It is a Saturday afternoon and IUP is playing football. The players, the cheerleaders and the band are all there, but what was missing?
The answer was Norm, the beloved school mascot.
This Saturday at IUP’s first home football game against Kutztown, Norm was not in attendance. This comes as a surprise considering that the stadium was packed and everyone there was showing their school spirit.
IUP’s mascot should have been there.
“At first, I thought he was there and I just didn’t see him,” Matt Smith (junior, Earth and space science education) said. “I was really distracted because my ex, Amelia [Pond], was there at the game with someone else. But after I talked to my friends, they said they also did not see Norm there.”
The last time Norm was spotted was Friday near Whitmyre Hall and the Hadley Union Building (HUB). Some say he might have been taken to IUP’s Chamber of Secrets. Last issue, The Penn reported that the entrance was located near Whitmyre Hall, meaning that the theory is not out of question.
Why the heir of Robert E. Cook would want Norm at the chamber is still a secret, which led others to believe there might be another explanation as to why the bird was missing the game.
Some say that it might have been because the summer season is almost over and it is in his nature to fly down south during these times.
“I can surely affirm that Norm was not taken to no chamber; that is nonsense,” Tom Grint (junior, theater) said. “I mean, it is almost winter, right? Birds go south on winter, everyone knows that. Even my girlfriend Amelia knows that, and she is like really bad at science.”
Did Norm fly down south? It is a possibility; after all, hawks are among the types of birds that migrate during the winter season.
“It wouldn’t be surprising for a hawk to migrate,” Richard Cat (senior, pre-veterinary, biology) said. “However, Norm has always stayed during the winter. He’s a unique hawk and doesn’t have to migrate unless he chooses to. It would be rather odd to suddenly migrate and leave IUP guessing on your whereabouts.”
There is one other possibility, though. IUP’s rival football team, Kutztown, might have taken Norm.
Although Norm is a strong force to be reckoned with, it could be possible that Kutztown’s mascot, Alanche the Golden Bear, overpowered Norm. Norm is constantly running around campus and participating in countless activities so he must have been extremely exhausted, putting him at an unfair disadvantage.
“On the morning of the game, my boyfriend and I were walking, and I could swear that I saw Norm,” Amelia Pond (sophomore, criminology) said. “He seemed very tired because the day before was IUP Day and he flew from organization to organization.
“So, it is possible that the rival team might have kidnapped him. But personally, I think that this speaks ill of their character because it is not fair to kidnap someone who is so visibly tired. They should have waited until he was well rested.”
The mystery remains unsolved. Students hope that Norm returns back to IUP safely and soon.