ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The University of Maine's mascot, "Bananas" was asked to leave a hockey game Saturday night after his driver was arrested by campus police for operating a vehicle under the influence. It has since sparked a big conversation on campus about students drinking responsibly.
"Safe, responsible consumption of alcohol is one thing; dangerous drinking is another. Often times, the line is kind of blurry for people," said Robert Dana, UMaine's Dean of Students and VP of Student Life. "So we do spend a lot of time teaching about where that line is."
That includes different substance awareness groups on campus that aim to teach students about the dangers of drinking and driving and other actions of not drinking responsibly. Each group wants students to take care of each other and remember the saying, "friends don't let friends drive drunk." It is a discussion that has popped up over colleges and universities across the country recently.
"There's never a reason to drive after drinking, ever, and we don't advocate it. So yes, there is something to learn here," Dana said. "We have to, even if we choose to consume alcohol, be responsible about it and make choices that are not likely to hurt you or someone else."
The person dressed as the mascot has not been identified, but it was released in a statement from the university that he was a recent UMaine graduate. He was not reported to be under the influence but was still asked to leave the event and cooperated.
The mascot is a tradition that a UMaine fraternity, Alpha Delta, has been a part of for years. Bananas T. Bear will still be at all the upcoming games and events for the school.