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San Diego State University Senate votes to create task force to select new mascot

Suggestions include 'Amu' a Kumeyaay bighorn sheep
Posted at 4:34 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 23:21:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Tuesday, the San Diego State University senate passed a resolution urging the school to start the process of selecting a new university mascot.

It's a discussion that comes around every few years to keep or get rid of San Diego State University's "Aztec" identity.

"It just comes down to just being flat-out offensive," SDSU Native American Student Alliance member Jerimy Billy said.

Tuesday evening, the University Senate passed a resolution (53-9) urging the school to begin the process of selecting a new mascot. Instead of using a human depiction of an Aztec Warrior, the six-page resolution calls to create a task force that will work with tribal leaders to choose new options honoring local Kumeyaay animals, such as the "Amu" or bighorn sheep.

"I felt that I did a great job of upholding the culture," Kyle Anderberg, who was the Aztec Eagle Warrior from 2012 to 2015, said. "It was really cool interacting with all of the fans and doing push-ups after touchdowns and running on the basketball court."

Anderberg said all the Aztec Warriors before and after him were trained to treat the job with respect and that an Aztec cultural artist made the uniform.

"It was not a costume. We never called it a costume. It was a uniform. It was cool to take pride in that," Anderberg said.

He said it is sad this may be the end of a long tradition.

"There's plenty of things that were supposed traditions that, you know, don't have a place in modern times," Billy said.

To clarify, the university has not had an official mascot for years but continues to refer to the Aztec as a "spirit leader."

SDSU sent ABC 10News this statement:

"The University has since retired all references or uses of the Aztec moniker as a mascot in university spaces and, over more than two years, has introduced resources… designed to enhance Kumeyaay education and recognition."
San Diego State University

The resolution calls for the university to choose a new official animal mascot by April 2022.