The iconic Green Cloak of NC State has found a new owner: Green Cape Gal. When Green Cloak Guy, Louis Jacobowitz, a fourth-year studying psychology and computer science, announced his passing down of the cloak, students wondered who would be the next owner of the title. The cloak is now worn with pride by Isabel Jackson, a first-year in exploratory studies.
The green cloak has been spotted on campus for the past four years. Now that the cloak has been passed down to a freshman, the tradition will continue for another four.
Jackson said she hopes to major in graphic design or computer science. She arrived on campus fall 2019 and noticed various signs advertising the passing of the cloak. Hoping to learn more about the cloak, she applied. She said the application process consisted of an online application followed by an interview, and explained why she wanted the cloak.
“The application [for the cloak] was for people who thought they needed it,” Jackson said. “I was having a hard time getting into the college experience, and I was thinking the cape could help me.”
The cloak was presented to Isabel as a way to make connections and stand out on campus. She hoped her college experience would change, and so far, she said, wearing the cloak has made a difference.
“The first week was very crazy,” Jackson said. “People were coming up to say hi and ask me questions. The first week, I got at least five or six questions in all my classes. But I like it. It helps me to talk to people.”
Jackson described how it was hard to reach out when she first came to NC State. Meeting new people made her anxious, and she had little time to socialize because of her busy class schedule. The cloak has pushed her out of her comfort zone. She regards the people who began a conversation with her or smile and wave at her as her friends.
When people ask why she is wearing the cloak, Jackson’s quick and simple answer is “because it’s fashionable.” However, on a deeper level, she wants to be a symbol of acceptance.
“The fact that there is someone putting themselves out there with a cloak in the community is important for the community,” Jackson said. “I’m doing this for the people who want to wear cloaks and for people who want to step out of the norm.”
Jackson’s cloak is a bold statement of doing what may be considered socially unacceptable. She wants people to feel pride in what they choose to wear, whether that is a green cloak or another symbol. As the cloak tradition continues for future years and is passed down, it will carry many meanings for its owner and for NC State.
“It can mean different things to different people,” Jackson said. “I’m not here to tell you what to think about my cloak.”
She describes her mission as “just trying to wear a cape and chill” and allowing people to form the kind of message or inspiration they need for themselves.
Jackson is hopeful about the future of the cloak. She encourages people to feel free to come and talk to her and hopes to make a name for herself as “Cape Gal,” a figure people can feel excited or comforted by.
“Capes are cool,” Jackson said. “It’s socially acceptable because I’m doing it. So if you want to wear a cloak, then you can too.”