Gnome Ranger’s debut birthday party attracts a crowd of 40

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Nursing sophomore Shirley Ramierz takes a picture Thursday of nursing freshman Ashley Kaples and engineering freshman Edwin Velazquez with Gnome Ranger in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. The spirit figure took pictures with students to celebrate his first birthday. Photo by Daniel Carde

Nursing sophomore Shirley Ramierz takes a picture Thursday of nursing freshman Ashley Kaples and engineering freshman Edwin Velazquez with Gnome Ranger in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. The spirit figure took pictures with students to celebrate his first birthday. Photo by Daniel Carde

Spirit committee has more events planned to include new spirit figure.

By Pam Paz.

About 40 students, faculty and staff donned birthday hats and sunglasses at a party today in the Fiesta Room in Loftin Student Center to celebrate the “birthday” of the college’s new spirit figure, the Gnome Ranger.

Some blew party blowouts and helped themselves to cake, music and photos with “GR.”

GR appeared in a costume with blue shirt, grey vest, a belt with a SAC buckle, khaki pants, boots, gloves and a hat, but public relations director Vanessa Torres would not identify the person inside the costume.

Torres said much like the Spur Coyote’s identity is not revealed, the identity of GR would remain a mystery.

Torres said this college’s new spirit committee created the idea of having a spirit figure to represent The Rangers. The public relations department drove the launch.

Because of the historical controversy around the Ranger mascot, Torres said rather than abandon the idea of a mascot, the spirit committee chose to bring in a spirit figure that is fun, whimsical and mysterious.

“The Ranger had become a figure of much controversy in recent years as, historically, Mexican-Americans were treated quite poorly by the Texas Rangers. SAC has been looking to move away from this symbol of racial tension for some time, and it appears that progress has been made, albeit in a very strange direction,” according to a July blog from the San Antonio Current.

The Gnome Ranger was born on this campus in the basement of Koehler Cultural Center, according to a fact sheet provided by the public relations department.

“He escaped from the Koehler House and will be out and about spreading spirit on campus,” Torres said.

His hobbies include dancing, gardening and roaming the campus at night, according to the fact sheet distributed by the public relations staff.

Pre-nursing freshman Ashley Kaples and engineering freshman Edwin Velazquez were not aware of the party but liked the idea of GR as the college’s spirit figure.

“It’s really cool, and the silliness of the gnome will bring spirit,” Velazquez said.

Pre-law freshman Cheyenne Sparks and liberal arts freshman Jessyca Rasmussen were also unaware of the event but decided to join in on the fun.

“It’s a really cool play on words because it sounds like the Lone Ranger, but it’s the Gnome Ranger,” Sparks said. “It’s a pretty cool name.”

Rasmussen said she thinks GR will bring people together and encourage school spirit. Both students planned to take photos with GR.

Torres said the spirit committee is planning more events with GR on campus. For information about GR, visit www.alamo.edu/SAC/mascot.

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