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Aerial view of San Diego State University's campus. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker Jr.) Aerial view of San Diego State University's campus. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker Jr.)

Special Task Force to Explore Aztec Identity

SDSU President Sally Roush is seeking nominations from campus and alumni groups.
By SDSU News Team

Updated 02/26/2018

In the SDSU NewsCenter article originally posted on Jan. 17 below, San Diego State University noted that the Presidential Task Force on the Aztec Warrior and Moniker members would be announced in early February. However, when the task force convened for the first time, President Sally Roush stated, “I offered to keep their names out of the spotlight because they are serving as volunteers providing information and recommendations on a highly sensitive and monumental matter that stirs up emotional debate and reactions, from both sides of the argument. The task force accepted my offer to keep their names confidential until the conclusion of their work in an effort to allow them the opportunity to deliberate, research and present their final recommendations without disruption.”

On behalf of San Diego State University, we apologize for the inaccurate announcement in January and striking the original reference that the names of the task force would be released on Feb. 2.

It is important that all viewpoints regarding SDSU's identity be respectfully heard and carefully considered. This is why it is important to reiterate the selection process was very deliberate and the task force nominations were put forth by various campus groups including Associated Students, University Senate and SDSU Alumni, representing students, faculty, staff and alumni, respectively.

San Diego State University President Sally Roush is seeking nominations from faculty, student, staff and alumni groups to assemble a special task force to explore the future of the Aztec mascot and moniker.

In November, the University Senate passed a non-binding resolution recommending the university retire the SDSU mascot and related symbols. Senators also requested that the university president form a task force to review and make recommendations about the appropriateness of the continued usage of the Aztec moniker.

“All viewpoints regarding SDSU’s identity have a right to be respectfully heard and carefully considered,” said President Roush. “This task force will provide an opportunity for dialogue to continue among stakeholders in the SDSU community and will provide information on how to represent university traditions, build communal spirit and honor specific facets of our campus culture.”

Additionally, President Roush will seek input from individuals and groups within the larger San Diego community who wish to provide comment and recommendations.

The 17-member task force will be comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members at large. Additional members will be appointed by the president  to ensure a balanced task force that represents a diverse perspectives important to the conversation.

The task force composition includes:
  • Four SDSU student representatives selected from a pool of seven students nominated by the Associated Students Board of Directors and an additional student by presidential appointment.
  • Four individuals selected from a pool of seven faculty and staff nominated by the University Senate and an additional faculty or staff member by presidential appointment.
  • Four SDSU alumni selected from a pool of seven nominated by the SDSU Alumni Board of Advisors and one additional alumna or alumnus by presidential appointment.
  • Two members at large appointed by the president.
Nominations must be received by Friday, Jan. 26.

Associated Students (AS) President Chimezie Ebiriekwe said student government  would be seeking to nominate “a mix of voices from a diverse group of students that represent a wide cross-section of the student body.”

Students interested in being considered for a seat on the special task force should contact AS no later than Monday, Jan. 22 by emailing

The faculty and staff nomination process calls for those interested to provide a brief statement of interest and qualifications.  

“People can self-nominate or nominate a colleague willing to serve,” said Marcie Bober-Michel, chair of the University Senate. Final balloting will take place online the week of Jan. 22.

In the coming days, SDSU Alumni board members will consider and solidify nominations for the task force. A short survey will be distributed to all alumni in early February regarding the Aztec mascot and moniker.

“There are thousands of alumni locally and around the world who care passionately about the university’s past and its future,” said Dan Montoya, associate vice president of SDSU Alumni. “Those voices are an important part of the conversation about honoring and celebrating our shared experiences as members of the SDSU community.”  

The deadline for the special task force to provide information and recommendations is April 30. President Roush said she intends to make a final decision about the Aztec identity and mascot no later than May 31.