May 13, 2005

Can a vote resolve the school mascot dilemma? 

Someone at NPR called me yesterday looking for a recording of the Illinois 3 and 1 music, to which Chief Illiniwek does his dance-like halftime routine. Seems they were putting together a story about Marquette University, which announced that it will put 10 possible new nicknames up for a vote. Formerly known as the Warriors, Marquette had changed its nickname to the Golden Eagles following protests from Wisconsin's Indian tribes. Sound familiar? Too bad Illinois "divested" itself of Indian tribes some time ago, or things might be easier to figure out around here. But I digress... So Marquette announced last week that it would change its nickname from the Golden Eagles to just the Gold. And lots of people went "say what??!" Sounds too much like an adjective or something. Meanwhile, we at Illinois have more like an ad hominenem than an adjective for a nickname, mascot, honored symbol, or pick your term. Say what? I'll try to be less obscure about this in the future, but for now here are some interesting pointers concerning our own favorite controversy: University of Illinois President B. Joseph White's letter to the NCAA in response to its questionnaire concerning Native American "mascots, nicknames and logos" (PDF file) The U of I's "self evaluation" concerning same for the NCAA (also PDF) The Honor the Chief Society website The University of Illinois Native American House, which doesn't exactly agree with the Honor the Chief folks The Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative website, which has some alternative suggestions for graduation day activities on the campus of the University of Illinois Finally, WILL's Chief Illiniwek issues page, which has links to streaming archives of WILL interviews and news features, the complete Intake Session from the Judge Garippo Dialogue, the Roger Plummer report, and oskee wow wow, so much

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