"Axemen" Mascot Front And Center At SEHS Forum

Jan 31, 2018

Roughly a hundred people gathered at South Eugene High School Wednesday to discuss whether or not the school mascot, “The Axemen” should stay or go. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Members of the SEHS varsity girls basketball team speak out in favor of keeping "The Axemen" at the January 31, 2018 forum.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

The majority of people who spoke were pro-“Axemen”, which has been the mascot since the 1930s.

Freshman Julia Scher is a varsity volleyball and track player. She acknowledges that many people are connected to the name, but feels it’s discriminatory. As to what she feels would be a better alternative...

“I don’t really have a preference of a name,” says Scher.

“As long as it includes everyone, I’ll be happy.  If it’s just the “Axe” then everyone feels included and everyone gets their history that they want.”

Among those wanting to keep the “Axemen” is senior Blair Lewis. She stood with her varsity basketball teammates during the forum.

"In my opinion, it’s only sexist once people start saying it is,” Lewis tells KLCC. “And I think I speak for my whole team when I say that we like representing the “Axemen.”

“We think it’s a strong name.  Whether it has the “men” in it or not, we like representing it.”

A panel of educators and students listened to comments shared at the January 31, 2018 forum at South Eugene High School.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Other people who spoke were former students or teachers at SEHS. A panel of educators and students listened to their comments and took notes. Everyone was limited to 90 seconds.

No decision came of last night’s event. Other comments were gathered in an online survey that ended at midnight.  

South Eugene High School Principal Andy Dey says in a week, he’ll make his recommendation to the district superintendent.  

Copyright 2018, KLCC.