Pat Glasgow and Bob Ernst, two water polo players, are regarded as the main instigators for the campaign to select the Anteater as mascot, with some inspiration from the Johnny Hart comic strip "B.C." The two student-athletes, along with the marketing creativity of fellow student Schuyler Hadley Bassett III, organized an intense promotional effort prior to the November 30, 1965 student election.

By election time, only the Anteaters, Eagles, Unicorns, Golden Bears and Seahawks had obtained the required 100 signatures to be included on the ballot. The Anteater emerged victorious in the final tally with 55.9 percent of the vote.

Bassett borrowed the war cry "Zot" from the Anteater in the "B.C." comic strip and established his own fraternity, Zeta Omega Ta (ZOT).

The successful campaign led to a piece on the nickname in an issue of Sports Illustrated and into the news-commentary segment of the well-known Huntley-Brinkley newscast.


The Rip 'Em Eaters hand sign stems from the action taken by an anteater when called to defend itself. When attacked, an anteaters sits in a tripodal position with its two hind feet and tail and "RIPS" a part its predator; hence, the term "Rip 'Em Eaters."

Whether you are cheering at a game, walking on campus or hanging out on the weekends, the Rip 'Em Eaters hand sign is your bond with fellow UC Irvine Anteaters. The Rip 'Em Eaters hand sign was established to provide UC Irvine students and alumni a sense of pride and camaraderie. If you are in a different country or a different time zone, the Rip 'Em Eaters hand sign transcends time and location and allows you to communicate in a language which by no other person would understand other than an ANTEATER!

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