University of New Mexico asks students to vote on new seal

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/26/2020 12:00 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s largest university is asking students to help with picking a new school seal to replace one that had sparked protests.

The University of New Mexico is allowing students to vote on five options. One has a howling Lobo and the Sandia Mountains in the background. Others have the names of the school around various designs.

The move comes after the University of New Mexico began looking for a new design for its official seal following protests from Native Americans over concerns about the seal that featured a sword-carrying Spanish conquistador and a rifle-toting frontiersman.

The Native American student groups Kiva Club and The Red Nation had been pressuring the university to drop the seal.

“If you want to go to a school, and there is an image of a group of people who killed your ancestors on the logo, then it might deter you from going there,” student Cara Greene told Albuquerque television station KRQE.

Since 2017, the university has used an interim seal. That seal is included among the options up for consideration.

According to the university, the seal is not a logo, but rather a mark used on official insignia, diplomas and other documents. University officials said the goal is to choose a design that reflects the academic mission of New Mexico’s flagship institution or the school’s history and future and the cultures that coexist within the state.

Some students still like the look of the old seal.

“I thought it was kind of cool,” Tanner Bollinger said. “It shows the older history of New Mexico.”

The review and ranking period runs through Jan. 27.

The Seal Committee will then meet to summarize public comment and vote. A recommendation will be made to University President Garnett Stokes, who will present the finalists to the Board of Regents during a Feb. 18 meeting. The regents will make the final decision.

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