Victor E. Huskie ‘looks like a dustmop’

By Kathy Sisler

Victor E. Huskie, NIU’s canine mascot, has the mange!

“His coat is motley. It’s a disgrace,” said Pat Hewitt, president of NIU’s Operating Staff Council, which represents Northern’s 1,700-member Civil Service staff. She brought the subject up at the Jan. 20 council meeting. Hewitt and other members wanted to make a special mange-fund account, which the NIU Foundation agreed to establish.

Dianna Strink, vice president of the council, agreed to collect the money. She said, “He’s dying by bits and pieces and his feet are gone. He looks like a dustmop falling apart.” The faculty and staff have been helpful so far, donating $125 in two days. Victor E. is great public relations for NIU, Strink said.

ewitt, Strink and two other staff council members, Mary Wamtroba and Elsie Reingardt, all pledged $25 to start the fund. Hewitt said Victor E. represents over 25,000 students and “we would like a good costume that will last and NIU’s student body can be proud of.”

Some material has been sewn on the costume for a stopgap, but that won’t last long. Rockford High School has a Huskie mascot that is 12 years old and theirs is 100 percent better, Hewitt said. She said, “we are getting hold of some manufacturers and comparing prices. We know we’ll get what we pay for and we would like an attractive, long-lasting costume.”

According to Joe Koch, NIU athletic board member, a new animal costume would cost about $2,500. “There is just no money in the athletic budget that could be marked for it,” he said.

Sue Hinz, a member of the Huskie Band, said, “It would be worth it to get a new costume and it would be a great improvement for the morale of the Huskie Band.” But another member, Eva Munstermann, said, “It does not matter what he wears and people won’t notice if he has a new uniform.”

Victor E. Huskie himself had a few words to say about his costume: “The uniform is raunchy and the patched up one I wore at the last two basketball games is better, but it won’t last. It is awful; it feels like the feet are 20 tons, and I was lucky I didn’t kill myself on some bleachers. When kids see the holes in my knees, it would blow their whole image of me since they knew there was a real person inside. They would say, ‘You’re just a person.'”

Terri Lewinski, associate director of Neptune Hall, offered to start a fundraiser for Victor E., and she would like other halls to raise funds also. “It would be great if raising funds for our famous Huskie was a whole university effort.”