After years of controversy, San Diego State may be getting a new mascot.
San Diego State University's Senate Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion proposed on Tuesday that the university form a task force to develop recommendations for a new mascot to replace the Aztec Warrior.
The commission would work with tribal leaders to select at least two Kumeyaay-named animals as new choices.
A representative from the university stated that the Aztec name would still remain in use, but not the Aztec Warrior mascot. Instead, what's being proposed would be a replacement of the imagery used in place of the warrior.
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"In May 2018, SDSU announced that the university will retain the Aztec name, but will no longer refer to the Aztec as the university mascot," SDSU's Lainie Fraser said in an email to NBC 7. "As a reminder, following the conclusion of the 2018 Aztec Identity Task Force and their subsequent report, visible changes were immediately made to the Aztec Warrior to achieve a respectful portrayal of a powerful figure from Aztec culture. Importantly, SDSU no longer has a university mascot; the Aztec name is not a mascot. 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, programs and other initiatives … designed to enhance Kumeyaay education and recognition, in particular."
The Aztec Warrior has not yet been fully retired. A person dressed in the mascot's costume -- presumably the updated, more respectful version -- has been spotted since then at an SDSU athletic event.
So what, exactly is the Aztec Warrior now?
"The individual you reference, the Aztec Warrior, is the university's spirit leader,"
Fraser told NBC 7.
A timeline for the transition to the new mascot is not yet set. Next steps include "community discussions … to identify additional imagery to serve in place of the warrior, under the Aztec name, and that imagery would be put forth as recommendations for review," Fraser wrote.