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UMass-Amherst Protesters Want New Seal And Mascot

Kevin Roche
Credit University of Massachusetts

Some students at UMass Amherst want the university to change its mascot and seal, which they say are legacies of racism.

The students took part in a nationwide protest to improve conditions for university students. Among the UMass demands are more recruitment of students of color, gender-neutral bathrooms and replacement of the school’s official seal and mascot.

Student organizer Charlotte Kelly said the seal -- depicting a Native American holding tools -- is offensive.

“We do live in occupied, colonized land,” said Kelly. “This land had been a part of indigenous communities before it became the University of Massachusetts. And for us to be capitalizing and using a Native American figure as our seal seems really hurtful and violent.”

And Kelly said the Minuteman athletic mascot has its own problems related to colonization -- and gender.

UMass released a statement saying it welcomes student input and will consider the issues brought up by protesters. 

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