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Designing legacy

Results from a campuswide survey in November asking for input on the mascot appearance show that the majority of respondents would prefer a student wearing a plush and oversized costume similar to that of Bucky the Bronc or Ozzie the Ocelot or one wearing Western attire.

Cindy Mata, director of Student Activities and head of the official Mascot Committee, oversees the development of the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley’s Vaquero mascot personification. The committee is comprised of UTRGV students, faculty and Mata asked students to apply and be part of a student based subcommittee to help gather input from the student body.

“The student committee would be made up of at most 15 students and we would like these students to help share survey results that we have, share the results and the renderings that we have to date,” Mata said.

The subcommittee was suspended, however, because only one student had applied by last Thursday’s deadline. The student became a member of the Mascot Committee.

Last semester’s survey was conducted to help provide student feedback and suggestions for the mascot appearance. The findings of the 2,000 responses from the survey were sent to Rickabaugh Graphics, a design firm in Ohio that assisted with the creation of the UTRGV Athletics logo, to create the first rendering of the Vaquero mascot.

“Since we want to make sure that the process is done correctly and we have as much student feedback as possible, I consider these the initial renderings,” Mata said. “As the head of the committee, I don’t want to move forward with these until I have students that have seen them and given us their input, and that can provide us with additional feedback.”

The Rider asked Mata for the first rendering of the mascot. She said she needed to consult with the committee on Friday before releasing any preliminary images.

Patrick Gonzales, assistant vice president for University Marketing and Communications, said all committee members have agreed that this is an important tradition for the university.

“This is one of those traditions that is going to last forever,” Gonzales said.

The committee would like to gather as much student input before moving forward from the initial stages of the development.

“We are not in a rush,” Gonzales said. “We are taking our time to make sure that we get it right and to make sure that we get enough student input as we can. While we are taking our time, we also know that people are excited to see something as soon as possible.”

Members of the campus community may still submit feedback and mascot development ideas by emailing spirit@utrgv.edu.

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