November 26, 2020

Embrace the weird, love the Gorlok

Our mascot is weird. This needs no explanation. The Gorlok, our symbol for Webster University, came to fruition in 1984, a strange year for a strange campus.

The name, derived from the well-known intersection of Gore and Lockwood in Old Webster Groves, was chosen before the creature. The paws of a cheetah, the loyal St. Bernard face and the horns of a buffalo comprise this squat, awkward looking creature that usually reaps blank stares when shown to new students.

Plenty of tremendously clever jabs have been taken at our weird little misfit creation. But in light of the Gorlok’s well-publicized victory in a Tucson, Arizona radio competition called “Mascot Madness,” to determine the strangest mascot in the land we have to admit; we at The Journal love the little bugger.

Not because he’s funny, cute, well-designed or logical. No, we love him because he’s as weird and unexpected as Webster University.

A campus full of freaks, outcasts and malcontents could find no better symbol of their own prevailing weirdness than the Gorlok.

Webster University isn’t normal. Known well among locals as a place for drag queens, art majors, high-octane business addicts and film nerds, Webster should honor the unusual Gorlok as they would a particularly “unique” student.

The Journal encourages Webster students to embrace their own inner weirdness.

The eccentric people, the odd music, the various sub-culture twists and disarmingly open dialogue that hang in the air around our campus like a fog are precisely what make the peculiar little Gorlok unapologetically ours.

How contemptuously boring would it be if our mascot were something typical and expected? Somehow, the Webster University Wildcats/Lions/Hawks/Wolves just doesn’t have the same ring to it. People tilt their head when they hear our mascot, much like they do when they meet our students.

Of course, the victory in Tucson is meaningless in the grand scheme. After fervent efforts, The Journal established there was no cash prize for our victory, merely a moment in the sun for our mythical monster.

The Gorlok beat a blob, tapped a keg and creamed a vegetable in this display of school pride and chest-beating. Perhaps it is simply a statement to the unstoppable force of groupthink that so many students could be summoned  to win a contest more than a thousand miles away for a mythical creature concocted in the 1980’s.

Or perhaps it just proves how weird we are after all. Embrace the weird, Webster.

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