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ERIC Number: EJ931381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-28
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
The Name Game
Oguntoyinbo, Lekan
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v28 n6 p9-10 Apr 2011
For eight decades, students at Southeast Missouri State University, a mid-sized college located on the banks of the Mississippi River in rural, conservative Cape Girardeau, had proudly rooted for its sports teams, the Indians. The old-timers said the name was adopted in the mid-1920s to honor the legacy of American Indians and their warrior traditions. The teams had an Indian mascot. There was an Indian logo. And the entrance to Houck Stadium, the university's football arena on the edge of campus, was dominated by an imposing, 30-foot-tall statue of an American Indian man. Then as the new millennium dawned, the university's administration decided that maybe the use of an American Indian symbol wasn't so cool any more. In 2003 the university set up a committee to study the possibility of a name change. The committee was short-lived. People were in great opposition to the change. Undaunted, the university decided to try again two years later. In the end, the university community came around and overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new mascot, the Redhawk. Judging by the number of students who don Redhawk apparel on campus, the new mascot has been a huge success. Though not as well known as some of the other controversies that erupted around plans to change American Indian mascots, the events at Southeast Missouri State show how, when handled carefully, discarding offensive American Indian imagery can actually become a tool for bringing the university community together.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri