MU plans to phase out Redskin logo
‘It’s time to move on.’
Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010 14:12
What do you think should happen to the Redskin logo?
Miami University started a process that will likely lead to the complete removal of any remnants of the old Redskin name, beginning with ending the "Scalp Song."
The decision has officially been made to end the playing of this instrumentation when an opposing team member goes to the penalty box in an effort to further distance the university from the Redskin name of old and embrace the RedHawk moniker, Miami President David Hodge said.
"It's time to move on," Hodge said. "The song was created when we had a different mascot. It made sense with the other mascot, it doesn't make sense with the current mascot, and we're trying to create new RedHawk traditions."
Hodge said the song also goes against the image the university seeks to project.
"It clearly is not as respectful as we think we should be at this institution," he said. "It goes against our values. It's not that people mean it to be disrespectful, and I stress that point, but it is."
According to Hodge, Miami will likely see future changes as they relate to embracing the RedHawk identity. One of these could eventually include the removal of the former Redskin logo from all facilities and paraphernalia.
"I think sooner or later that all has to change," Hodge said. "This is not meaning to disrespect all of the alums and previous people in the institution from different times. The logo we had served a purpose, and that purpose is now gone. Now it's a distraction and it doesn't in any way signify what our relationship is with the Miami Indian Tribe."
Hodge said the process of addressing the removal of these leftovers is being examined thoroughly before a final verdict is made. Dionn Tron, associate vice president of communication, confirmed that the Redskin logo's role in today's Miami University is being reviewed.
"That's being discussed right now, and no decisions have been made," Tron said. "It's really a carry-over from our old mascot and we haven't been the Redskins for 13 years."
In terms of the "Scalp Song," Tron said the Miami Tribe was not the original source of contention.
"The tribe didn't complain," Tron said. "I think it started as we began looking to see how we could really build traditions for the RedHawks name and gain a lot of student support for our athletic events."
Band Director Stephen Lytle said during the first few hockey games of the spring 2011 semester, the band will play several different alternatives and give students a way to participate in selecting their favorite.
"There's a couple different things we are looking at, maybe something to embrace the RedHawk identity, maybe something that better suits the mood of why we celebrate a penalty, like along the lines of, say, ‘Dirty Deeds' by ACDC," Lytle said. "It will be music that allows people to participate in clapping and cheering."
Lytle said on some levels the band will miss the "Scalp Song."
"To a certain degree, the band was attached to the song," Lytle said. "But, at the same time, understanding that times have changed and certainly the things that were seen as problematic in the song were things that were hard to overcome."
First-year Andrew Whitson disagrees with the decision.
"From what I've heard, the tribe didn't necessarily even want us to get rid of the Redskin name," Whitson said. "Both my mom and my dad's side have Native American blood, and I don't find the song offensive at all."
Junior Alyssa Reisner, however, agrees with the decision.
"I think that it is a good idea to remove the song," Resiner said. "If they were to keep playing it, that would be going against our relationship with the Miami Tribe."
Hodge said he expects limited resistance and backlash from students in relation to the end of the "Scalp Song" and any future changes. He said select students will likely protest the decision.
"Of course, you know, whenever you make a change like this there will be a period of time where people are going to show their opposition to it," Hodge said. "That's fine. It happens. It seems kind of silly to me, but it will pass."
Hodge said this is the appropriate decision for Miami and hopes the university can move forward as a whole.
"We have some fantastic teams right now," Hodge said. "They are RedHawks, so the thing to focus on is making sure that we build school spirit around who we are not who we were."