makes no mention of “the Engineers” but does boldly state “We are beavers all.” Whether it really is our fight song isn’t quite clear, but ask any student what our fight song is, and you’ll be sure to get “the beaver call.”

The only real opposition that people have to naming our sports teams after our mascot is that there tends to be some flustering that comes along with shouting “Go Beavers!” at a female sports event. But I ask, aren’t we in college now? Maybe, perhaps just a little past those days of snickering and poking in high school health class? People already throw around the innuendos in other fields, so one more doesn’t really matter, does it?

Maybe the men’s football team will want to beat me up because they don’t like the name. Makes me even more so the nerd, I guess.

If “the Beavers” truly is an unacceptable name, then maybe call them “the Castors” or something like that (“Castor” is not only a Greek hero, but also the genus name of beavers). At the very least, let’s acknowledge Tim and give him the respect he deserves, instead of demoting him to the status of an unloved tree.