San Diego State University's mascot scored a huge win Wednesday night.
Members of the Associated Student Council voted 14 to 12, with one abstention, against a resolution that would have retired the Aztec mascot and moniker.
The decision sparked outrage as several students took to a podium after the vote, shouting at the council.
One student said, “ I resign from my position.” Another shouted “ Please do your jobs.”
Raelynn Bichitty is part of the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) on campus. They stood united during the vote hoping the resolution to change the mascot would pass.
“For me, this Aztec is encouraging cultural appropriation. It’s saying it’s okay to use people as mascots. It’s okay to dehumanize them because they’re not on our level," said Bichitty.
The decision to keep the mascot came after at least four hours of a fiery debate.
Josh Skolnick was among the 14 councilmembers who voted to keep the Aztec warrior, noting the name is a tribute to the tribe's courage and bravery.
Like others who voted against the resolution, he said doing away with the name would erase tradition and wouldn’t be financially prudent.
“Fiscally this would be a nightmare, losing hundreds of millions of dollars and a loss of our brand as a whole. And a huge disrespect to Aztec alumni,” said Skolnick.
“There are councilmembers here that are talking about finance. And I don’t understand why that’s more important than the psychological image it has on Native American students," Councilmember Asha Abdirahim argued.
This is not the first time there has been a failed effort to retire the mascot.
NASA's president said it won't be the last if there's not change before she graduates.
“There’s going to be a clear path for people who do come in to take this by the reigns and tear this beast down. This is a racial sickness. A sickness,” said Marissa Mendoza.
University officials issued a statement after the vote that, read, in part: “A similar resolution has also been proposed to the University Senate and is expected to go through its own policy discussion process in the fall.”