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Union Narrows Mascot Search to Two Finalists, Seeks Input


Posted Date: 09/08/2021

Union Narrows Mascot Search to Two Finalists, Seeks Input

Union Public Schools, after an extensive search for a new mascot, has narrowed the field to two finalists: The UNION REDHAWKS or the UNION BISON.

The district launched the public search on June 16, soliciting ideas for a new mascot from students, parents, teachers, alumni, and the public. More than 320 ideas were submitted during the month-long process, ranging from the Union Raptors to the Red Lightning. However, two names have risen to the top, after having been vetted by the Mascot Advisory Committee.

“While there were a lot of great names submitted, these two emerged as the frontrunners,” said Chris Payne, Chief Communications Officer for Union Public Schools. “There were a number of people who nominated both the Redhawks and the Bison as the preferred name for Union’s new mascot. Many other names were suggested, and the Mascot Advisory Committee considered all of them, looking carefully at the qualities and characteristics to see how well they align with Union’s Core Values. We have compiled the attributes of these finalists as put forth by the people who nominated them, and seek public input to determine which one would best represent Union Public Schools. This input will be used to inform the design of Union’s future mascot. Ultimately, Union High School students will have the final say, as this is their mascot.”  

Union students, supporters, staff, and community members are encouraged to participate in a Thought Exchange. Participants will be asked which of the “Top 2” mascot choices – REDHAWKS or BISON – has the qualities that best represent Union Public Schools. For a complete list of attributes as submitted by their nominators, please visit here. Not only will Union supporters be able to share their own thoughts, but they will have the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others. This will enable the district to determine areas of consensus around these mascot choices and provide insights that will guide the development of the new mascot.

The Thought Exchange will run through September 29, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. and is available at https://tejoin.com/scroll/583279066. The results will be shared at the close of the exercise.

“We welcome the input of Union students and other stakeholders, as it is extremely valuable,” said Payne. “We look forward to selecting a mascot that will carry our district forward for at least the next 100 years.”

Previously, Union had asked supporters to share their thoughts on the characteristics and attributes that are critical in the new mascot. More than 1,100 people shared feedback, with the most highly rated mascot attributes as follows:

  • 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 percent being students, 24 percent parents, 26 percent teachers, staff, or administrators, 6 percent alumni and 3 percent community/other.

Union intends to retain its signature red and black color scheme, regardless of which of the two mascots is selected.

The Mascot Advisory Committee represents a cross-section of the district, including student leaders, teachers, support personnel, administrators, parents, members of the Native American Education committee, and alumni.

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.

For ongoing updates about Union’s mascot search, visit http://www.unionps.org/mascot

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8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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