To: The University Community
From: Stephen T. Hulbert, President
Last fall during the regularly scheduled Student Leadership Forum the student leader of the NAACP organization on campus raised the issue of the appearance of the University’s mascot. More specifically that individual expressed concern that the costume presently in use at selected athletic events was a disturbing reminder of the confederate past.
The Student Government Association agreed to look into the matter and over the intervening months has conducted a student survey. I agreed to leave the matter to the student leadership for the time being.
Since the Leadership Forum, a survey was conducted by SGA in which 697 students or 10% of the university’s 7,262 student body participated. The survey indicated that the mascot was not being changed, what was being asked was whether the mascot needed a “makeover.” Of those voting 347 or 49.8% thought that the current mascot uniform should be changed and 350 or 50.2% said that no change is necessary.
Accompanying this message, you will find a statement that summarizes the history of the colonel mascot which was written by Dr. Alfred Delahaye. This brief synopsis provides a factual and less emotional history of the mascot. I am providing that statement for informational purposes.
The print and electronic media has provided coverage of this matter as it has evolved within the University. Someone living outside of the University who has followed that media coverage might believe that the mascot issue has evolved into a major campus controversy. I do not find that to be the case.
The student leadership is continuing to consider this matter before determining what action SGA might take, if any. The University administration will review any resulting recommendations and consider action that is deemed appropriate, if any. What ever the results of any recommendations submitted, the decision at this level will be based on the best interest of Nicholls State University and the constituents it serves.
The University community will be kept informed regarding this matter.