UC Davis students push for a new cow mascot

Mick Hashimoto is a visionary, a tireless good soul who doesn’t lose steam whereas taking 16 models of programs and dealing part-time at a restaurant.

He’s a double main in economics and statistics at UC Davis, his mind full of information, however Hashimoto retains including to his plate. On campus Friday, he appeared skyward, with an assuring grin, and described the glee of a brand new wave of spirit sometime engulfing Jim Sochor Area, residence of the college’s storied soccer program. Hashimoto is a soccer fan however he’s actually into the concept of producing extra college spirit.

That may occur, he insists, with a change of mascot. He’s the driving power because the founding father of the Instagram web page cow4mascot, a very good comply with for those who’re into enjoyable posts and compelling concepts. He and a loyal crew of 30 UCD college students, a digital melting pot of range and concepts, are pushing to alter UCD’s mascot from Gunrock the mustang to a cow.

Sure, a cow. Beware the bovine, if you’ll.

Hashimoto and associates current sound arguments as to why a cow higher suits the id of the college over a mustang. Actually, what’s a campus and not using a mascot, or sports activities groups with out one, proper? This group doesn’t need to drop the “Aggies” a part of UCD lore as a result of that’s custom, and it’s catchy to belt out, “Go Ags!” However away with the blue horse with blue high-top footwear, Hashimoto says, and usher in an udder mascot. Or a cow. All kinds of choices. Steers, longhorns, jersey cows. You get the drift. It’s, as they phrase rigorously, their GRASS-roots MOO-vement.

Mick Hashimoto, left, is a 3rd 12 months economics and statistics double main who’s main a gaggle of UC Davis college students campaigning to have the college mascot modified from a mustang to a cow. The group of scholars marketing campaign from their desk on the East Quad on Friday. Xavier Mascareñas

“This isn’t an argument, nevertheless it’s about enjoyable, leaving a legacy,” Hashimoto mentioned. “We’d like a novel id, a brand new mascot that matches. I went to highschool for one 12 months in Boulder, the College of Colorado, with the Buffaloes mascot and a buffalo would rush onto the soccer discipline. Wouldn’t it’s nice to see a cow try this earlier than a UCD recreation right here?”

Effectively, positive, however one factor about cows. They don’t run properly. They don’t do something particularly quick, besides maybe to swish their tails to shoo away flies on their backs. Cows should not swift creatures. They’re plodders. Having grown up on a cattle ranch within the jap Oregon mountains, I herded my share of plodders. Slowly. You don’t make plans the day you deliver the cows residence.

However cows will be cool, and Hashimoto and crew have fascinating concepts on easy methods to market cows with sun shades. You recognize, make this a cash-cow concept. That is an agriculture college with cows on campus, even. On UCD’s on-line alumni web page, there’s a run down of “the Aggies traditions guidelines,” which features a stroll by the Arboretum, a botanical paradise, and “go to the dairy cows.”

“Individuals like to pet cows right here as a result of it’s enjoyable,” mentioned Reece Kuramoto, who’s a part of the mascot effort. “Some suppose {that a} cow mascot will make the college really feel extra rural. We’re already a cow city. We have already got cowbells at soccer video games. This is sensible.”

Hashimoto and his crew arrange store on campus, beginning Might 9, with a desk and brimming optimism, handing out stickers and pins. They reply questions. Some college students are on board for mascot change. Others do not know what the college mascot is, or what it ought to be, nor do they care. Honest sufficient.

UC Davis pupil Reece Kuramoto, amongst a gaggle campaigning to have the college mascot modified from a mustang to a cow, shows a lock-screen picture whereas tabling Friday, Might 13, 2022, on campus in Davis. Xavier Mascareñas

On the very least, this group needs to be herd, or heard.

See, I’m moving into the spirit of this.

This motion is run by the scholars and is for the scholars. The campus elections run by Sunday, and “we’ll know much more on Monday,” Hashimoto mentioned.

“I made an Instagram put up on January 31, to alter the mascot, and it went viral in every week,” Hashimoto mentioned. “I used to be shocked. I used to be pondering, ‘Holy Cow!’ Actually.”

Hashimoto obtained his work ethic from his mother and father, who 30 years in the past moved from their native Japan to open eating places in Colorado. They’ve 5 of them. They work across the clock. They urged their son to go to varsity, to get levels, to make a distinction. He’s doing his greatest.

UCD college students voted for the cow in 1993

Hashimoto is aware of that college students have voted for mascot modifications earlier than on this state. In 1986, college students voted in a referendum to declare the banana slug because the official mascot for UC Santa Cruz. Predictably, the college administration soundly rejected the concept, however relented after school-wide help. The mascot sticks, actually. Thankfully, UC Santa Cruz doesn’t need to stress concerning the pace of a slug inching throughout a soccer discipline earlier than kickoff. The college doesn’t play the game.

