Politics & Policy

Rutgers Student Government Votes to Add Minority, Gender-Nonconforming Mascots

Right now the school's only mascot is a white male and that's just not fair.

The Rutgers University Student Assembly has voted to add a team of new, diverse school mascots — which could include a black mascot, a Latino mascot, a female mascot, and a “third-gender” mascot — just to make sure they’re being fair to everyone.

Right now, the school’s only mascot is a — trigger warning — white male, and that just “does not seem right,” according to Emmet Brennan, student assembly parliamentarian.

“Our mascot does not represent how diverse we are as a school,” he said, according to an article in the Daily Targum, the school’s official student newspaper.

The bill passed late last month — and “not by a slim margin,” according to Brennan.

Brennan said he was the one who had the idea for the bill, and that he thought of it when he was working in the press box at a football game and noticed the mascot’s light skin and blue eyes.

Of course, Brennan said, they would go to great lengths to make sure the new mascots could no way at all ever be interpreted as insensitive in any way:

“So we would have a working committee of the different multicultural [organizations], possibly the Queer Caucus — basically students who represent a unique voice, and have them all working together at the same table to make sure red flags that arise with any of those groups — that mascot would immediately be tabled,” he said.

Brennan added that under the bill, there could be any number of mascots added.

#related#“It’s not defined that we need an Asian knight, a black knight, a Latino knight . . . we would really leave it up to different student organizations . . . and basically the student body as a whole to determine how many knights they’d like and what these knights would represent,” he said.

The Scarlet Knight has been the school’s mascot since 1955. The bill would not eliminate him, but would simply add however many of what the Targum called “mascot friends” that the student body wanted to add.

The future of the diverse mascot fleet remains uncertain at the moment, and will depend on input from the school’s students, administration, and alumni, as well as available funding.

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