The Student Government Association hosted two town hall meetings last week, gathering input for the look of the Vaquero mascot. About 15 students attended, with only one-third speaking on the matter.
During the Edinburg town hall meeting last Wednesday, SGA President Alberto Adame explained the importance of students providing feedback instead of allowing the association to decide.
“The students have to choose by themselves if this is going to be something they’re going to care about or just something they’re going to show up at the end and say their opinions weren’t taken into consideration,” the economics major said. “It’s very frustrating having low turnouts, so we need to figure out what
we’re doing wrong. … But again, it’s really the students that are going to have to decide if this process is going to be more important.”
Jorge Gonzalez, the Edinburg SGA vice president, explained the process for choosing a new mascot.
“The first step is we’re gonna gather information from the students in events like this, like town halls, like this one,” Gonzalez said. “So, let’s say we get a list of 100 different mascots and we’re gonna try to bring down the list to something smaller and then we’ll send a survey to the students.”
The Vaquero Mascot Development Committee was created to assist in the student-led decision process.
“The purpose of the committee is to develop a proposal which will be voted on by the student body for the Vaquero mascot,” said Denisse Molina, UTRGV SGA vice president for the Brownsville campus.
The mascot development committee is composed of representatives from the SGA, Campus Programming Board, alumni, athletes, student leaders, residence hall students, faculty and staff from Marketing and Creative Services, Athletics, Admissions, Student Life and the spirit program.
“The committee will compile students’ input and provide recommendations,” Molina said at the Brownsville town hall held last Tuesday. “Students will have a vote on the recommendations and then students’ top choices are going to be sent to a mascot designing firm for the creation of the final renderings. The final renderings will be put on for vote by the student body; the top selection is unveiled at the campus at a UTRGV event.”
Virginia Vasquez, a political science senior, was among those who attended the Brownsville town hall.
“I think that it’s a good idea that, you know, we’re getting the opinions from more than just the students but also faculty and everybody from the university,” Vasquez said.
The SGA created the Vaquero Mascot Development survey that asks multiple-choice and open-ended questions. A costumed mascot, an inflatable costume or a real person wearing the costume are the options students rank in the survey. Based on their selection, students are asked to describe their top two choices from the
following: tough/aggressive, cute/friendly, serious/respected, limber/active, big/hulky and other. Students may also write in what UTRGV icons or symbols they think should be integrated into the mascot.
Vasquez asked what would be the criteria if the mascot were to be a real person, what would happen when that person graduates and how difficult would it be to replace that person.
The survey is available at:http://studentvoice.com/uota/utrgvmascot until Wednesday.
For questions or concerns regarding the mascot image, send an email to email@example.com and use the subject line Vaquero Mascot Development.