Temoc is a constant presence on the UTD campus, bouncing between his glass prison in the Visitor Center, freshman orientations, graduations, seasonal parties and more. However, one place Temoc has yet to appear is on a calendar.
Calendars have been in use for at least 10,000 years, according to the archeological discovery of an ancient lunar calendar in Scotland. Since then, a myriad of societies have developed their own calendars to reflect their culture: Mayan, Chinese, Islamic, Julian and Gregorian calendars have all been widely used throughout history. Calendars are typically solar, lunar or lunisolar, but none of these approaches address the desire within UTD students for a Comet-centric calendar.
The Mercury conducted a survey of the student body regarding their thoughts on a Temoc-themed calendar, with responses from 48 current students and alumni. 92% of respondents said they would support a calendar that features Temoc. 69% said they would prefer a specialty Temoc fireman style calendar over a regular Temoc themed calendar. 75% of respondents said they would purchase “Pride Temoc,” “pictures of the campus throughout the seasons” and “all of the various forms of Temoc,” like the one depicted for Rec Fest.
“Social media will put out Temoc as Santa in front of the fireplace or some really goofy Temoc Valentine photos, and so I collect these images,” EPPS Dean Jennifer Holmes said. “I would love to have a whole calendar of Temoc. I think it would be fantastic.”
Holmes has been with UTD since 1998, which coincides with the creation date of our school mascot. Temoc has gone through several design iterations, including the original Temoc, which can be found locked inside a display case in the UTD Visitor Center. In recent years, Temoc has been making the rounds with mascot awards. In 2023, he was named one of the top five national collegiate mascots by the Dance Team Union. In 2022, he was named one of the top four collegiate mascots by the National Cheerleading Association. And in 2023, Temoc even found himself in the national Mascot Hall of Fame in Indiana.
“I think that schools should have a great sense of school pride and spirit,” Douglas Dow, associate dean of the Honors College, said. “I think that mascots and the branding of mascots are a central part of that. Having Temoc, who isn’t immediately identifiable as a comet, helps define this unique, nerdy, culture that UTD has.”
Dow said Temoc plays a key part within the unique culture of the school, and that this can be used to the advantage of the school as the student body grows and develops. Even the mascot’s name goes beyond typical naming conventions according to Dow, and to brand Temoc on a calendar would allow further unique branding for the school and its spirit. A calendar could also allow for prominent locations around campus to be displayed and advertised.
“Anything from 4th of July to Valentine’s Day, there is a Temoc image — during COVID there was even a COVID-19 virus Temoc,” Holmes said. “I think the student body should make the calendar. It could be an incredible fundraiser or Student Government effort.”
Student Government senators Sneha Shrinivas and Avinash Chivakula are in support for the creation of a Temoc calendar, although there is not currently an effort by SG to create a calendar. However, events like Rec Fest and regular photoshoots by the Comet Spirit program have ensured there is a wide variety of Temoc art which could be used to create one.
‘’I honestly think that whenever faculty get a promotion, we should have Temoc,” Holmes said. “I think he should be at all of our celebrations.”
Price will be a major point of interest for any groups that take on Holmes’ call for a themed calendar — 56% of surveyed students said they would pay a maximum of $10 for a Temoc calendar. To meet this price point while still raising funds, bulk purchases from companies such as Walmart, Smartpress or Mixbook could allow for the creation of custom Temoc-themed calendars throughout the year.
“I was at a dinner with Dean Holmes, and I was like ‘How do I make this conversation interesting?’” economics freshman Trisha Omolon said. “So I talked about the Temoc calendar. I think it is amazing that people can take Temoc and make him into their own thing.”
Holmes, Dow and Omolon all mentioned that Temoc is both a divisive and unique figure among the student body. Omolon stands with the 69% of surveyed students that would prefer a fireman style Temoc calendar, due to the mascot’s “piping hot” qualities. Even with the requirement of 12 different visuals for each month, there are enough themed images and fan art of Temoc to create multiple calendars highlighting the dynamic and varied interests of the student body.
“Temoc is definitely a polarizing mascot, some people like him while some think he is scary,” Holmes said. “I am definitely on the fan side, but not everyone likes Temoc. I feel sorry for those people.”