Getting a Hawk’s-eye view of Laurier

Of all the students employed at Laurier, the person inside the hawk mascot costume has by far the most thankless job.

The overwhelming heat inside the outfit and the perils of being hoisted to the top of a cheerleader pyramid make the job rough enough on its own. On top of that, this person is never allowed to reveal their identity to the adoring Laurier masses.

The Cord met with this individual and learned his or her true identity last week, but is not at liberty to divulge this information. This person will thus be referred to simply as “X”.

“I’m like Batman and Bruce Wayne,” X said.

However, this mystery person doesn’t seem to mind the obscurity.

“It’s cool to represent the school like that, yet no one knows it. It’s like my little secret.”

Interestingly, this individual was only recently hired and has only performed at two football games, including homecoming against Ottawa.

He or she was offered the job upon requesting additional hours through Laurier Athletics to help with car insurance payments. The individual did not apply for the job, and at first laughed at the thought of donning the mascot costume.

In the end, though, fiscal pressures won out, and X decided to try it out.

“I decided to do it, went to the first game, tried it on, tried everything out and I remember sitting there at the beginning just wearing it and thinking ‘oh man, this sucks. I’m sweating buckets in this thing. All this for a car.’

“But then you start getting into it; the crowd’s into it, everyone reacts differently to you and you really do cause a huge reaction, so it’s really fun being this kind of landmark, this image.”

X states that typically he or she is not a school spirit type of person, but that the mask helps him or her transform into a character.

“I’m a pretty shy person, so when I first got out there I was overwhelmed; I didn’t know what to do. But then when you realize you’ve got a big mask on your face, it’s all pretty fun, you get into it.”

“At the same time I’m that one person that walks … on the hawk … it’s a good disguise.”

Aside from the disguise itself, X cites the Hawk Squad – the group of students who attend football game in full spirited attire – as a source of motivation.

But the job hasn’t been all fun and cheering. It has also had its share of precarious moments.

“Last game the cheerleaders grabbed me and threw me up into their little triangle, and I was just sitting there so scared, saying ‘I’m new, I don’t know what to do, are you serious?’”

X then quickly added, “They’re pretty tough, to be honest, those girls. You should see what they can do.”

For now, X will have to make due with a few surprises during the games while learning the ropes of the new job.

And as thankless as it can be to have a job with a secret identity, the work does have at least one reward.

“It puts a smile on my face to think of what it is. And it will be fun to say after university that I was this person.”