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After elimination of the Aztec Warrior, the Foundation is focused on pushing President de la Torre to honor the tenets of the Aztec Identity Task Force Report of 2018


SAN DIEGO, CA (July 21, 2021) –– On June 4, 2021, SDSU President Adela de la Torre announced, with limited fanfare, her unilateral decision to eliminate the Aztec Warrior. In a message on her website announcing the future of the Aztec Identity a single sentence was slipped into the release that stated, “We are also now retiring the Aztec spirit leader and are retiring warrior-related imagery related to the human representation.”


This statement came in stark contrast to President de la Torre’s original support for Interim President Sally Roush’s decision to keep the Aztec Warrior and the 2018 Aztec Identity Task Force Report. President de la Torre stated, “I fully support the final decision and statement made by President Roush and look forward to working closely with on and off campus communities regarding the respectful treatment and historic accuracy of the Aztec identity and Aztec Warrior including the commitment to culturally appropriate education.”


“Her decision to reverse course on the open and transparent process established under her predecessors left the Aztec Warrior Foundation no option except to reorganize,” stated AWF member, Patrick Batten. “We are prepared to fight to restore the Aztec Warrior as an ambassador and spirit leader for San Diego State University that appropriately honors the rich culture and heritage of the Aztecs.”


As word slowly spread from the Mesa regarding the elimination of the Aztec Warrior, social media pages have filled with anger over the decision and the lack of involvement from the Aztec Community. Statements on social media fan pages have ranged from disbelief that the decision was made, anger that alumni were not consulted and a determination to continue the fight.


It appears that in response to the negative reaction from the Aztec community, the President’s statement eliminating the Aztec Warrior has been removed from her website and can now only be found on her messages page. Additionally, there was no press release alerting the media to the retirement of the Aztec Warrior. The decision to eliminate the Aztec Warrior, without input from stakeholders is unbecoming of a public university. However, the Aztec Warrior Foundation is focused on bringing this decision to light.


“The first step is to communicate with the Aztec alumni, students and community to inform them about the President’s decision and ask them to join our coalition,” said AWF member Victor Lopez. “We have created a website, www.aztecwarriorfoundation.com where Aztecs can learn about the decision, join the coalition and send a letter to President de la Torre to express their opinions.”


On April 23, 2000, the University Senate voted to eliminate the Aztec Warrior, overturning the vote of the student body and beginning a more than 20-year fight. In response, the Aztec Warrior Foundation was formed in 2002. Their efforts led to the reinstatement of the Aztec Warrior and an open and collaborative process over the next two decades.


“I am proud to have been part of the past efforts of the Aztec Warrior Foundation that led to the return of the Aztec Warrior,” said AWF member Steve Anderson. “However, the legacy of the Aztec Warrior Foundation is the determination of Aztecs committed to continue to support our university and work toward a resolution that, once again brings back the Aztec Warrior.”


San Diego is uniquely positioned as a binational region with historic, business and cultural relationships with Mexico. Through the historical representation of the Aztec culture, San Diego State University and alumni worldwide celebrate that heritage through our Aztec identity and the Aztec Warrior as our honored ambassador and spirit leader.


About the Aztec Warrior Foundation

The Aztec Warrior Foundation was formed in June 2002 as a non-profit charity. The foundation is comprised of alumni, students, faculty and staff that support San Diego State University and the Aztec Warrior. The goal of the Aztec Warrior Foundation is to restore and preserve the historical accuracy of the Aztec Warrior.




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On June 4, 2021, San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre eliminated the Aztec Warrior without the consultation of the alumni, faculty and staff, student body or community. The decision comes as a surprise and was not announced to the public except through a brief statement on her website that said, "We are also now retiring the Aztec spirit leader, and are retiring warrior-related imagery related to the human representation."


As supporters of SDSU, we are terribly disappointed and are focused on overturning this decision and returning to the two decade long process of working collaboratively through an open and transparent process that seeks input from all members of our SDSU community.


LINK:

https://pages.sdsu.edu/index.php/email/emailWebview?md_id=20011

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Introduction

SDSU President Sally Roush formed the Aztec Identity Task Force (AITF) in response to the University Senate passing a non-binding resolution on Nov. 7, 2017 recommending SDSU retire the Aztec Warrior and related symbols. Senators also requested that SDSU President Sally Roush form a task force to review and make recommendations about the appropriateness of the continued usage of the moniker.


Survey Results

12,755 surveys were completed and respondents volunteered 6,128 comments. Results of the anonymous surveys helped inform the AITF’s recommendations.


Regarding the quantitative and qualitative findings, the AITF found that:

  • 88 percent of respondents stated a desire to retain the Aztec name.

  • 78 percent of respondents supported the retention of the Aztec Warrior.

The survey of faculty and staff found that 62 percent who responded are in favor of retaining the human representation of the Aztec Warrior, with comments that it should be done in a manner that demonstrates respect, pride and honor.


Statements from President Adela de la Torre

President-Designate Adela de la Torre, who joins SDSU in June 2018, fully accepts the decision of SDSU President Sally Roush. Her statement follows:


“I recognize and appreciate the deep reflection that each of the members of the 2018 Aztec Identity Task Force engaged in these past few months. I thank President Roush, the University Senate, and the task force for their leadership and for their respectful and widely consultative approach to this issue, and recognize the cultural sensitivity surrounding SDSU’s historical and continued use of the Aztec name.


I fully support the final decision and statement made by President Roush and look forward to working closely with on and off campus communities regarding the respectful treatment and historic accuracy of the Aztec identity and Aztec Warrior including the commitment to culturally appropriate education.”


- President-Designate Adela de la Torre


Link:

https://president.sdsu.edu/moving-forward/aztec-identity/overview

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