WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2002 A trustee of the University of Illinois is taking the middle ground when it comes to the school's controversial "Chief Illiniwek" mascot. Roger Plummer calls for a compromise to the debate. In a report presented today, he offers two alternatives. They are, taken directly from his text:
- Retain the Chief: arrest and reverse the slow marginalization that has occurred over the last several years. Strengthen the support for the Chief by making changes that make him less offensive and build other programmatic elements around him to re-invigorate the tradition. Retain the dance, Fighting Illini, Illini, the graphic image and Three-in-One. Acknowledge in a meaningful way the importance of Native Americans to the State of Illinois.
- Retire the Chief: including the dance, by a date certain, with a transition plan. Discontinue use of the Chief graphic. Retain Fighting Illini and Illini, and, should the campus choose, keep the Three-in-One as a part of half-time celebrations. The retirement should be an honorable one that does not demean, devalue nor apologize for this 75-year-old tradition. Specifically, the history and importance of the Chief to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign should be memorialized in perpetuity and there should be separate recognition of the important place of Native Americans in the history of the State of Illinois.
Seeking a Compromise - Chief Illiniwek (3/13) Relevant Links:
Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois - http://www.uiuc.edu/dialogue/index.html
Save the Chief, Pro Mascot Site - http://www.savethechief.com Related Stories:
Editorial: Rethink mascot opposition (3/7)
Illiniwek foes win round in court (4/6)
Church gives money to Chief Illiniwek foes (2/8)
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