Archibald: A Bird of Few Words By Justin Meeks

When greatest mascot’s names are called,
Among them will be Archibald.
A bird who doesn’t have to fly,
‘Cause basketball will get him high.
And he can do the victory shuffle,
Without a single feather’s ruffle.
And he worked hard to learn to speak,
English through his massive beak.
So he can cheer his team to play,
This suave and stylish bird of prey.
And old Ace Purple across the town,
Had better never come around.

 “Archy” by: George Simpson

Archie, 1970s

Archie, 1970s

            We all have heard of Archibald Eagle or Archie our school’s mascot. Love him or hate him he is a symbol of everything the University of Southern Indiana stands for. However not many people know his history. We must look far back before the University of Southern Indiana became its own independent higher education institution. It all started during the fall semester in 1970 on the campus of Indiana State University of Evansville (ISUE). ISUE just moved its campus to the west side of Evansville. ISUE officials believed that with the new campus there needed to be a new name or “mascot.” Previously the ISUE athletic teams were known as the Spartans, but soon after the move in 1970 the Screaming Eagles name was chosen.

            With the Screaming Eagles name came the mascot. It’s interesting to know that Archie has been around since October 1970, but didn’t actually get his name until 1979. Before 1979 students and fans just called him the Eagle. It was then declared on November 7, 1979 that a contest would determine our mascot’s name. The “Name the Mascot” Contest was announced on the front page of The Shield proclaiming that they were looking for support from students and faculty in selecting an individual name for the Eagle seen at games, practices, and rallies. Along with The Shield the contest was also sponsored by Student Activities and the Student Union Board with the expectation that a proud, dignified would be chosen. The winner of the contest received a cash prize and recognition at the season opener basketball game that was played on December 7th.

            On 4:00pm November 20, 1979 the “Name the Mascot” Contest came to a close. With well over 100 entries The Shield along with a panel of judges began looking through and judging the names. Those on the panel included: Student Union Board president David Stumpf; Student Government representative Steve Hart; Sherianne Standley from the University President’s office; Shield staffers Kyle Roth, Kelley Coures, and Steve Costello; Mark Duckworth from the baseball team; and Dan Labhart from the basketball team. After an hour of deliberating the number of entries was cut to five. Finalists included: Thor, J. Edgar Swoop, Archibald, Everest, and Champion.


            After two votes the group couldn’t decide a winner. The judges had weighed each name on the bias that it (a) was easy to shout, (b) could not be ridiculed, and (c) did not copy that of another school. Originality was also included as a criterion. The final judging was made giving each judge an opportunity to rank the choices in order. The entry with the least points would be most popular and win. Conversely Steve Costello, organizer of the contest, suggested that his entry, which made the final five, be stricken. He believed that it was inappropriate for an organizer to be eligible for the winning name. However, Sherianne Standley pointed out that a good name should not be ruled out ineligible because of who submitted it; other judges agreed. The point totals stood as follows: Archibald – 17, Everest – 19, Champion – 20, J. Edgar Swoop – 21, and Thor – 21.

            The name Archibald won by a narrow margin and the winner Steve Costello donated his prize money to the day care center on campus to be used for toys for Christmas. Costello was quoted as saying, “I really feel uncomfortable about winning the contest. However, if the judges feel that entry would best contribute to the personality of the mascot, I’m happy to contribute.” The Eagle was introduced with his new name Archibald on December 1, 1979 when the ISUE Screaming Eagles hosted the Hilldale Chargers at Central Arena. Obviously Archie doesn’t look the same as he did back in the 1970s. He went from something intimidating to his goofy cartoon self that we know today. Why did he change? There’s no simple answer to that. Maybe it’s because everyone changes. Or maybe it’s because our school has changed from Indiana State University of Evansville to the University of Southern Indiana. I can tell you though Archie has been around for forty-three years and there are no signs right now that say he won’t be around for the next forty-three years.



Want to Take a Trip to the Art Muesum? To the Opera?

I’m not asking you out on a date, but two of Rice Library’s latest databases sure seem like it.

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online is basically a virtual art museum, you can browse through different works of art, learn more about artists and their inspirations. Through this database, users will have access to Grove Art Online, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Bear in mind that someone who knows next to nothing about art is assessing this database and even I found interesting and useful information.

kanoschoolMy favorite part of this database is that you can actually see the works of art. Instead of pouring through books for examples of an artist’s work or relying on a Google image search, you now have access to works of art that you can cite in your paper.

