Interview Leftovers: Torres on Peruna

Peruna races across the field with a handler after an SMU score. Photo Courtesy SMU Athletics

The hardest part in writing a story is deciding which parts of an interview you discard. My interview with Student Body President Jake Torres had many interesting points—some of which I couldn’t fit into my article on his plans for the upcoming year. One topic of note to students: Peruna’s status as the official mascot.

“We’re still fighting for Peruna,” Torres said.

You may remember the hubbub that arose from billionaire T. Boone Picken and his wife Madeleine’s donation of two mustangs to SMU by way of her National Wild Horse Foundation. Many felt that the mustangs were intended to replace Peruna as the school mascot.

Student Senate passed legislation last October declaring Peruna as the official mascot and worked with the University to ensure that his role would be preserved. SMU later clarified the mustangs’ roles at football games—saying Peruna wasn’t being replaced.

Torres, who was a Peruna handler last year, is keeping tabs on the issue.

“We’re still trying to keep him as our only mascot,” he said. “It looks like he’s going to travel to a couple of games, which is neat because they wanted to send the big horses. We were really adament that if the big horses go, then Peruna needs to go.”

Torres said Peruna may travel to a school such as UTEP, Rice or Tulane… “or some combination of those.”

And although he is a Peruna fan, Torres said that he does support the horses because they are representatives of the University.

“But Peruna’s still the mascot,” he said, “and that’s never going to change.”

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About Meredith Shamburger

Meredith is a journalist working for the Longview News-Journal in Longview, Texas.
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