In the world of professional sports, there have been many controversies about names and logos being stereotypical to certain individuals. Recently, the question about changing the Axemen name for our own school has come up, after some female athletes felt discouraged about being called the “Axemen.” Many think that our team name is exclusionary to some and should no longer be used to represent sports teams or the whole student body. There has already been a petition signed by many South students and alumni to change the name. Although the majority of South students do not feel the mascot should be changed, nor do they care deeply about the issue, we should not ignore the voices that have spoken out or drown out the people who feel that the Axemen name is not entirely appropriate.
“I am female-identified, and I am still an Axeman, which I think is wrong. Because I can see it either way, I am fine if it stayed. But I am inclined for a change, because there are people who are offended by it,” senior Lily Butler said. “All of my time at South, I thought our logo had to do with something with logging, since Oregon is a state known for logging, and Eugene is a logging town.”
“However, I read on the Register Guard that an ‘axeman’ is not a logger and has nothing to do with the logging at all. The name doesn’t make me want to have school spirit,” Butler said.
There are also some students who feel as that changing the mascot will bring about logistics issues for the school, and therefore, rather than replacing the entire logo, there should be other mascots to represent particular groups.
“If people do have this sense that there is a representation of women in sports, then replacing the logo completely seems silly,” senior Jonathan Smith said. “Why get rid of something when you can add something new?”
Others feel the alternative, “The Axe,” as some members of the administration and students are proposing, is not very appealing.
“I feel the name ‘The Axe’ represents the publication. But I feel like it is a decent alternative to the Axemen, and it maintains that bit of tradition,” Latinx Student Union president, Brenda Ocampo said. “Furthermore, I haven’t seen any other viable option besides ‘The Axe.’ I think I would like to see more options.”
Even if you are strongly against changing the logo, it is still important to recognize that there are people who feel the logo does not represent them and their feelings are still valid.