A.S. votes to reject mascot resolution

by Colleen Larson, Staff Writer

The Associated Students University Council voted to 25-1 to reject the resolution to change the mascot at its meeting on Nov. 19. There were three abstentions. Approximately 20 students, including the resolution’s authors, showed up to the Council Chambers to witness the vote.

Several public speakers acknowledged that the vote to change the mascot would probably be turned down, but still urged the council to consider its opinions.

“You should vote to change the mascot because it is discriminatory and racist,” international security and conflict resolution junior Sierra Marcelius said. “If we change the mascot we will be seen as a leader on a national scale.”

Other speakers took a more aggressive approach in urging the council to change the mascot.

“I am here to tell you, as a group of mainly white people, and maybe some tokenized people of color, this land belongs to a group of people who faced genocide,” alumnus Nadir Bouhmouch said. “How can a people of such privilege make this decision? I don’t believe a group of white people is going to get together and decide if something is racist for a group of people of color. It is racist for a fact.”

English freshman Camille Tiberghien was the only public speaker that encouraged the council to vote to reject the resolution to change the Aztec Warrior mascot.

Before voting, UC representatives also commented on the resolution.

UC representatives said financial reasons, such as rebranding costs, was the main reason their individual colleges voted against the resolution. Other representatives said that the mascot celebrated the Aztec culture.

The Board of Directors will have to approve the UC’s vote before the result is final and the resolution process ends.

A.S. Vice President of University Affairs Corey Polant said the board will continue to discuss ways in which the campus can represent the Aztec Warrior mascot in non-racist ways.

The A.S. University Affairs Board previously researched different aspects of the mascot and voted to reject the resolution as a recommendation to the UC.

The Queer People of Color Collective proposed the resolution on Oct. 2, saying in the document that the name “Aztec” and the Aztec Warrior mascot “perpetuates harmful stereotypes of Native Americans.”

QPOCC members Thomas Negron and A.T. Furuya declined to comment.