Another great feature about this database is that by clicking on an artist’s name, you’re shown their in-depth biography. Since art and the artist are woven so closely together, it’s nice that a database acknowledges your need to learn more about the author in order to fully understand the art. The database breaks up artwork by the year and location.

Grove Art also has handy dandy subject guides, where you can learn about all different types of art. These guides give a brief description of the art movement, list essays and key figures. Basically a way to learn all you can about that particular theme. – screen shot

There is something just relaxing about browsing through the art. It almost feels like you’re at an art museum.

Met Opera on Demandmet

The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1883 and has featured the best opera singers in the world since its foundation.  Now through Rice Library you can experience some of these amazing performances.

I watched the 1997 production of La Boheme, which was the very first ‘Live from the Met’ telecast. The quality of the video is amazing and truly captures the breathtaking vocals in the show. You may not know, but the musical Rent is based on La Boheme, which is why I chose this opera to watch but this database gives you access to so many operas such as the 2011 performance of Anna Bolena, the 1997 performance of Carmen and many more. This database is a must for all opera fans.  One of the best aspects of the database is the ability to browse through the operas.

Trench Life by Lacey Stepro

The University Archive & Special Collections contain many thrilling documents and artifacts. Being that Veteran’s Day is right around the corner, there is one collection that is worth a visit. The Kennedy Collection presents a look into the dreadful incident of World War I. The collection has many rare photos depicting the war. The photo album is interesting because it concerns the First World War and many people do not know much about this major occurrence in our history. How much do you really know about the First World War? I bet a few of you are sitting there thinking you have no idea how it began, what it was about, and the outcome of the war. If you cannot answer those questions don’t fret, let me give you a brief history lesson. The most common notion that started the war was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian. Germany supported Austria against Serbia while Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and later the United States supported Serbia. The Allied and Central Powers both wanted a quick victory, but it soon became a stalemate and the fight became a war of attrition. Soldiers on both sides of the battlefield lived in trenches full time. You cannot imagine what it was like to live on the front line.

Life on the edge of battle was dangerous, disgusting, and outright unlivable. As the war waged on soldiers began dropping like flies. As 1914 came to a close, soldiers on both sides of the battlefield squatted in the trenches for the winter. The war continued on, but it was a slow going and ineffective operation. Germans and the Allies tried fighting in short bursts to overwhelm the enemy, but this proved to be a disaster. Both sides lost many men and no combatant could outmaneuver the other. By the end of the war, the Allies lost 6 million men and the Central Powers lost about 4 million men. Most deaths occurred in battle, but millions of deaths also occurred because of the diseases that circulated among the men, such as Trench Foot and the Spanish Influenza. Honestly, the Germans and Americans were stuck in their trenches until the end of the war and no side fared better than the other. Trench life was the most horrendous part of the war. Living in a trench meant no shelter, sleeping in a dirt hole, and dealing with 2-3 feet of standing water every day. There are two photos in the Kennedy Collection that depict the true nature of what really happened on the front line.

MSS 256-021The first photo involves a German soldier, scurrying vermin, and dinner time.  While soldiers were trapped in their trenches in open battle, supply lines were cut off by the enemy. Cut supply lines meant no ammo, no necessities, and most importantly very little food. However, there were plenty of rats. Millions of rats poured into the trenches gorging on the fallen soldiers that had drawn them there. Many of the men tell frightening stories of how the rats were such a nuisance that they would devour what little food they had and when the men slept, they could feel the rats scurrying across their faces. The photograph down below shows just how useful the rats could be. Since food was limited on the front line German soldiers resorted to catching their vermin enemies and stringing them for dinner. This is just one example of how truly terrible trench life was. Can you imagine eating a rat? Embarrassingly enough,  I scream at the sight of these fowl creatures, there would be no way I would ever get close enough to catch one and then be able to scarf it down. If the war had not already toughened the men, trench life would get the job done.

The second photograph shows one aspect of the war that shocks people to the very core. If I had to sum up World War I with one word, it would be death. The image MSS 256-018is of an American soldier that rushed “over the top” before he could put his gas mask on, unlike his fellow allies. You see him grab his throat and reach towards the sky for help, but no relief came for this soldier. This is a powerful image because it shows the man’s last gasps for air. After the war ended many pictures surfaced of massive piles of dead soldiers, but very few showed men actually dying before their eyes. These images are a glimpse into war life; it was unkind and cruel. These images are important because it shows what these men went through in order to end the war. These men sacrificed many things in their life for the greater good, but their death was almost always imminent.

