University Of Illinois Group Calls For New Mascot

U Of I Student Group Wants New Mascot

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – A group of students at the University of Illinois wants the school to choose a new mascot to replace the now-retired Chief Illiniwek.

“The (Champaign) News-Gazette” reports that Students for a United Campus scheduled a protest on campus Friday to try to pressure administrators to pick a replacement.

The group also wants the university to stop another group from holding a pro-Chief event Saturday. The university has said it won’t.

The university stopped using the Chief mascot in 2007 after NCAA sanctions and years of complaints by American Indians and others. But the school continues to call its sports teams the Fighting Illini.

The student group says it wants a new mascot to end what it calls an atmosphere of racial tension on campus.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • KD

    And while we’re at it, let’s be sure to change the name of every city and state in this country that is derived from a Native American word. It’s too bad these people can’t embrace the fact that the name Fighting Illini honors the spirit of the tribe this state is named after. I have NEVER held our Natives in anything but high regard, and am really tired of the NCAA caving in to the demands of a very small minority of people, especially when they pick and choose who to impose these restrictions on, i.e. Florida State Seminoles. Stop whining and get to work helping your people recover from the abject poverty and alcoholism that is destroying your culture. Leave the Fighting Illini alone.

    • Thomas Garza

      ‘Our Natives’? Really?
      In case the previous commenter is wondering, the Native peoples of this land don’t belong to anyone but themselves, and this includes the right to use their art, their names, cultures or anything else.
      Regardless of what you’d like to think you’re using it for.
      But apparently they are ‘our Natives’ when we want to honor them, even if we do it with some silly caricature that is no more ‘Native’ than something out of a 1920s Disney cartoon, but they are ‘your people’ when it comes to helping them respond to the after-effects of our attempts at colonization and genocide.

  • ChiTech

    Why in the world would the U of I want to adopt a mascot? We’ve never had one before and got by just fine. Even the team names, “Fighting Illini,” commemorates members of the Illini family who gave their lives in WW I. Why would we want to change such an honorable name to something like the “Pooping Boll Weavils” or some other stupid animal like other schools use?

    This is all just a front for a radical minority of socialists who have no clue about the real history of Chief Illiniwek, the term Illini and the term Fighting Illini. It’s time we put the Board of Trustees back to being elected, so the people can once again take control of this fine institution before a radical minority ruins it.

  • Mike

    Political correctness in incorrect. I don’t hear the natives complaining about their government handouts.

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