It’s Done and Dusty
for TAMIU Mascot
After months of speculation and surveys involving student, faculty, staff and alumni, Texas A&M International University has decided that its mascot will remain “Dusty” the Dustdevil.
Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, said the surveys sought to ascertain communal attitudes toward Dusty.
“This would, of course, represent a considerable investment for the University, so we wanted to make sure that we had input from our primary communities. As we begin our membership in the NCAA-Division II this year, this seemed the most appropriate juncture to contemplate change.
“The costs for such a change would be daunting, reaching six figures and involving everything from building signs, gym floors and uniforms to stationary and publications. The resulting feedback received by survey has not revealed a clear mandate to change the mascot,” Keck explained.
Over the Spring and Summer, the University’s Mascot Committee, directed by Betty Momayezi, associate vice president of student affairs, launched an online survey that was distributed to students, faculty, staff, alumni and to student summer program participants. Survey respondents totaled 952.
Students, faculty and alumni were evenly divided on liking/disliking the mascot, while staff showed a higher dislike level.
“There’s no overwhelming indication that a change is needed and given our tightly allocated resources, we would of course much rather support student services and growth first,” Keck said.
Keck noted that while the mascot remains the Dustdevil, the University realizes that visualization of the mascot may change, as is customary.
“We actually want to encourage that,” he said, “because brands and symbols evolve, just as institutions and perceptions grow and change. As one of our student respondents observed, ‘the mascot is a light-hearted element of student life that we have fun with.’ In fact, the Committee researched mascots nationwide and found a range of mascots from animals to vegetables, to seedpods and insects, many of which change visually through the years. We can’t help but think the rather unique Dustdevil is in good company.”
Keck said the University would look at ways of getting students involved in this process.
“Through our Student Affairs office, we’ll be looking at ways of further engaging our students in this creative process, possibly through a competitive opportunity to redraw or re-imagine Dusty,” Dr. Keck said.
For additional information, contact the Office of Student Affairs at
326.2272 or visit offices in Student Center 226.
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