Hashimoto additionally is aware of that this type of mascot motion occurred at UCD. In 1993, UCD college students voted for a cow to grow to be the college’s official mascot. It handed. It gained, however then-UCD chancellor Theodore L. Hullar and the administration rejected it. Think about that. You invite college students to be engaged and concerned after which reject concepts that go.

“They ignored college students then, turned them down, and that’s ridiculous,” Hashimoto mentioned. “I hope it doesn’t occur once more.”

The motion to alter the mascot wants 60 % of the votes to be in favor for the referendum to go. Gunrock has been the UCD mascot for practically 20 years, profitable a pupil vote over retaining decades-long Ollie Mustang because the mascot.

Origins of UCD’s mascots, debunking falsehoods

On the very least, this column will clear up the origins of UCD’s mascot. I reached out to my pricey pal Bob Dunning, the Davis Enterprise columnist since concerning the time horses have been a predominant technique of transportation. Nobody has a greater pulse on Davis the city greater than Dunning. What’s extra, Dunning has coated each UCD soccer recreation for The Enterprise since 1970, residence and away, so Dunning has seen and heard and smelled his share of mascots.

Bonus factors: Dunning is an Aggie to the core, having performed tennis on the college within the late Nineteen Sixties, when coaches had a cow if athletes sought out water between matches. Permitting a cow to plod throughout the sector may not work, Dunning instructed me Friday, however kudos to spirited good pondering. I concur with the chipper cow chatter.

“I respect what these college students are doing however don’t know if the chancellor has the veto energy or not,” Dunning mentioned with a chuckle. “I learn someplace that Gunrock has been the UCD mascot for the final 90 years or one thing. That’s simply flat out false. After I was a child going to Aggies video games within the Nineteen Fifties, Ollie Mustang was our mascot, a man working round with a horse head that was a little bit extra goofy than Gunrock now. Then someday, 10 years in the past or so, it’s Gunrock. That was the brand new mascot. The college invented that.”

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UC Davis working again Dalton Turay’s helmet options the mascot Gunrock throughout a recreation in 2014, one of many final seasons the thoroughbred was depicted in that spot. Lately, the helmet emblem has consisted of the letters C and A. Brian Baer Particular to the Bee

Gunrock is rooted in custom at UCD for greater than 100 years, a thoroughbred, the offspring of a Triple Crown racing winner. And what a prolific animal. In response to UCD’s web site, Gunrock was “bred with 476 mares, a few of them from the college herd and the remainder from Northern California farms. Gunrock died in 1932.”

“We now have Maggie the Aggie run out onto the sector earlier than soccer video games, and it’s a horse, not a mustang,” Dunning mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t experience a cow on the market. Oh, and proper me if I’m improper. Isn’t a cow a feminine? Bull is the male? Possibly a bulls mascot? Some colleges which have Huskies as a mascot use Woman Huskies for ladies’s athletics. Woman Cows? Woman Bovine? That doesn’t work.”

I’ll go a bit deeper in serving to higher perceive the mascot debate. Sure, a cow is a feminine. A heifer is a feminine cow that has not had any offspring. Thankfully, nobody is suggesting UCD embrace a heifer as a mascot. Cow is a lot extra broad.

Dunning weighed the choices and added with conviction, “I say we return to Ollie!”

Dunning’s marketing campaign could be, “Lengthy stay Ollie.” And produce again the Bossy Cow Cow yell. Sure, that’s proper. The Bossy Cow Cow yell. I imply, if we’re going to have a cow, let’s make it a bossy cow, proper? I must circle again round to talk with Hashimoto on this. Dunning has that combat track memorized.

It goes like this:

Bossy Cow Cow

Honey Bee Bee

Oleo Margarine

Oleo Butterine

Alfalfa, Hay!

“That by no means obtained banned, and previous alums know the bossy cow cow yell,” Dunning mentioned. “It was goofy, nevertheless it was enjoyable.”

Dunning closed with this, “I would like Ollie Mustang again! They stole Ollie from us, modified it to Gunrock, one thing extra macho, I assume. However Gunrock isn’t intimidating. The costume isn’t intimidating. It’s cute. I’m such a traditionalist. However gained’t a cow be a troublesome promote?”

Not in response to Hashimoto. Although he senses UCD athletics wouldn’t embrace a cow mascot, he does envision a money cow of selling concepts. Step one to see if this passes, and if the college administration takes it practically as critically as the scholars.

A dairy cow chews a mouthful of cattle feed on the UC Davis Dairy Instructing and Analysis Facility in 2018. Randall Benton Sacramento Bee file

Joe Davidson has coated sports activities for The Sacramento Bee since 1988. He’s a 14-time award winner from the California Prep Sports activities Author Affiliation. In 2021, Davidson was honored with the CIF Distinguished Service. He’s a member of the California Coaches Affiliation Corridor of Fame. Davidson was a highschool athlete in Oregon, the place he participated in soccer and observe.

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