SGA president invites students to offer feedback.
By Sergio Medina
Representative bodies of this college agree that the removal of the Ranger mascot, the Ranger Gnome, must happen at the July 14 College Council meeting, where a vote will take place to decide its future.
Go here to read more about the background of the Texas Rangers.
Staff Senate President Sabrina Macal-Polasek said in an interview June 28 the Staff Senate reviewed the debate around the mascot throughout spring.
“For the most part, everyone who was knowledgeable about the subject area was definitely for removing, you know, the mascot,” she said.
“I called for a vote on what our official stance — as a representative body — would be, and so our senate and I informed Dr. Vela that our official vote was for the removal of the mascot, and the replacement for one that is not human, not violent and not racist.”
Macal-Polasek said it was the right decision and believes the campus can act to better serve the community.
“We look at what we want to represent as an organization, and so, when we look at the history, right? We did not feel it was a good representation of who we are — inclusive community environment,” Macal-Polasek said.
Jacob Martinez, director of student life, shared a similar sentiment in an interview June 30, saying student voices are a priority.
“So if the students say, ‘Hey, you know what? We want to change it,’ then, I’m going to vote with them,” he said.
Martinez will be present at the council meeting.
“As director of student life, sometimes I’ve got to have, you know, take like an unbiased approach, but I’ve been always supportive of changing something — especially if it makes someone still uncomfortable and not welcome.”
Martinez said the mascot should be removed, having understood the hurt some families may feel because of a symbol that recalls a racist past, families who may have relatives who were victims of discrimination at the hands of the Texas Rangers.
Martinez also said he wonders what the staff at the journalism program’s newspaper, The Ranger, thinks and would do upon the potential removal of the mascot and term “Ranger,” adding that he has not seen a statement from the publication.
Faculty Senate President Olivia Sandoval said in an interview July 1 the senate is in favor of removing the mascot.
“It was an overwhelming ‘yes’ to support the removal of the Ranger mascot.”
Sandoval said the Ranger mascot perpetuates white supremacy.
“It’s not what the Rangers are today, but the history is still there,” she added.
Sandoval said the senate agrees a non-human would be a better option for a new mascot.
“We discussed mascots that other schools have, and usually it’s an animal like the lions, the cardinals, or whatever, so it would be something that’s not traumatic, it would not be offensive toward others.”
Evalinda Davila, government sophomore and President of the Student Government Association, chose not to comment about SGA’s position on the mascot in an interview July 1.
President Robert Vela said in an interview June 26 that SGA is one of the representative bodies agreeing to the removal.
“They’re basically all aligned,” he said, referring to the elected representative groups.
Davila said representing students is her priority, encouraging students to reach out to SGA to provide feedback, not just on the mascot but other aspects of the student experience at this college.
Davila can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She also encouraged students to provide feedback about the mascot via the official channel this college set up to receive comments about the mascot.
The deadline to give feedback on the mascot is 5 p.m. July 8.