The Gaucho is painted on the inside of the home team’s softball dugout. (Photographer/Hannah Tavares).
On Nov. 5, Saddleback College’s Academic Senate reaffirmed that the Gauchos mascot is not to be used by any college entity for any purposes moving forward.
The issue of the culturally insensitive [Argentinian] riding a horse should completely be banned, said Academic Senate President Dan Walsh.
The Academic Senate had taken a stance against the mascot years ago.
“We actually passed a resolution, saying to remove the Gauchos’ mascot and the students did as well,” Walsh said.
The college’s Associated Student Government and the Consultation Council had both passed a resolution to take down the mascot.
“We thought it was going to be a done deal. We were not going to have the logo anymore, but it started showing up again,” Walsh said.
As of now there is no set date to when the mascot’s image will be completely removed from the college, or replaced with a different mascot.
“Athletics has had very little to say about [the mascot],” said Assistant Athletic Director Jerry Hannula, though the image is displayed in almost all athletic forums on campus.
Hannula said that in his 24 years at Saddleback, no one has complained to him directly about the mascot. It was not until four years ago that a few students raised a complaint against it.
In 2010, the ASG passed a resolution to change the representation of the Gauchos’ mascot. The vote was passed with a majority of the vote to help change the mascot to become more culturally appropriate.
At the time, the removal of the image from the sports fields and gymnasium was stalled due to lack of funds.
“The mascot is currently displayed in 95 percent of the Athletics Division,” Hannula said.
Money was spent putting the image of the mascot up, and Hannula said he was surprised that the college will now be spending money to take down the mascot painted through the college.