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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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EWU plans to eradicate old mascot

The Savage mascot that Eastern Washington University replaced with an Eagle in 1973 is a step closer to being removed from bricks in the school’s athletic center floor.

The custom bricks are cemented into the walkway leading into the sports complex south of Woodward Field.

EWU President Stephen Jordan announced Friday afternoon at a board of trustees meeting that he’s committed to finding money to address the issue, which has become a sore spot with American Indian students.

Initial tests this week proved the bricks could be shaved to remove the image, Jordan said. He thought it would cost $80,000 to shave the bricks, but they are harder than expected, so it will cost more, Jordan said. Shaving is still cheaper than the estimated $400,000 needed to replace the numerous bricks, he said.

“My hope is we can find a way to put this issue behind us,” Jordan said. “It has been an issue since the board made the decision in 1973 – appropriately so – to remove that Savage mascot image.”

The board of trustee’s newest member, Jo Ann Kauffman, who’s also a Nez Perce Indian, thanked Jordan for his efforts.

During the recent Indian Awareness Week, Kauffman said she showed Indian guests the bricks, which show a cartoon of an Indian brave who is bent over and carrying a raised tomahawk. The image does not help Indian students feel welcome on campus, Kauffman said.

The bricks received attention after the student newspaper did a few news stories about EWU students who scanned the image from the bricks into a computer and printed it on five T-shirts for basketball games. The students have since apologized and vowed not to wear the shirts again. The controversy led to a meeting between Jordan and Indian students.

Also at Friday’s meeting, trustees approved a 7 percent tuition increase, the full amount allowed by the state. Tuition and fees for the 2004-05 academic year will be $1,274 per quarter, or $3,822 per year.

The 7 percent increase means an annual increase for most students of $240. The trustees did not raise tuition for graduate students.

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