World War I is possibly one of the most overlooked conflicts in our history. Luckily, we have these images available to us so that we can look back on the war and learn what we can from the event. I have only mentioned two photographs from the Kennedy Collection above, but there is a whole photo album full of memories in the archive. The collection also includes a Prussian/German Picklehaube Helmet, a photo of Roy Kennedy in military uniform, and Kennedy’s discharge papers. In addition to the collection documents, the Rice Library Archive & Special Collections will be hosting a movie night featuring news reels from the days after World War I ended. Please join us on November 19th at 6 pm in the archive to witness these special reels.

MSS 256-019

“Why Isn’t Rice Library Open Twenty-four Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week? Lots of Other University Libraries Are.”

I have been on campus for barely a year, and if I had a dollar for every time I have heard the above question – or some variant of it – I would have a week’s worth of lunch money.

So let’s talk about it.  For ease of discussion, I’ll refer to the “twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week” concept as “24/7.”  We’ll take the second part first:

“University libraries across the country are open 24/7.”

This statement is simply not true.  In January 2013, I did an informal survey of the operational hours of nearly 50 libraries.  In Indiana, I checked:

Valparaiso University
Purdue University
Indiana University-Bloomington
Indiana State University
Vincennes University
Ball State University
University of Evansville

I checked the Great Lakes Valley Conference Schools.  I checked the Big Ten Conference schools.  I checked the Southeastern Conference schools.  Of these 49 libraries, I found two libraries that open all or part of their buildings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  These are Indiana University-Bloomington, and it is only the Information Commons within the Wells Library that is open.  The other is the University of South Carolina.  There, the main campus library is open 24/7 during the academic year.

I found 5 libraries that are open 24 hours a day for 4 or 5 days a week, usually Sunday – Wednesday, or Monday – Thursday.  These schools are:  University of Wisconsin-Madison; Auburn University; University of Florida; University of Kentucky; University of Tennessee; Indiana State University added this service in Fall 2013.

Although this is not an exhaustive survey, it is a good enough sampling to refute the claim that many university libraries across the country never close.

Now for the second and more relevant part:

Why isn’t Rice Library open 24/7?

In many ways, Rice Library IS open 24/7.  The library catalog, 90+ databases, research guides, and several services are accessible at any time of the day or night.  The building itself is open 104 hours per week, second only to the Recreation, Fitness & Wellness Center, which is open 113 hours per week.  This year, we have expanded our Friday and Saturday hours, and will expand our hours during Exam Week to remain open until 2:00 AM for six nights.

And there are some key points to remember when you are discussing 24/7 access.  First, the libraries mentioned above are open overnight for some or all of a seven-day period with minimal services and no library staff on site.  And these facilities are open only to current university community members; ID must be shown and/or swiped to enter the facilities after a certain time.

My main concern with Rice Library being accessible 24/7 – or even 24/4 – is safety.  Rice Library is a three-acre building and we simply do not have the numbers in the late night hours to provide a safe environment for students.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look:


finals chart

As you can see, even during Final Exams – when library usage is highest – our head counts really drop after 1:00 am.

And take a look at the few universities that offer this type of access.  You will notice that they are all quite a bit larger than USI.  Most are located within large urban centers.  And they all have much larger staffs than Rice Library.  All of these factors translate to safety in numbers.  These buildings simply have the usage to be secure in the wee hours of the night.

I realize that USI is isolated on the edge of sleepy Evansville, which means that many of the problems that large urban libraries battle every day simply do not exist here.  We do not have a problem with homeless people hanging out in the library, not using the space as it is intended to be used.  We do not have a lot of thefts.  And we do not have a lot of assaults (I am knocking wood as I type).  But if you were in an out-of-the-way part of the library, late at night, and were to fall, or have some sort of medical emergency, it might be a while before someone found you.  And I do not want to try to explain that to your loved ones after something has happened.

With all of the above on the table, I remain open to the idea of expanding our hours even more than we already have.  But in order for me to feel good about making a case for that, I must see more late-night usage.

Written by: Marna Hostetler, Library Director

If you have further questions about 24/7 library access, please contact Marna directly.