The women of Ryan Hall, the University’s newest residence hall, established their identity as the turquoise and white Ryan Wildcats Oct. 4 and released the image of their mascot Sunday night.
By voting on a mascot and dorm colors, Ryan, which opened this fall, took one more step toward creating the tradition and dorm pride that exists in other residence halls on campus, Ryan rectoress Breyan Tornifolio said.
“Hopefully our nickname will bring us together,” she said. “It’s a rallying point, it helps give us an identity.”
The process of choosing a mascot and colors began after the dorm elected its first executive council on Sept. 15, Tornifolio said.
Sophomore Courtney Vargas, the first president of Ryan Hall, said residents submitted ideas for color combinations and mascots to her. There were 44 mascots and 25 color choices submitted, Tornifolio said.
Three rounds of voting were held before the final mascot and colors were determined. Tornifolio said the top six choices for mascot included rascals, renegades, sirens, roses, and wranglers.
The final vote included a choice of renegades or wildcats for mascot and pink and navy or turquoise and white for colors schemes. The results were announced Oct. 4.
“I haven’t heard any complaints,” Vargas said of the outcome. “I think we all came together as a dorm.”
Last week Ryan collected submissions from residents for drawings of the Wildcat mascot. The residents voted on the 13 options Friday and Saturday, and the result was released Sunday night.
With the Wildcat mascot, Tornifolio said she hopes there will be more pride and spirit in the dorm. For example, at interhall football games, she said other dorms cheer for their team by calling out the name of the mascot, but Ryan was without one for the first few games.
“Now we have something that we can say,” she said.
Tornifolio said the next step would be the creation of Ryan apparel.
“I think that a big thing for us is to have something that actually says ‘Ryan Hall Wildcats’ on it,” she said.
After fall break, the executive council will begin to establish a signature event for the hall, in addition to other events that will develop community among the residents, Vargas said.
“[Ryan] really needs to be a community where people get to know each other,” she said. “It’s really up to the dorm. I want everyone to be involved. I want to see events that people want to go to.”
Vargas said the process of leading a new residence hall to create traditions has been exciting.
“We’re trying to form our own identity,” she said. “I think that it’s a really great experience. You really get to start from scratch and try new things. No one has any expectations yet because nothing’s set in stone.”
One of the challenges in this process is the mixture of upperclassmen who moved from other residence halls and were accustomed to a variety of different traditions and dorm cultures, Vargas said.
Tornifolio, who was the rector of Pasquerilla East Hall for three years before moving to Ryan, said this year has been both fun and challenging.
“I think when you have stuff established, you just take things for granted that it’s going to run smoothly,” she said.
The dedication of Ryan Hall will take place Oct. 16 with a mass in the Basilica with the Ryan family. University President Fr. Jenkins will also bless the Hall, and the residents will host a reception following the dedication, Tornifolio said.