In many cases, the pardoning ceremony is a funny event. For example, President Barack Obama cracked jokes during his final pardoning as President of the United States. 

Editor’s note: This story is fictional

The crimson hawk will be pardoned by President Joe Biden (D-Del.).

Every single year, the incumbent president of the United States “pardons” a turkey from being sacrificed to become Thanksgiving dinner. This year, however, the president will be pardoning a crimson hawk.

The earliest record of a presidential turkey pardoning was allegedly in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln (R- Ill.) granted clemency to a turkey.

Then, from the 1900s on, presidents were sent turkeys to be pardoned and “saved them” from being slaughtered for Thanksgiving. This turkey pardoning ceremony became something lighthearted and humorous for presidents and the public to engage in.

“Honestly, I think it is so sweet that the president gets to pardon a turkey every year,” Matt Smith (junior, Earth and space education) said. “We are always hearing about pardoning humans who did bad things but never the poor turkeys sentenced to death because we are too greedy to refrain from eating them.”

“I think it is very cruel,” Smith said. “Turkeys are people, too, you know?”

Biden decided to break tradition this year and pardon IUP’s beloved mascot. This decision was made after Biden read a story The Penn, the student-run newspaper associated with IUP, wrote about him.

Biden once came to IUP about 20 years ago when he was still in the Senate. On the occasion, Biden had a chance to speak to students and staff. Aides say that the then-Senator appreciated how the entire school welcomed him and treated him during his visit.

Now, as a president, Biden wishes to repay IUP for its kindness by symbolically pardoning its mascot.

“Although this is a new step for America, I think that this change can be a good thing that unifies our divided nation,” Biden said. “The crimson hawk has a rich history with me since the bird and I are from the same place. It is like paying homage to my roots. I think we need to come together and reconnect with the places we started at.”

Reactions from IUP students have been mostly positive. Many felt as though gaining so much attention from the president would bring prestige to the university and its students.

“I feel like I am a celebrity at this point,” Miguel Baking (senior, public relations) said. “Never in a billion years I would have thought that the president would give our mascot a shout out.”

On the other hand, such attention has also come with a prize. Criticism towards IUP by students who attend other universities has risen, especially coming from other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Many of these students feel as though it is not fair that IUP gets such high recognition worldwide and they do not.

“I don’t get it,” Jel Lucy, allegedly a student at Slippery Rock University, said. “Why does IUP get to be the main character and we don’t? I mean, yinz guys already had Nicki Minaj, Lil Yatchy and now Joe Biden talking about you. Where does it stop?”

To answer Lucy’s question, it is impossible to figure out when IUP will stop outshining everyone else. In the meantime, The Penn recommends that students enjoy IUP’s minutes of fame and ignore the criticism from other schools because in the words of one Taylor Swift, “Haters are [going to] hate.”

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