Deadline for SDSU faculty & students to participate in Aztec identity survey

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — It’s one of those issues that brings out the extremists. On one side, those who celebrate the Aztec culture. On the other, those who claim SDSU is racist by using the Aztec name.

“Personally I’m not offended. I’m Mexican and I think the Aztec name is a celebration of my culture,” SDSU student Carlos Cortez.

Wednesday was the last day for students and faculty to participate in a survey about whether the university should keep the Aztec name and the Aztec Warrior mascot.

“You know what, if you’re offended, so what,” said the man who played Monty Montezuma and later the modified Aztec Warrior, Carlos Gutierrez. “I’m am an Aztec for life, I’m proud of my culture and I’m tired of all this politically correct crap.”

Along with Wednesday’s vote with students and faculty, the alumni association is also casting a ballot.

Alumni have threatened to stop donations and fight the expansion for SDSU West if the University changes the name.

“The bigger thing is SDSU West. When alumni are called to help we will not answer if they change the name or the mascot,” Gutierrez said.

Along with these ballots, there is also the “secret committee.” A group of 17 people hand-picked by the university to study and advise. Although this is a public university and this is a very public issue, this panel remains secret for some reason.

The loudest voice in favor of getting rid of the Aztec identity is former professor Ozzie Monge. He’s been leading the small minority of followers who think the university and the Aztec name is racist.

Ironically, this same professor has been kicked off campus, for making a series of racist remarks to a white student in his class.

Another twist, the interim president is supposed to make the final decision, before she walks out the door on May 31. Sally Roush was appointed to temporarily fill the seat left behind by Elliot Hirshman.

She’s essentially a temporary placeholder, in a position to make a permanent and lasting decision that could change everything at SDSU.

The new University President is supposed to take office at the end of June. She has not yet, publicly, chimed in.

Categories: Local San Diego News