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The Gauntlet

Dinos mascot should court women more

Women's teams need Rex's enthusiasm as much as the men

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According to Campus Rec, the Dinos' mascot Rex attends both women's and men's sporting events equally. However, recent reports from avid Dinos' fans claim the lady Dinos get less attention from Rex than do the men's teams. In fact, there were players, as well as events staff, who claimed they had never seen Rex at a lady Dinos' game until last weekend for the University of Calgary/University of British Columbia women's volleyball faceoff. Even Rex himself admits that the department specifically requested his presence there, coincidently after they had been interviewed for this article.

Campus Rec expects Rex to work at whichever athletics event is expected to generate the most fan support, be it football, hockey, volleyball or basketball. If, as is the case with volleyball and basketball, the event is a back-to-back women's and men's double-header, Rex supposedly attends both. Why, then, does he consistently show up late for the women's games while performing the majority of his job during the men's?

While it may at first seem as though the lady Dinos do not receive the same support from Rex as do the men's teams, when given the chance to defend himself Rex brings up a good point.

"I can only last two-and-a-half to three hours in the suit so I attend the last half of the women's games and all of the men's," he says.

This is understandable considering the fact that more spectators turn out for men's games than women's, and naturally Rex wants to be there when his job will have the greatest effect. However, there are still at least two points to consider.

The general consensus among both fans and players is that Rex plays a valuable role in fan enthusiasm, possessing the ability to fire up the crowd and draw out a younger audience. My first point is that if Rex appeals mostly to younger fans, it would make more sense for him to attend the women's game in its entirety and leave after half of the men's. This is because women's games are always over before 8 p.m., whereas men's often run as late as 10 p.m.--way past my bedtime as a kid and still later than many parents like to keep their children up. Second, because more fans show up to men's events in the first place, it would be nice if Rex could give at least equal attention to the women's teams, hopefully encouraging more lady Dinos fan attendance while at the same time supporting them himself.

While Rex is described as "very equal opportunity" and in no way intentionally discriminates against the U of C's women's sports teams, hiring a second mascot or a system of alternating between women's and men's games would be an appropriate step towards a fairer distribution of official school support for Dinos' athletics. Either way, measures must be taken to ensure equal support on behalf of the school for women's sports teams, because in a world where women often struggle to be treated equally with men, we should not let any inequality go unnoticed.

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