San Diego State University -- November 14, 2003

SDSU To Hold Referendum On University Mascot

Students, Alumni Association, Athletic Foundation Members to Vote on “Aztec Warrior” Concept

San Diego State University students, Alumni Association members and Aztec Athletic Foundation members will have the opportunity to vote on an official “Aztec Warrior” university mascot concept in the next few weeks, SDSU President Stephen L. Weber announced today.

“If the majority of students and the majority of the combined Alumni Association and Aztec Athletic Foundation memberships endorse the Aztec Warrior concept in the referendum, then the university will proceed to implement it as the official San Diego State University mascot as soon as possible,” Weber said.

If the majority of either group votes against the concept, the university will not adopt it and will continue to operate without an official mascot. A picture and description of the proposed Aztec Warrior mascot will be made available at 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 17 at

In 2001, the university retired its previous mascot, Monty Montezuma, and President Weber accepted a recommendation from the university’s Task Force on Aztec Identity that the university’s new mascot should be a culturally appropriate and historically accurate image from Aztec culture. Since that time, the university convened a new mascot committee, had conversations with student leaders, alumni leaders, athletics boosters and others, and received input from scholars of Aztec civilization such as anthropology professor Ross Hassig, formerly of the University of Oklahoma. As a result the mascot concept has slowly evolved into the proposed Aztec Warrior.

In addition, the SDSU Alumni Association has entered into an agreement with Carlos Gutierrez, who portrayed the university’s mascot from 1990 to 1998, that if the mascot referendum is approved, Gutierrez will portray the new Aztec Warrior through July 31, 2004.

SDSU’s more than 34,000 students will be able to cast their votes electronically December 3-5, and will receive voting instructions later this month. The Alumni Association’s nearly 12,000 members and 2,185 Aztec Athletic Foundation members will receive their ballots via e-mail or regular mail later this month. They will have until Dec. 5 to submit their ballots via email or postmarked for regular mail. People who join either organization by Dec. 5 also will be eligible to vote.

The results of the referendum will be announced Dec. 11.

CONTACT: Jason Foster, SDSU Marketing & Communications, (619) 594-2585 Pager (619) 620-1184,

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