Secrecy is a major part of performing as J. Denny or Jenny Beaver. Applicants should start practicing this immediately. Tell no one that you are applying! The selection process includes a written application, in-person interviews with the selection committee and a final in-suit audition.
The “new” mascots will begin performing this spring to allow for mentorship by the current Beavers.
Applicants and performers must be full-time Bluffton University students, possess and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and be in good disciplinary standing.
J Denny and Jenny play an important role within the Bluffton University community. Performers are representatives of Bluffton University and its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and behavior both in and out of the suit must always uphold the spirit, tradition and values of Bluffton University. Violation of campus standards, either in or out of the suit, is cause for removal from one's mascot responsibilities.
Reliability is essential. Mascot performers must be able to manage their schedule independently and without close supervision. Failure to appear at a previously scheduled event is cause for removal of one’s performing responsibilities. If for any reason a performer is unable to attend an event to which he/she was committed, the performer is responsible for finding another team member to serve. If others are unavailable, the responsibility falls upon the original performer.
J. Denny Beaver is entering his 11th year on campus and Jenny will be in her seventh year and we like to think they done a pretty good job of establishing their character and personality. That being said, here are some of the things we're looking for in potential performers.
- Social energy
A good mascot performer doesn't necessarily need to be an extrovert. In fact, many introverts have been quite successful in the role, particularly when their true identity is kept secret. Success comes with the ability to transform yourself into a completely different person whenever you are in the suit. We’re looking for evidence of that during the selection process.
- Appearance in the suit
We’re fortunate to have a suit that allows for some reasonable latitude in the range of performer body types and sizes, but the fabric and fur construction provides some challenges. In general, we take an open-minded “let's try and see what happens” attitude into the selection process, but the overall look and appearance of a performer in the suit is a point of consideration. It is possible to be too small or too big to be able to perform safely. Jenny suits fit performers up to 5'6", while J Denny suits best fit performers up to 6'3". Performer safety is a priority.
- A twinkle in the eye
Part of the magic of Bluffton's mascots is that they can create something out of nothing. It can be called improvisation if an impromptu halftime contest is made up on the spot, but it can also be called acting if the performer did some brainstorming and planning in advance for a particular skit. Regardless, successful performers should be aware of their surroundings, continually thinking of the next thing they'll do, and have a playful/mischievous twinkle in their eye to indicate that they're always up to something.
- Physical endurance and wellness
Performing as J Denny or Jenny can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. If you are chosen as a performer, you will need to pay for and have a physical done by a physician and the necessary forms on file with the head athletic trainer by July 1. Your information will be kept confidential. In the event you are injured or become ill while performing, the athletic trainers will be able to assist you.
Mascots are expected to manage their well-being by finding balance between this high priority and other responsibilities on campus. There is a possibility mascots will be asked to give up commitments in order to perform to the best of their ability. In the event your GPA slips below the 2.5 requirement during your season as a performer, you may be asked to work with the Learning Resource Center staff. In a situation of great concern, you may be placed on performance probation until your academic success is back on track.