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UC Santa Cruz Cheer Could Be “Go, Slugs″

April 24, 1986 GMT

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) _ Cheerleaders at the University of California at Santa Cruz could soon be yelling ″Go, Slugs 3/8″

The school is voting this week on a move to change the university mascot from the sea lion to the banana slug, a creature that abounds in the cool, wet forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Early returns show the proposal may pass.

The students voted overwhelmingly five years ago for the slug as mascot, but chancellor Robert Sinsheimer decreed Sea Lions as the nickname after talking with athletes.

In an April 10 letter to the student newspaper, he said: ″As a symbol of our athletic ambitions, consider that the banana slug is: spineless (ipso facto), yellow (cowardly), sluggish (slow of foot) and slimy (enough said).″

Eric Satzman, head of the student government, said the banana slug is a symbol of the school’s noncompetitive nature, in which learning takes priority over grades.

He received support from economics professor David Kaun.

″I think it’s true that this campus and most of the student athletes want to keep sports, which is an important part of life, in proper perspective,″ Kaun said. ″It’s fun, it’s play.″