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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Students vote to change UC Davis mascot to a cow

Proposition to change the UC Davis mascot to a cow passes in the ASUCD spring election


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org


In this year’s ASUCD spring elections, students voted to change the UC Davis official mascot from Gunrock the mustang to a cow. According to the ASUCD elections website, 2,532 students voted “Yes,” and 936 students voted “No” on changing the current mascot. 

The vote was inspired by the Cow4Mascot campaign, which is a student-organized movement with the intention of having the UC Davis mascot become a dairy cow. The measure only seeks a mascot change, and the title of “Aggies” will remain in place.

“Seventy-three percent [of voters] voted ‘Yes.’ Students overwhelmingly decided that a cow better represents us than a horse,” said Elios Sgouros, a fourth-year computer science major. “Now, we just need to see if the administration listens to us.”

Third-year animal science major Chloe Bolanos shared why she feels the cow is a more fitting mascot for UC Davis. 

“I think it’s cool that we have a cow because it’s a unique mascot, a ton of other schools have mustangs,” Bolanos said. “Also, we should have something that represents our beginnings and how our school is now. We have a great animal science program and a great veterinary school, and we do a ton of research at the cattle facility.”

The Cow4Mascot movement was originally introduced to the ASUCD Senate by Senator Dennis Liang and Senator Gaius Ilupeji in March as SB XX, which sought to place the measure on the spring election ballot. Due to the wording of the bill, it was, at the time, tabled indefinitely.

However, the issue was later approved to be on the ballot by the Senate on March 22 in the form of SB #73, as introduced by Liang. 

According to Liang, the motivation behind the two Senate bills was to build a sense of camaraderie among UC Davis students.

“The interconnections between students, campus organizations and [Registered Student Organizations] had been severely dampened by the pandemic,” Liang said. “This was why we as Cow4Mascot entered into so many partnerships with other UCD groups, we wanted to use this platform to bring attention to other things around campus and give students a sense of campus culture.”

At a meeting with the Editorial Board on May 26, Chancellor Gary May and other campus administrators provided their comments on the vote.

The Alumni Association is generally not in favor of changing the mascot,” May said. “Gunrock is the mascot. The same ballot measure we were just discussing, only 12% of the students voted so even though it won by 70-80%, I wouldn’t say that’s a mandate electorally. I do applaud the spirit, enthusiasm and passion students had and all the work they put in.”

For those in favor of the mascot change, May recommended meeting with the Cal Aggie Alumni Association and Intercollegiate Athletics leadership to come to a compromise. 

“Many schools have multiple mascots,” May said in the meeting with the Editorial Board. “I came from one at Georgia Tech that has Ramblin’ Wreck and a Yellow Jacket, and it works fine. So maybe we might do something similar here, but I encourage them to work with the people that are stakeholders to come up with a solution.”

Representatives of Cow4Mascot are currently speaking with the administration and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, according to a tweet from the movement on June 2. 


Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org