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Vote For Your Favorite

Beginning October 5, Union Public Schools students in grades 4 – 12 will vote on the new mascot, selecting between two choices – REDHAWKS or BISON – as being the best representative for the district. Voting will take place from Oct. 7 – 22, with the result to be revealed the following week. The Mascot Advisory Committee had narrowed the choices down to these two finalists after an extensive public search had been conducted resulting in more than 320 mascots ideas had been submitted.

“The excitement continues to build as we close in on selecting Union’s new mascot,” said Chris Payne, Chief Communications Officer for the district. “This will be a two-step process, as Union students will first vote on whether or not we become the Union Bison or the Union Redhawks. Then we will go into the design stage with an artist who will create several different iterations of the new mascot. Students will vote on their favorite design, which will then become Union’s new symbol. This is already a hotly debated topic, so we can’t wait to see the results of the voting.”

After revealing the name of the two finalists on Sept. 8, the district asked Union students, supporters, staff, and community members to participate in a Thought Exchange to share opinions about the nominees. More than 9,000 people participated in the Thought Exchange, sharing 6,182 thoughts, with 90,887 ratings given. There was broad representation among Union stakeholders, with 74% being students, 9 percent alumni, 4 percent parents, 4 percent teachers, staff, or administrators, and 9 percent community/other.

Participants were asked, “Of the Top Two mascot choices – Redhawks or Bison – which do you think has the qualities that best represent Union Public Schools?” A complete list of attributes for the two mascot finalists (as submitted by the nominators) was shared here. Union supporters were then asked to share not only their own thoughts but were also given the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others.

Among the findings:  

  • Redhawks appears to have a slight edge over Bison – about a 2-to-1 ratio – among all audiences. Among students, however, the lead narrows to roughly an 8-to-5 ratio.
  • Among alumni and parents, Redhawks was preferred to Bison about 3.5-to-1. Among Union staff and community members, Redhawks was generally preferred 2-to-1. 
  • Those who chose Bison most generally chose it due to the qualities they felt were more aligned with Union’s attributes, with the most highly rated comments being:
    • “Bison embody a fierce, powerful, community-driven nature and are a strong symbol of Oklahoma and our Native American heritage.”
    • “Bison is representative of Union’s enduring spirit and the passion of our community. It is not a lone hunter. Their power is stronger as a herd.”
  • Those expressing a preference for Redhawks largely made their choice due to the “red” color and how the name sounds, with the most highly rated comments being:
    • “Redhawks: I like the consistency of ‘red’ in our mascot.”
    • “Redhawks fits with Union’s existing colors and what we represent.”
    • “Redhawks sounds cooler than bison!”
    • “Union Redhawks! It’s perfect, sounds so close to the original. Would also sound good during the fight song.”

For a complete summary of the results and a presentation, visit www.unionps.org/mascot.

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 more than 75 years.

Union’s ‘Top 2’ Mascot Choices – Time to Weigh In! 

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 ahve 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.”  

Now that the Mascot Advisory Committee has selected two finalists – the UNION REDHAWKS and the UNION BISON – we would like your input. Please participate in a Thought Exchange and tell us which of the “Top 2” mascot choices – REDHAWS or BISON – has the qualities that best represent Union Public Schools. (Please see the Mascot Qualities for why these two mascots were selected above all others). Not only will you be able to share your own thoughts, but you will have the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others.

This exchange will run through September 29, at 11:59 p.m. We will share the results of the exchange after it closes and use the results to inform the design of our future mascot. Ultimately, Union High School students will have the final say, but we are not there yet! 

Submit Your Mascot Ideas [Concluded July 16, 2021]

The search is on! Union Public Schools is on the prowl for a new mascot . . . and we need your help! We don't know if this mascot will have fur, feathers, hooves, scales, claws, or fangs. We just know that it's got to be FIERCE!  And, most importantly, it's got to REP THE U. Ordinary, run-of-the mill mascots need not apply. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2021, AT 5 P.M. 

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. (We 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 this 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 (if submitted). 

Thought Exchange logo

Union Supporters Share Thoughts on New Mascot

Thanks to those who participated in Union’s Thought Exchange survey. Union Public School had 1,140 people share feedback about the characteristics and attributes they want reflected in a new mascot for Union. Participants provided 34,932 ratings of the ideas presented using this crowdsourcing tool. 

There was broad representation among Union stakeholders, with 41 pe4rcent being students, 24 percent parents, 26 percent teachers, staff, or administrators, 6 percent alumni and 3 percent community/other. 

Among the most highly rated mascot attributes were the following: 

  • Strength of character, standing up for our beliefs
  • A mascot that represents the entire district, (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 as a whole

“Another thing we heard consistently was that Union supporters want to retain our signature red and black color scheme, which is our plan,” said Chris Payne, Chief Communications Officer. “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. Our hope is that this new mascot will represent Union well for the next 100 years.”

Thought Exchange Summary Report

  • View a summary of the “Top Thoughts” provided by Union supporters about the qualities and attributes needed by the district’s new mascot.

Thought Exchange Mascot Presentation

  • A summary of what we learned from Union stakeholders. 

 

Union Seeks New Mascot

On November 9, 2020, the Union Board of Education voted unanimously to discontinue the use of a mascot and logo that had been in place for over 75 years. Now Union needs to select a new mascot for Union High School. To begin the process, we’re trying a new tool called Thought Exchange. We are already contacting students, parents and teachers via email and text message with links to Thought Exchange.

This will be an opportunity for you to share your thoughts about what characteristics and attributes you want the new mascot to have. Not only will you be able to share your own thoughts, but you will have the opportunity to rate the thoughts of others (which is where this gets FUN!).

The exchange will run through Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. We will share the results of the exchange with you. Later we will unveil a mascot application process where you will be able to share your recommendation for mascots that best exemplify Union High School and the district. We hope you enjoy this process as we work together to identify a new mascot for Union High School and the district. 

Why Union Discontinued Its Mascot

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Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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Phone: 918-357-4321

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