These past few weeks, Knox has endeavored to educate the community about the history of Siwash through panel discussions such as “The S-Word: Native Nicknames” or through a merchandise exchange by student group Knox Students Against Siwash. The campus has taken the initiative to learn about and better understand the origins of “Siwash” as a racial slur rather than simply the college’s former mascot.
In the spirit of Knox, students have rallied for social justice and demanded change on campus.
This homecoming weekend, we invite alumni to do the same.
For years, a group of alumni have gathered around Standish Park to distribute free Siwash-emblazoned gear. They’ve argued that getting rid of the Siwash mascot obliterates a sense of spirit, community or nostalgia on campus.
The only thing that obliterates spirit and community on campus is pitting alumni and current students against one another. Instead of arguing about the Siwash mascot, let’s see it for what it is: a racial slur that’s preventing alumni and students from getting along.
Despite the many cultural and social differences between each of the graduating classes of Knox, the encouragement of dialogue is one of the things current students and alumni have in common.
We encourage you to help us foster our progressive dialogue by asking questions about the college’s initiatives and making an effort to understand the reasoning. Ask about the panel that was held this week or go to the merchandise exchange table that will be up during Homecoming weekend. Current students and faculty will be more than willing to engage in a discussion.
We also ask that, as alumni, you make an effort to respect the campus’s initiatives, even if you disagree with the mascot change.
Disregarding the efforts of the campus to educate is a disregard for the college’s values of progressivism, social awareness and discourse. These values hold true to the character of the campus more than any mascot ever could.