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"Axemen" Mascot Front And Center At SEHS Forum

Brian Bull

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. 

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...

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Freshman Julia Scher takes the mic to share why she thinks the "Axemen" needs to go.

“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.”

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

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. 

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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