In Photos: Freddie and Frieda identities revealed, SICSIC seniors unmasked
It's no secret that BGSU spirit is unmatched when it comes to supporting Falcon athletics and all things brown and orange. And as of late February, it's also no secret who was behind a lot of that spirit, as three sets of Freddie and Frieda Falcon mascots and two SICSIC members were revealed. BGSU photographer Haven Conn '22 and student photographer Hannah McFarland were on hand to capture the reveals and unmasking traditions.
Freddie and Frieda revealed
The identities of the spirited brother and sister birds were revealed during the Feb. 18 men's basketball game against the University of Toledo. A total of six students portrayed Freddie and Frieda Falcon during the year and went to great lengths to keep their roles a secret.
The six students who were revealed as Freddie and Frieda were:
Oscar Dunkle, a junior human development and family studies major with a minor in leadership from Columbus
Jordan Hamilton, a junior public relations major from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Sawyer Holbrook, a sophomore education major from Lima, Ohio
Charlie Nykiel, a senior chorus music education major from Mentor, Ohio
Leila Oswalt, a senior biochemistry and pre-med major from Lewis Center, Ohio
Olivia Thornton, a junior aviation studies in flight technology and operation major with a minor in leadership from Depew, New York.
Each of the six students who were Freddie and Frieda chose one of the two heads during their reveal.
Oswalt, who portrayed both Freddie and Frieda this year, chose the Freddie head, highlighting her experience with gender inclusivity within the mascot program and giving a nod to her mother Julie's legacy for breaking gender norms while at BGSU. Julie Johnson was a SICSIC member while she was at BGSU and portrayed "The Gorilla" during her three years, obscuring her gender and adopting a masculine posture while in costume. Johnson was the first woman to go through all three years (1988-91) and be unmasked in SICSIC, Oswalt said.
In an Instagram post, Oswalt said of her own reveal, "Switching up gender norms at BGSU? Like mother, like daughter."
She also described her mission to use her reveal using the Freddie head to showcase the University's inclusivity.
"I wanted to showcase our mascot program's gender inclusivity to the BGSU community as a way to reaffirm advocation for both women's empowerment and the LGBTQIA+ community. As society progresses, it's important that our University's programs reflect inclusion of people of all genders," she wrote.
“I got to portray both Freddie and Frieda, just as everyone else was able to do so. All my fellow mascots this year had opportunities to be both, but we chose which [mascot head] we wanted to be revealed as based on which character with whom we felt more aligned," Oswalt said.
SICSIC members unmasked
In a tradition dating back to 1946, SICSIC members pledge to do all in their power to "help make BGSU a better place by promoting school spirit and goodwill among the students and faculty." Each year, two seniors are unmasked before the student body, revealing their identities after three years of secrecy.
This year, the identities of SICSIC #1 - Master Chief - and SICSIC #2 - Iron Man - were made known during the Feb. 25 hockey game against Northern Michigan.
Master Chief was revealed to be Nia Butts, an exercise sports medicine major from Cincinnati who is also on the BGSU women's rugby team and is involved with the Student Exercise Science Association and the American Sign Language Club.
Iron Man was unmasked and revealed as Joshua Auten, a finance, insurance and risk management major from Pickerington, Ohio. He's involved with Falcon Fitness as a personal trainer, the National Hazing Prevention Week Committee, Best Buddies, is a student ambassador with the Schmidhorst College of Business, a marketing intern with the Marvin Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, a finance intern with Welltower, a proud brother of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, and serves on the BGSU Undergraduate Student Board of Trustees.