UCSB: Why the Gaucho?

November 06, 2019 1 min read

Have you ever wondered why we are the Gauchos? Of the many, many mascot options out there and the passionate, strongly-held loyalties associated with said mascots, our story, too, is one of triumph: overcoming obstacles, forbidden love and the fancies of women.

Well, sort of. While we were first the Roadrunners (a fairly common mascot), Douglas Fairbanks in the 1927 filmThe Gaucho stole many of the female students’ hearts. Summarily, in 1933, a vote was cast led by the female students and the mascot was changed to the Argentine cowboy. So, you can largely thank the lovesick female populace at UCSB for our mascot today (“Nickname Gauchos”).

Since the ‘30s, there have been a few movements to change the mascot. Recently, there was a motion in 2018 to consider changing the mascot from Gauchos to Mapaches (Spanish for 'raccoons') given the large raccoon population on campus and our overall trashy Friday night reputation. However, the school has yet to see a mascot change movement with as much traction as the shift from Roadrunners to Gauchos. 

Morgan is a UCSB student in favor of shifting the of-fish-al mascot to something a bit more aquatic given our prime ocean-based location and it krills her that the lovesick females of ‘33 neglected the fin-tastic oppor-tuna-ty. Being hooked on puns, she thinks it would be otterly ridiculous to not cod-sider other, bait-er SB species that fit whale into our bay-to-bay conver-sea-tions. 

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