Students Want to Diversify Rutgers Mascot

May 6, 2015

The Rutgers University mascot, the Scarlet Knight, is someone in a costume depicting a white, blue-eyed man. But now the Rutgers Student Assembly has passed a resolution calling for diversity in the costume, so that it might sometimes portray the figure as races other than white, or as female, NJ.com reported. Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann told NJ Advance Media that she was happy to discuss the issue with student leaders. Advocates say that the mascot should reflect the diversity of the Rutgers student body.

The idea has generated considerable criticism from people who say that the students are being too literal about mascots. One comment on the issue in The Daily Targum, the student newspaper, says in part: “If student body representation is such an issue, perhaps someone should point out that nobody in the student body wears armor, either. With few exceptions, mascots -- even those designed as humans -- are not meant to represent anyone or anything. They're simply characters designed for entertainment, fan engagement and marketing. You don't see Chicago Bulls fans complaining because the mascot is a furry red bull and not a human, do you?”

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