The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents held its monthly meeting Tuesday in Welch Hall, while a group of demonstrators stood outside to protest the use of the university’s former Huron logo on the recently purchased Marching Band uniforms.
Linda Cypret-Kilbourne, a protestor, said the use of the Huron logo is “racist.”
According to EMU archives, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights issued a report in 1988 stating the use of Native American names and mascots for athletic teams promoted racial stereotypes and suggested schools using such names and mascots should change them.
On May 22, 1991, the EMU Board of Regents changed the University’s mascot from the Hurons to the Eagles after much controversy.
Cypret-Kilbourne said the board requires a 24-hour written request prior to scheduled meetings for someone to address the board.
Cypret-Kilbourne also said she wasn’t permitted to speak at Tuesday’s board meeting because she was informed her paperwork was not turned in on time. She said the correct forms were sent in Feb. 14.”
Cypret-Kilbourne said the request procedures are like “censorship” because a person has to give a reason for speaking at the meetings on the form, which must then be approved.
“Public communication is public communication,” Cypret-Kilbourne said. “You shouldn’t have to get permission.”
However, Cypret-Kilbourne neglected to mention she was already given the normal six minutes allotted for members of the public to address the board Oct. 30, 2012, to speak on this same issue.
The group of protesters said that for EMU to go against its word and continue to use the logo was almost like “breaking a treaty.”
Cypret-Kilbourne said the reason the logo is still being used is because some alumni who donate to the school might stop if the university changed the logo.
Lena Schumacher, an EMU junior in criminology, said, “The entire thing is ridiculous. The Huron Logo is very racist. If the only way Huron alumni will give money is to keep the Huron logo, they obviously don’t really want to donate money. They should donate no matter what the logo is if they want to help the school.”
In a media report, EMU officials said the logo will not be added to any other university uniforms.
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