MnSCU Board adopts resolution against discriminatory logos, names, mascots and nicknames

Posted: February 21, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees today adopted a resolution opposing the use of discriminatory logos, names, mascots and nicknames by its institutions and opposing intercollegiate athletic and other competitive teams.

All 34 presidents of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities endorse the position. None of the system's institutions uses logos, names, nicknames or mascots that would violate this policy.

"The board supports this stand and hopes to underscore its importance through this resolution," Board Chair Mary Choate said. "We believe that acknowledging and eliminating discrimination in all its forms on our campuses requires a continuing effort on many fronts."

Under the resolution, the Board of Trustees:

  • Will not have any discriminatory logos in its institutions;
  • Strongly opposes the use of derisive logos, names, mascots and nicknames by other institutions' athletic teams or teams involved in other forms of intercollegiate competition;
  • Joins those who desire to stop the use of discriminatory logos and names by athletic teams and in other areas of intercollegiate competition; and
  • Directs that the resolution be forwarded to MnSCU college and university presidents for distribution.

"Public academic institutions need to recognize and work to eliminate discrimination in all of its forms, including logos, names, mascots and nicknames," said Chancellor James H. McCormick.

The resolution states that the system seeks to provide a learning environment that acknowledges and values diversity of all kinds, including, but not limited to, race, religion and ethnicity, and that eliminating discrimination and ensuring civil rights must be a continuing effort.

The resolution also states, "Logos, names, mascots and nicknames referring to minority cultures may be based on negative images or other stereotypes that do not reflect an authentic identification with those cultures."

Trustee Will Antell, an American Indian, championed the resolution during the board meeting and commended St. Cloud State University President Roy Saigo for his advocacy on the issue. Saigo recently urged other presidents in the National Collegiate Athletic Association to take a stand against the use of American Indian nicknames and mascots.

Kathleen Nelson, president of Lake Superior College and co-chair of the system's Leadership Council that includes all 34 presidents, said the presidents appreciate the Board of Trustees' action.

"The presidents, in taking this position, wanted to reflect and model the system's core values of integrity, civility, citizenship and diversity," Nelson said.