ASUU stands against TCU T-shirt vendors

Editor:

The United States is changing. In 20 years, the demographic landscape from East to West will look completely different than it does today.

The level of friction between our past and future will be determined by individuals’ willingness to adapt to a changing environment. This friction may manifest itself in many forms, but always contains a lack of understanding and acknowledgment of past experiences.

A perfect example of this challenge occurred last week, when a group of individuals decided to sell T-shirts depicting a racist image of an American Indian male burning a frog to symbolize the Nov. 6 football game against the TCU Horned Frogs. This action shows a lack of empathy and recognition of the culture and experiences of American Indian students, faculty, staff and community members.

The treatment of American Indians by our country is one of the greatest atrocities ever committed. Depicting a big-nosed Ute brave with traditional headdress turning a skewer with a horned toad over an open fire is disrespectful and offensive to American Indians and their heritage.

As student leaders of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, it is our responsibility to protect the rights of students and to be their voice. ASUU does not endorse or condone any of the actions committed by the vendors and stands solely behind U students. Relative to other universities in the state, the U’s wider demographic is one thing that attracts a more diverse student body. Thus, we must embrace the unique experiences and backgrounds of each individual. We believe that it is essential to be culturally aware and approach life with compassion and respect for others.

Patrick Reimherr,
Jon Hayes,

Yevgeniya Kopeleva,
Associated Students of the University of Utah presidency