The Greek community at the University of Texas at San Antonio was first established in 1977. Since that time it has been a tremendous asset to the University and the students. The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Greek community offers fellowship, scholarship, participation in campus activities, leadership training, service to the community and to the University, social outlets and preparation for future careers. Greek Life also provides an excellent opportunity to foster bonds of friendship that will last for a lifetime.
You’ve got to hand it to ’em
It was a Thursday night at Wurstfest in New Braunfels, 1980, and there were signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Except a Roadrunner hand sign. And that didn’t seem right to a group of pledge brothers from UTSA about to join Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Charles Guerra ’84, who was there that night, claims that was the birth of the Roadrunner hand sign as we know it today.
"It was some kind of college night," said Guerra, who earned a B.B.A. in finance and economics. "There were kids from colleges all over Texas. And they all started doing their hand signalsâ€”the gig ’em from the Aggies, hook ’em from the Longhorns, the Baylor claw.
"And somebody asked where we were from and what our mascot was," Guerra said. "UTSA wasn’t very well known then. We said ‘Roadrunners,’ and they asked what our hand sign was and we realized we didn’t have one." Fueled by a few cold beverages, a "creative spirit" took hold of the group, Guerra recalled.
Eddie Rios ’85 (B.B.A. in marketing) was another pledge brother at Wurstfest that night. "We all started talking about school spirit and traditions, and just began trying out different signals with our hands."
Soon, he said, "We started throwing out the thumb and the pinkie and yelling beep-beep like the roadrunner cartoon."
It seemed to fit, Guerra remembered. "Somebody said the thumb is the beak and the little finger is the tail."
The pledge brothers took their creation back to campus where, Guerra added, there weren’t many opportunities to flash the sign. There were no intercollegiate sports at the time; basketball wouldn’t start for another two years. But the hand signal survived, ultimately thrived and became, at least for UTSA, the sign of the times.
-Joe Michael Feist