Students discuss changing Aztec mascot

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Students discuss changing Aztec mascot

A man portrays the Aztec Warrior mascot at a sporting event in spring 2017.

A man portrays the Aztec Warrior mascot at a sporting event in spring 2017.

Kelly Smiley

A man portrays the Aztec Warrior mascot at a sporting event in spring 2017.

Kelly Smiley

Kelly Smiley

A man portrays the Aztec Warrior mascot at a sporting event in spring 2017.

by Spencer White, Staff Writer

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The Student Diversity Commission voted on the Aztec mascot resolution put forward by the Native American Student alliance on April 10.

A meeting was held Monday afternoon to discuss and vote on a resolution regarding the change of the name and moniker of the SDSU mascot, the Aztec. The resolution passed with a unanimous vote.

Communication senior Anthony Lee has been involved with Associated Students as a board member, and said he felt it was important to be at the meeting.

“I’ve been involved for so long in these kind of things for a while now and I think it’s important to stay in the know with what’s going on,” he said.

Lee agreed with the decision of the commission and said it was not an easy choice.

“When something has been around for so long it’s tough to change it,” Lee said. “But it was bound to happen eventually and it’s ultimately the right decision.”

The meeting began with two speakers who presented to the board.

The first was criminal justice senior Crystal Sudano, who has been interested in the mascot debate for almost 10 years.

Sudano brought research detailing the history of the controversial character and why she felt the mascot’s origins were suspicious.

Chicano Studies professor Isidro Ortiz also spoke at the meeting.

He said he had spent several years as an A.S. advisor and the situation concerning the mascot at SDSU was similar to his alma mater Stanford, and how their old Indian mascot was offensive to students.

Ortiz has held the position for SDSU to get rid of the the Aztec mascot since 2000, he said at the meeting.

English and American Indian Studies sophomore Lane Yazzie is a part of the Native American Students Association at SDSU.  He said he was pleased with the result of the vote, but is anxious for the meetings to follow.

“It is intimidating because there are a lot of people in support of the mascot,” said Yazzie. “It’s a good opportunity though for people to learn when these talks come up.”

Yazzie said students should take the time to see things from a different perspective while at SDSU.

“We are at an institution of learning and it’s important to take time to learn,” Yazzie said. “Especially how it affects native people.”

Social science senior Rachel Muntz asked SDSU students to imagine being in another person’s shoes.

“Students should consider how they would feel if it was their culture being used as a mascot, and the impact it has on these students,” Muntz said. “We have students that feel oppressed and marginalized and it’s not acceptable.”

She spoke about her expectations for the next meeting, and said she was worried that people will steer away from the main focus of the resolution.

“There are some members that are receptive towards it, but I just hope good questions are asked,” Muntz said. “I am worried that people are going to bring up the cost of rebranding, which might be a valid point, but it has nothing to do with the issue of racism that the resolution addresses.”

The A.S. University Council will meet at 3:30 p.m. April 12 to further discuss the resolution. There will be an official vote on the resolution on April 19.

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