San Diego State has long rallied about its mascot The Aztecs, but may soon join other schools in changing its symbol to avoid objections over cultural insensitivity. We previously discussed the controversial decisions to drop the “Fighting Sioux” and “Chief Illini.” This decisions and polls show Native Americans largely supportive of team names referencing National American icons or tribes.
What is striking is that students have rejected past referendums calling for a name change. The faculty senate then stepped in to force the change. The senate passed a non-binding resolution 52-15 for a name change and to “retire all human representations of the Aztec Warrior and accompanying symbols.” The senate also recommended the removal of the use of spears or “weapons that connote barbaric representations of the Aztec culture.”
As a historical footnote, the Aztecs were pretty brutal with a culture based on blood-curdling human sacrifice.
The resolution goes to interim university President Sally Roush for consideration, though she could table the resolution until a new president is hired.