UC Riverside’s mascot, Scotty Highlander, will wrap his arms around as many people on campus as possible Wednesday in an attempt to set a new world’s record for the most number of hugs in an hour.
Last September, a man in India, Jayasimha Ravirala, broke the previous record of 1,201 hugs when he embraced 2,436 people in 60 minutes, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
UCR’s Office of Student Life sponsored a Scotty hug-fest on Feb. 16, 2011, hoping to set a world record at that time; but fewer people than expected turned out for the event, perhaps because of rain, and the university’s mascot fell about 300 hugs short.
Guinness guidelines call for the record-seeker to stand in one place the entire time and for the event to be witnessed by two independent observers, as well as videotaped.
Wednesday’s record attempt will be made by one of the two students who share the role of Scotty, a six-foot bear whose job is to jazz up crowds at sporting events, pep rallies and other gatherings.
The hugging will begin at noon outside the campus Bell Tower.
The event is one of many organized as part of UCR Homecoming Week.