Thursday, July 6, 2000
UH boots mascotStar-Bulletin staff
It's official. The "Rainbow Warrior" mascot that some found degrading to native Hawaiians is not coming back.
Hugh Yoshida, the University of Hawaii's athletics director, said the warrior mascot will not return for the coming football season. Instead, a new mascot will be unveiled soon.
"We are working on a new logo scheme and the mascot is not part of that scheme," Yoshida said this morning through a spokeswoman.
Haunani-Kay Trask, Hawaiian Studies professor, credited Piilani Smith, former president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, with bringing the mascot issue back into the public eye.
Smith organized other students and met with Yoshida to discuss concerns about the mascot, Trask said.
In addition, Smith organized campus forums to educate the student body about the issue.
"This is a great victory for the students, particularly for the leadership of Piilani Smith," Trask said.
Trask herself began a campaign to remove the mascot 10 years ago, she said.
Through this move, UH football coach June Jones showed his cultural sensitivity and his willingness to work with the community, Trask said. "It was a very sensitive, thoughtful response and a very necessary one on his part."
The mascot was benched for several games last season after UH officials received letters threatening the mascot's safety.
Ka Leo O Hawaii