We all know our lovely mascot Rocky, but who are the people behind the bee mask? 

Being Rocky used to be a volunteer position, like pep band membership and other school spirit coordinators. Now, it is a paid position, as Club Sports & Crowdfunding Associate Director Kyle DeManincor told the Campus Times. Usually, Rocky is played by student workers, however DeManincor revealed that, during some summer events, faculty and staff can get a cut of the action too.

Becoming Rocky is fairly simple: Any interested student can email DeManincor to audition. There are five or six Rockies right now, mostly sophomores and juniors, as seniors are usually too busy at this time of the year. 

One can request Rocky’s presence through CCC resource request forms for $35 an hour. Rockies are often requested for varsity athletics games and orientation events. There are around 30 to 35 requests per year for Rocky’s appearance. 

Some experienced Rockies can get around on their own, but most of the time, Rocky is accompanied by a Rocky handler who helps them travel around campus, engage onlookers, and with the laborious task of getting the costume on in the first place.

One of the Rockies, who all spoke to the Campus Times under the condition of anonymity, compared the awkward situations they and their handler get into to a Looney Tunes cartoon — trying to sneak the Rocky costume out of the storage room while keeping some mystique can create some funny situations. Two of the Rockies said that managing the costume is pretty hard, especially the shoes, which one of them stuffs with paper towels to make them more manageable. One Rocky tripped and fell at a basketball game during their very first event. 

Another Rocky compared wearing the costume to having a backpack on their neck that is pressing on their forehead and dragging them down, and wearing a puffer jacket in summer. They also said that their proudest moment was getting into the Mountain Dew Baja Blast cart. Turns out, many of the Rockies are short and wear glasses, which makes wearing the costume more challenging. However, they think that the mascot being short makes him less scary. 

One of the Rockies shared that playing the mascot helped them gain the confidence to approach strangers and dance in front of other people. The inability to speak in costume also helps them feel less embarrassed in awkward situations, as well as be themselves more freely.

Many alumni treat them like an old friend, sharing all of their positive memories associated with the wasp. The Rockies also shared that little kids are the ones most excited to see the mascot. DeManincor told the CT that Rockies are more involved on campus than we might think, and that many of them are in various campus organizations.

From heavy interactions with the pep band to constant dances to good music, each Rocky lets their personality shine through the limitations of the costume. But, as one of the Rockies put it, “The mascot is a timeless constant regardless of who’s wearing it.”

Tagged: Rocky Stinger WHO?

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