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University moves ahead with selecting Aztec mascot and moniker task force

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The Aztec Warrior mascot – now to be called a

The Aztec Warrior mascot – now to be called a "spirit leader" – at a football game in fall 2017.

Kelly Smiley

Kelly Smiley

The Aztec Warrior mascot – now to be called a "spirit leader" – at a football game in fall 2017.

by Diana Guevarra, Staff Writer

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Members of a special task force designed to investigate the future of the Aztec mascot and moniker will be announced this week.

In November, The University Senate approved a non-binding resolution to retire the Aztec Warrior mascot — though not the Aztec name — and call for a task force to explore and make recommendations regarding the appropriateness of the current Aztec identity.

The 17-member task force will be composed of SDSU students, staff, faculty and alumni representatives along with two at-large community members appointed by Roush. Some additional members will be determined by the president to establish a balanced task force with diverse perspectives.

Roush is also considering input and recommendations from individuals or groups from larger San Diego community who wish to comment.

According to the SDSU press release, the task force will include:

  • Four SDSU student representatives selected from seven students nominated by the Associated Students Board of Directors plus an additional student appointed by Roush.
  • Four individuals selected from seven faculty and staff nominated by the University Senate plus an additional faculty or staff member appointed by Roush.
  • Four SDSU alumni selected from seven nominated by the SDSU Alumni Board of Advisors plus an additional alumni by appointed by Roush.
  • Two at-large San Diego community members appointed by Roush.

SDSU spokesperson Jill Esterbrooks said that those nominated had the ability to self-nominate or nominate a willing colleague. Final balloting for the pool of nominees took place online during the week of Jan. 22.

The task force will be announced on Feb. 2, and members will be expected to begin work immediately after, Esterbrooks said.

Associated Students President Chimezie Ebiriekwe potential nominees were narrowed down based on a desire to create a “diverse pool student representatives” to serve on the task force. Ebiriekwe met with each nominee in order to gauge their understanding of the mascot topic, he said.

The nomination processed request each person to provide a brief statement interest. Staff and faculty were to provide qualifications in addition to their statement.

“The task force plays an important role because the decision isn’t solely placed on President Roush,” Ebiriekwe said. “There’s a diverse group of individuals ranging from faculty, alumni, students and every single facet of SDSU that looks into the mascot identity is involved.”

A short survey will be sent out early February to SDSU alumni to gauge their input on the issue.

“There are thousands of alumni locally and around the world who care passionately about the university’s past and its future,” Dan Montoya, associate vice president of SDSU Alumni said in the press release. “Those voices are an important part of the conversation about honoring and celebrating our shared experiences as members of the SDSU community.”  

There are no indications on how the task force will conduct investigation, but it’s assumed they will also examine the usage of symbols and “weapons that connote barbaric representations of the Aztec culture.”

The task force will be given no later than April 30 to present its information and recommendation to the university president. Roush — who is serving as interim president and is expected to leave office this summer — intends to make an announcement on the mascot by the end of May.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “University moves ahead with selecting Aztec mascot and moniker task force”

  1. John Rapillo on January 29th, 2018 9:35 am

    Such nonsense.

  2. Mike on January 29th, 2018 10:34 pm

    No matter what you do you’ll select anything better that some will no be offended by or pretend to be offended by. Keep they Warrior and cut the overly sensitive politically correct nonsense out.

  3. Al on January 30th, 2018 9:18 am

    I’m no history professor, but from what I can recall the early Aztec society was centered on warfare and human sacrifice. The youth had extensive military training and the state was constantly trying to expand their civilization. It’s a fact that this was a hard-nosed and tough culture; hence, the name “Aztec Warrior.” Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a fitting name and mascot for a violent game like football. Would you rather be called the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs? Wake up people. It’s not discriminatory to call something what it is, especially a college mascot. Not to mention the school having over a 100 year history. What next? Do you want the Florida State Seminoles to remove their spears from their helmets? Where does it end? This whole “campus utopia” you’re creating with safe spaces and censorship isn’t going to prepare students for the real world.
    P.S. I know my view differs from yours but I would appreciate it if you didn’t delete my post considering I followed your 3 rules for commenting. People need to hear opposing views. Thank you

  4. Paul d'Heilly on February 20th, 2018 1:52 pm

    In addition, there is strong evidence that the near constant wars among the city states from today’s Central America to north of today’s Mexico City could also be considered ‘hunting expeditions.’ The human populations were very much larger than previously thought and most of the wild game, i.e., ‘meat protein’ was in very short supply. So, just as humans have done worldwide when meat protein was short, the Aztec armies brought the losing army home to kill and to eat. They drugged the defeated army and had them walk up the pyramid stair to be killed by evisceration w/ their heart torn out by reaching under the rib cage. Bodies were pushed to the side by other ‘priests’ and the blood ran down on stone drains. Thousands were killed this way after near every ‘war.’

    So this is the culture someone believes would be besmirched by having a male college student run around in a red costume and waving a spear? By the way, red feathers were their favored color.

    Gimme a break.

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