Union Seeks New Mascot and Asks Students Parents, Teachers and Alumni for Best Ideas

Union Public Schools seeks a new mascot and is asking students, parents, teachers, alumni and the public to send in their best ideas. An online application process at www.unionps.org/mascot is available through Friday, July 16, at 5 p.m. Applicants are required to explain why their mascots have qualities that are a perfect fit for Union. They may also submit an image for the proposed mascot.
“Union supporters recently shared their thoughts on the characteristics and attributes that are critical in a new mascot,” said Chris Payne, Chief Communications Officer for the district. “Using a new crowdsourcing tool called Thought Exchange, more than 1,100 people shared feedback that we hope everyone will consider when suggesting a new mascot,” he said. 
Among the most highly rated mascot attributes were the following:
• Strength of character, standing up for Union’s beliefs
• A mascot that represents the entire district (and not just athletics)
• Proud and mighty
• Resiliency/grit
• Positivity, perseverance, excellence, Oklahoma history, pioneer spirit, high achievement, cooperation, fierce fighting spirit and sportsmanship
• Wisdom, agility, and capability
• Something that connects us to Oklahoma or our history
• Tenacity and honor; and
• Strong, courageous, and empowering for all students, faculty, and the community. 
There was broad representation among Union stakeholders, with 41% being students, 24% parents, 26% teachers, staff, or administrators, 6% alumni and 3% community/other. For a summary of the results and a presentation, visit www.unionps.org/mascot.
“Another thing we heard consistently was that Union supporters want to retain our signature red and black color scheme, which is the plan,” said Payne. “We want to use this feedback – along with the district’s Core Values – to inspire Union supporters to come up with the best new mascot for our district. We want a new mascot will represent Union well for the next 100 years.”
All applications should be consistent with the following guidelines:
1.  Union’s Board of Education supports the use of school mascots and school colors to build school spirit and to promote a sense of community. The term “mascot” refers to any character and the related name, logo, image, symbol, and/or costuming, used to represent Union High School, school-sponsored teams, and the district. Mascots should represent Union in a positive manner and benefit school unity and pride. 
2.  Union will continue to use RED and BLACK as primary colors. (It will also continue to use WHITE and SILVER as supplementary colors). Please submit your mascot with that in mind. 
3.  Mascots must meet the following requirements:
A.  Mascots will NOT be derogatory or offensive toward a person or class of persons. Mascots will be culturally and racially sensitive and appropriate. 
B.  Mascots will depict individuals with fairness, dignity, and respect.
C.  Mascots should be consistent with the Core Values of Union Public Schools.
By submitting their idea, applicants acknowledge that all mascot names, ideas and images become the property of Union Public Schools, at no cost to the district. All applications consistent with the guidelines above will be considered. Union reserves the right to make modifications to the mascot name or image submitted.
On November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of the Union Redskins mascot that had been in place for over 75 years. 
See page 24 for additional Union sports coverage.

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