SDSU Students File Referendum to Change Aztec Warrior Mascot


San Diego State University Queer People of Color Collective has filed a resolution asking the student body to end its association with the term "Aztecs" as it mounts to racism and inappropriateness.

Currently, the Aztec Warrior with an aggressive body language is the school's mascot, and its spear is used at special events and printed on the SDSU Athletics Logo, uniforms and memorabilia. The spear is also featured in the slogan 'fear the spear'.

Opponents feel that the words and costumes related to "Aztecs" propagate harmful stereotypes of Native Americans including their innate violent, dangerous, and savage behaviour.

"This country's courts had to legally declare racist acts, such as slavery, and racial segregation unconstitutional because its citizens would gladly continue practicing these acts if they weren't illegal. It goes without saying that keeping the Aztec Warrior as a mascot perpetuates negative stereotypes of NATIVE AMERICANS. Therefore, SDSU should permanently retire its Aztec mascot," staff columnist Jose Gutierrez said, UT San Diego reports.

The University officials chose Aztec Warrior as the school's mascot 10 years ago to replace the then-often-mocked and controversial Monty Montezuma. After scanning over a dozen documents on Aztec culture, the University officials believed that sports teams would embody the achievements, tenacity and battlefield heroics of the Aztecs. The changes were overwhelmingly confirmed in a student referendum.

"There's something inherently special about our student body exhibiting pride when we, old and young, collectively cheer on the Aztec Warrior as he rallies us together," senior staff columnist Anthony Berteaux said.

Other Universities with native symbols and mascots have eventually retired the characters as they felt inappropriate including Dartmouth College, Eastern Michigan University, Seattle University, Southern Oregon University and Stanford University.

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