Behind the Mask: Get To Know Your Brother Jaspers

By, Jilleen Barrett & Megan LaCreta, A&E Editor & Asst. Features Editor

The crowd inside Draddy Gymnasium is on its feet. The sound of cheers echoes throughout the building. Jasper Nation’s energy is palpable. Who is the star worthy of such celebration? Is it the men’s basketball MVP? The women’s rookie of the year? Or is it a towering, big-headed, Irish-jig dancing Catholic brother? That’s right, folks. These cheers are for Manhattan College’s very own mascot, the incomparable Brother Jasper.

A group effort is required to bring Brother Jasper to life. The mascot is played by three different students, whose identity is kept under wraps. The Quadrangle spoke with two of the mascots, who will be referred to as Brother Jasper 1 and Brother Jasper 2 in order to maintain their anonymity. These students are supported by the mascot managers, assistant directors of student engagement Sharon Ortega and Michael Steele.

The role of Brother Jasper is a paid work study position through Student Engagement. In an email to the Quadrangle, Brother Jasper 2 explained how they were selected for the role.

“[I] saw an ad on the student engagement Instagram looking for students to be the new mascot, so being me, I reached out through email expressing my interest and my height (as requested in the ad),” Brother Jasper 2 wrote. “My grandfather, who is a Manhattan College alumni, always said I would make a great mascot so I felt that I had an obligation to the family name to do what I can to get the part.”

Brother Jasper can usually be seen at basketball games, but may pop up at some other student engagement events in the future. Brother Jasper 1 has only appeared at basketball games so far, and shared how they felt about taking on the role during the highly anticipated Battle of the Bronx.

“My favorite so far has been the game against Fordham, considering the comeback win and the energy I felt,” Brother Jasper 1 wrote.

Brother Jasper 1 also wrote they see a positive reaction from the crowd when they have appeared at games. When performing, this Brother Jasper is careful to give the audience what they want—a sense of school spirit.

“They seem very excited to see me, some even asking to take pictures,” Brother Jasper 1 wrote. “Taking from my past experience in acting, I was focused, prepared to not let anything take me out of character.”

Brother Jasper has a crowd-pleasing few stunts, including McGregor’s strut and an “Irish jig.” Ortega says while doing such stunts, it’s important for them to have a spotter, a role she is glad to fill.

“The role is very exciting,” Ortega said. “I feel honored to be part of this first year of Brother Jasper doing what he was meant for.”

Brother Jasper 2 feels similarly, showing school spirit isn’t just for the fans — it’s for the people who actually get to play Brother Jasper too.

“When I’m Brother Jasper I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than me,” they wrote.

“While I may feel incredibly hot and sweaty, I feel that I have a duty to my family, my team and my school that I do my best and most importantly pump up that crowd.”