After only 20 minutes of debate, the University Senate passed aresolution yesterday to keep the Aztec nickname but do away with, ormake-over, the “Monty” logo and mascot.
This is the final bit of advice President Stephen Weber will useto make his decision about the controversy, which has garnered thenation-wide attention since early September. Weber is expected toannounce his decision later this month.
“We are a southwestern university, and carrying the name of acivilization in America that predates the Europeans in my view isabsolutely appropriate,” said Senator Gordon Shackelford.
The Senate is also urging the President to start an advisorygroup, composed of scholars of Aztec culture, to reconsider logos,mascots and other representations of Aztec Culture on campus.
A resolution was also passed recommending the creation of anannual series of lectures, artistic presentations and discussionsabout the Aztec culture to be funded jointly by Academic Affairs,Associated Students and the Alumni Association.
During the meeting, some senators objected to the resolution,which was brought to the Senate by the Senate Executive Committee.
Senator David Strom cited a recent resolution made by the SonomaState University Senate that said the school would not use a humanmascot.
“I wish our executive committee could have made that kind of standother than the typical, middle-of-the-road, nothing-type ofresolution,” he said.
SDSU student John Paul Shumacher, who was verbally assaulted whenhe protested at the “Save Monty” rally Oct. 13, told the Senate thatNative Americans cannot compete with the images of college mascotsproduced across the nation.
“It’s not the depiction of the Aztec that’s offensive,” he said.”It is the fact that across the U.S., Native Americans are continuedto be depicted as a simple, red, people with a profile and that is alie.”
Mario Silva, president of the College of Arts and Letters Council,said he felt is was unfair to keep the Aztec nickname but change thelogos. For him, it’s all or nothing.
“If we’re going to say ‘Keep the Aztecs,’ then what other logos,what other pictures are we going to come up with?” he asked. “Theissue is still not going to be resolved if you keep the Aztecs.”
Senator Eve Kornfeld said because some people will not understandwhy the Senate made its decision, it is very important the schoolimplement the promises outlined in its resolution.
“We have a special obligation to ensure that we are notmisunderstood in our wish to acknowledge diversity of the Aztecculture,” she said. “It’s very hard to undo a stereotype, and youcan’t do it with just the vote of the Senate.”
The Senate is the fourth group to decide the fate of the Aztecnickname and “Monty” mascot.
Associated Students voted to remove both on Sept. 27; the AlumniAssociation voted to keep both last month.
SDSU students turned out in record numbers at the studentreferendum Oct. 23 to 25. Over 95 percent of the 8,050 students whovoted said they wanted to keep the mascot and nickname.