Community members join to discuss the Gaucho

Joshua Mourer successfully throws the ball in the perfect spot to pass by the blocker as well as the goalie and scores another goal. ‘G’ logo hangs in the background as it remains in question for the schools future. Ally Beckwitt/Lariat

Over 40 community members joined President Elliot Stern again over Zoom to discuss Saddleback College’s mascot, the Gaucho, and what the future holds for it. Alumni, retired Saddleback faculty, community members and faculty from neighboring institutions participated in the forum on Sept. 22.

Only about nine to 10 community members spoke during this forum. The meeting was not recorded to create a space for people to speak anonymously. 

Stern received a petition from Spanish instructor and chair of modern languages Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo on Sept. 23 calling for the retirement of the Gaucho. This petition is different  from the first petition because this one was signed by alumni and other community members who are not employed by the college. 

This petition is separate from the other one Stern received that had over 200 signatures from faculty and other college employees, which means that almost 300 faculty members, employees and community members have signed a petition to eliminate the Gaucho.

Over 100 employees attended the first meeting. One final Zoom conference will be held with Saddleback employees again, allowing those that missed the first forum to speak. 

“After that, I will be asking the Academic Senate, Classified Senate and ASG to consider passing referenda on behalf of their constituencies calling for retirement or retention of the Gaucho,” Stern said in an email. 

After Stern hears from this senate he will then take the issue of retiring the Gaucho to the Consultation Council, who are the “highest and most inclusive” shared governance group, Stern said. 

He will then determine what is the best option for Saddleback in regards to retiring the Gaucho. The final Zoom meeting on the Gaucho will be announced soon.