As you may know, the infamous mascot and face of UC Santa Barbara is Olé the Gaucho. You may ask, “what is a Gaucho?” Well, valued consumer, Gaucho is an old term for a hispanic cowboy. However, we can go deeper than that! The official website for UCSB’s sports and athletics –ucsbgauchos.com– tells us exactly what we need to know: the Gaucho is an Argentinian Cowboy. Gauchos are noble farmhands that were a rowdy but tough crowd in the late nineteenth century. Noble. Fearless. Strong. The Gaucho. An honorable and sophisticated mascot.
But what the hell does that have to do with Santa Barbara?
If you think that the Gaucho is a racist caricature, you’re probably right. The idea of the Gaucho becoming the mascot for UCSB came into place back in the 1980s, a time when a Tuesday afternoon probably involved someone getting called a slur in plain daylight. Not only is it offensive to about a third of the University, but he’s just one ugly looking fucker. Have you seen him? He looks like Arnold Schwarzennegger chewed up and spit out Sylvester Stallone (I mean, he kinda already looked that way, but I digress).
The staff of Gaucho Marks says that this needs to change. We will not stand for horrific caricatures of our beloved Argentinian friends! We should have a new mascot, preferably an animal because another human-like mascot will just turn out ugly again. Perhaps we could revert back to the Roadrunners, our mascot before the Gaucho. There’s even a sizable following for our mascot to become the Mapache (“raccoon” in Spanish), which is fair, but there’s a chance we’d be linked to garbage, roundworm, or Marvel movies… we are willing to take that chance.
Santa Barbara has brilliant and beautiful native wildlife, and it would be a downright shame to not acknowledge any of it. We are a campus by the beach, not to mention how we’re quite far from Argentina, so we’d like to put in two suggestions for a new, marine-inspired mascot: the Sea Lion or the Torpedo Ray.
On one hand, sea lions are a gentle yet ferocious animal to most small fish and teenage girls that live near Pismo Beach. They’re also bloody adorable, and UCSB could make a boatload of money from sea lion merchandise off of shopaholic students. I would know, I’m one of those students. The torpedo ray, on the other hand, is an aggressive and formidable force of pure electric energy. Yes, that’s right! Electric. These rays have powerful organs that can shock prey with up to 45 volts of electricity. Humans are recommended not to come near this animal, which might be difficult considering it is an ambush predator, so they hide away and attack once a threat or prey is near. The perfect metaphor for those random fees that pop out and continue to shock me in my BARC statements.
If you agree with any of these changes, start a movement with your favorite hashtag and spread the word on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or carrier pigeon if that’s your fancy.
#ucsbmapaches #ucsbroadrunners #ucsbsealions #ucsbtorpedorays