Sparkles the Unicorn

Drawing by Skip Scanlin of the College of Western Idaho’s unofficial mascot, Sparkles the Unicorn.

For more than 10 years, the College of Western Idaho has had an unofficial mascot. A sparkly, mythical, galloping mascot, writes Idaho Press reporter Erin Bamer. As CWI officials work to develop an official mascot for the community college, some students and staff are speaking up in protest because the unofficial mascot, named "Sparkles the Unicorn," is not in the running.

At a board of trustees meeting in September, board Chairman C.A. “Skip” Smyser requested that CWI officials work to create an official college mascot, after noting that the school did not have one. A committee was created, chaired by trustee Mark Dunham, which developed six options that were revealed to the community in an online survey that was meant to gather feedback and was open to the general public.

The options: Bighorns, Birds of Prey, Garnets, Horned Owls, Otters and Tumbleweeds. The committee will present the top three choices to the board Tuesday, though Dunham said trustees might not select a final pick yet.

But some in the campus community are upset that "Sparkles" isn't on the list; the whimsical mascot was born when the college first opened in former BSU digs and some sought to modify the Bronco logos that abounded by adding horns. It's been used for years by CWI's top-ranking debate team. You can read Bamer's full story here at, or pick up Saturday's edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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