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South Eugene High School To Host Forum On "Axemen" Mascot

Brian Bull

This Wednesday, the 4-J School District will hold a meeting on the future of South Eugene High School’s mascot, the “Axemen”. This follows a petition to have the team name changed.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Critics say the name is too gender specific for a progressive community like Eugene’s, and should be something more inclusive that both male and female athletes can identify with.

Backers contend “Axemen” isn’t gender exclusive, or that the name is part of the school’s history and important to alumni.

South Eugene High School Principal Andy Dey says this passionate but measured discussion is what makes his school great.

“We hope to make an informed decision and move on to other equally important things as it relates to Title IX compliance, parity between genders in athletics, and creating an environment here that’s not characterized by discrimination of any kind,” he tells KLCC. 

Dey says while Wednesday’s meeting will be to further discuss the “Axemen” mascot, he won’t make a recommendation to the superintendent until a week later. He says there have been at least three other times the mascot matter’s been brought up in its 90-year history, most recently in 1997.

Copyright 2018, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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