Mascot needed to reflect history

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Stephens_7179_RS_5-8-12 2Viewpoint by RILEY STEPHENS

rstephens20@student.alamo.edu

Palo Alto College has the Palomino; Northeast Lakeview has the Nighthawk; Northwest Vista has the Wildcat; and St. Philip’s has the Tiger.

What mascot does this college have?

A mascot is instrumental in expressing school pride during school functions.

At most four-year colleges, a mascot is easily found on the home page of the college website, and though this is not a four-year college, a mascot could help attract students to participate in festivals like the Rodeo Roundup and Octoberfest.

First issue of The Ranger on March 25, 1926

First issue of The Ranger on March 25, 1926

During intramural events for this college, fans cheer, “Go, SAC.”

There is nothing distinguishing us from other sports teams other than the letters “SAC” on the team uniforms.

Don’t get me wrong: It looks nice, but SAC could stand for anything.

It could be an abbreviation for “Support All Colleges” or something like “Students and Criminals.” Who wants to be a criminal? I sure don’t want to be labeled as a criminal. I am a college student.

The worst part is when people ask, “What is SAC?”

Unless you take the time to explain to them that it stands for San Antonio College, they can assume anything.

There used to be a depiction of a ranger in the center of the hardwood floor of Gym 1 of Candler Physical Education Center where basketball games were played.

It was taken away when the floor was resurfaced in 2011 and preserved on a wall above the bleachers, basically out of sight because college administrators said the ranger had a negative historical perception with some people.

You can remove the figure from the gym floor, but you can’t erase history. It’s our history, good or bad.

The Ranger has been present at this college since 1926.

The college opened in the fall of 1925, and the first issue of the student newspaper appeared in March 1926 and was called The Junior Ranger.

In 1945, a women’s dance team became the Rangerettes.

A couple semesters back, I wrote a story for The Ranger in which President Robert Zeigler said he had worked with the office of student life in deciding to keep the ranger as the college mascot.

This was after student life Director Jorge Posadas said the ranger was an unsuitable mascot because of the Texas Rangers’ reputation for discrimination against minorities in the past.

I think there may have been some sort of miscommunication between them because the college still does not have a mascot.

We have “Go, SAC.”

Then Posadas in 2011 said although the college did not have a mascot, its teams could name themselves. The baseball team named itself “the Reds.”

Another semester, Student Government chose the jackalope as its mascot. What other student government has a mascot?

The uniforms for soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball and even baseball in recent years read only “SAC.”

This college has the largest population of students compared to our sister colleges.

A mascot – whether a ranger or something else iconic that carries on the history or culture of the institution – would provide unity.

And it’s a lot more exciting in the last few minutes of a close game to shout “Go, Wildcats or Palominos or Rangers” than “Go, SAC!”

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