By Denali Norton
Rocky the Ram, City College’s mascot, has been spotted at a few events this semester including the San Francisco Pride Parade over the summer, Welcome Back Day, and Unity Day. The mastermind behind the suit is City College student Fran Smith, who works hard to engage with those who interact with Rocky.
After being a cheerleader and doing costume work for other events, Smith is the perfect candidate for City College’s mascot. While dressed in the Rocky costume Smith loves to make the crowd smile and have fun with her.
“Generally I like people to smile and have fun while I’m the mascot,” Smith said.
While in the costume, there are a few things Smith keeps in mind to keep the character alive. For example, she never speaks and only mimes activities like pointing at someone’s phone and imitating a selfie to get her audience to take photos with Rocky. She always tries to stay positive and simply waves goodbye and moves on when someone doesn’t want to interact with the mascot.
It can be hard work in the mascot costume. The Rocky suit itself has a fan on top of it, but it is broken. Smith noted the importance of staying hydrated because it gets so hot in the suit. While on the San Francisco Pride Parade route this year Smith would stop in the car that followed her along the route to take off the head and drink water because of how hot and exhausting it is to be in the suit.
Smith first started working as the mascot for the San Francisco Pride Parade in 2019 when City College outreach publicized the need for people to be in the parade and for someone to be the mascot. Since then, Smith has continued her job of being the mascot for this year’s fall semester, participating in City College campus events.
“If there’s anything I’m going to do in college, I’m gonna be the school mascot because I think it’s cool” Smith said.
With previous experience with costume and character work, Smith considers getting to be Rocky another great activity to add to her resume. She previously ice-skated as Snoopy at the Union Square ice rink for a clip for Channel 4 News and dressed as Simon the Chipmunk for a movie premiere of “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
Even though Smith has previous experiences in complex costumes she still studies what mascots at larger schools do at events. She takes note of how these mascots form connections with their audience and how she can replicate that as her own mascot.
Smith has been very school spirited from her first year
as a student to now as a returning one. Being Rocky the Ram lets her share that joy with others as she tries to get them just as excited as she is inside the Rocky costume.
“People just want to have that fun part of the college experience. I don’t want people to forget that with all the crappy stuff going on, there is also the fun college stuff too.” Smith said.