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COVER STORY

The Most Iconic Mascot Yet: SMU’s New Icon ‘SMOONG’

Kicker : COVER STORY The Most Iconic Mascot Yet: SMU’s New Icon ‘SMOONG’ Deer-inspired character became SMU students’ inspiration Do-Hyuk Kim, Reporter ndapple0921@gmail.com Universities normally designate attractive characters as their mascot, and while some underestimate its effect, it can make a profound impact on undergraduates and prospective students who will apply to SMU. Strengthening SMU students’ love of their school and publicizing SMU effectively to university-overcrowded world can be done simultaneously with one character that draws attention. SMU did have our own symbol – a deer – which was, to be honest, far from the word ‘appealing’, but we didn’t have a proper mascot to seriously promote the school to others. That’s the story until now. Behold ‘SMOONG’, our first ever proper mascot for SMU. SMOONG has quite an unusual, yet dramatic story to be a representative of SMU, so let’s take some time to appreciate and take a deep dive into it. SMOONG made its debut in the online community ‘EVERYTIME’, a place where SMU students gather and share their thoughts. SMOONG originally had no name – just called as a characterized deer – but high praise from SMU students and outstanding popularity immediately called for the necessity of a name, so the creator of SMOONG decided to call the character ‘SMOONG.’ That was last year’s September, making the birth of SMOONG, and the genesis of SMU’s representative, yet introductory character. It’s hard to pick a defining characteristic which instantly draws attention to SMOONG, but I bet everyone who takes a second look at SMOONG would instantly fall in love, and that’s mainly because of SMOONG’s adorable appearance. As SMU’s definitive symbol is a deer, SMOONG’s looks are also based on a deer. A deer’s face is sharply shaped while looking prestigious, and has tall horns on top of its head. SMOONG borrowed facial characteristics from deer, but has much cuddlier appearance. SMOONG’s creator made a nice balance between bringing real deer features and dressing up as an attractive character. SMOONG has horns like a real deer, but the horn’s shape is based on SMU’s initial sound ‘Sang’ and ‘Myung.’ This identifies to viewers that SMOONG is a character born from SMU, while impressing them with cute visuals. SMOONG first wore a blue jacket with the letters SMU on it, but soon changed its outfits wearing various costumes which matched SMU’s representative departments. This whole story brought even more fans to SMOONG, resulting in SMU students’ request and protest for a symbolic character of SMU. SMU didn’t have an official character or an icon despite having a very lengthy history, which wasn’t much help promoting SMU to others and potential students. The aspiration of SMU students for an eye-catching character was high, so SMU’s management team eventually decided to get serious about designating iconic character of SMU for the first time in our university’s history. The competition for deciding SMU’s signature character was held last May, and SMOONG defeated other contenders with 62.7 percent of the vote, a landslide victory. After a big win in this competition, the creator of SMOONG revealed personal details about SMOONG. SMOONG, as we all know, is a deer with 90 cm height. Its future dream is to become a guardian of SMU and SMU students. It’s MBTI is ENFP – normally referred as ‘campaigner’ – tells that SMOONG seeks for fresh entertainment every day and exhibits warm leadership among SMU’s members. Currently we are familiar with the basic appearance of SMOONG, but more designs, details and outfits will be coming soon and tons of contents with SMOONG appearing is on its way, so it’s not premature to be all excited about SMU’s near future. Thanks to massive support and a big number of advocates, SMOONG confirmed its place and presence in SMU as a main character. Nobody expected – even including the creator of SMOONG – for SMOONG to be the icon of SMU at it’s birth and the first time it was shown to SMU students. Both the creator and students enjoyed the entire episode of the ‘chronicle of SMOONG’, having big smiles looking at this new-born cute deer-inspired character. Since SMOONG now represents our school, I thought an article telling the whole story about SMOONG would be informational to current SMU students and those who will apply and become a member of SMU in the coming days. Everyone, please give a warm welcome to SMOONG, and cheers to SMOONG!

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