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San Antonio College will stop using the Ranger as its mascot after college staff, students, and community members questioned the legacy of the Texas Rangers, the state’s elite law enforcement division whose history is marred by lynchings and other killings of Mexican Americans.
The College Council, a group of administrators, department directors, faculty chairs, and program coordinators, unanimously decided to remove the Ranger. SAC President Robert Vela approved the removal on Tuesday.
“The debate is over and San Antonio College has gone on record as being inclusive, diverse, empowered, decisive, true to its values – and committed to doing the right thing,” Vela said in a prepared statement. “We’ve taken a great leap forward and now we can begin the process of fashioning a new mascot identity that reflects the very best qualities of our SAC community.”
The school will begin a search for a new college mascot, but it is unclear how or when a new mascot will be chosen.
SAC has used some version of the Ranger as its mascot since 1926. Last fall, SAC debuted a new iteration of the figure, introducing Antonio the Ranger. The new mascot wears a black mask and hat and red cape.
A petition circulated in 2019 after the Ranger’s look was changed, describing the use of a mascot associated with Mexican American oppression as offensive. Several hundreds signed the petition, sparking dialogue on campus.
“In addition to ignoring students who find having a symbol of Mexican-American oppression as a long time mascot offensive, San Antonio College has recently adopted a new mascot who is suggested to be a ‘masked ranger,’ with the appearance of a stereotypical Mexican bandit,” the petition stated.
In the last year, SAC surveyed the students and staff on the Ranger, and the majority of respondents supported its removal, leading to the Tuesday announcement.