Associated Students Inc. Senate discussed possible methods of sourcing a replacement for Prospector Pete including a school-wide vote during Wednesday night’s meeting.
Long Beach State is replacing longtime mascot Prospector Pete due to his association with the gold rush prospectors he represents and their role in the genocide of Native Americans.
Last September, the university confirmed its disassociation from the 49er following a growing argument that the mascot is a symbol of genocide. Although it is unclear when, the statue is set to relocate to the developing Alumni Center.
Sen. Matthew Major expressed concern about students voting, mentioning “The Escalators” as a mascot suggestion that has become popular online.
“In the unlikely case that that is one of the most popular choices, is there some way we could respond to that?” Major asked.
ASI Senate Chair Leen Almahdi reassured Major, “That’s why we are still developing criteria.”
Outside the meeting, Almahdi considered the ramifications of Pete’s removal and its possible effect on other gold rush themed parts of LBSU such as The Nugget and the 49er shops.
“The change is something the 49er shops would have to respond to,” she said.
The Senate also appointed Sen. Yamin Yee as the new representative of the University Student Union Board of Trustees.
The board consists of five members who oversee the USU and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Responsibilities include monitoring the budget for the USU and creating fees for facility use.
Senators nominated each other during the meeting leading to two frontrunners for the position: Sen.Yee, who was nominated by Sen. Brianna Guzman, and Sen. Omar Prudencio Gonzalez, who nominated himself.
When asked to confirm his nomination of himself, Sen. Prudencio Gonzalez responded, “I sure do.”
After the nominations, both candidates made the case for themselves.
“I really believe that I fit to this board,” Yee said. “The USU is one of my favorite places that I love to hang out.”
She mentioned the Beach Pantry as a project that she is especially passionate about and expressed her interest in working with faculty.
Gonzalez opened his statement by mentioning his previous attendance at the board as well as his involvement with several projects with the USUBOT.
“[The board is] logistically where we get to change that policy,” he said, “I can help bring that knowledge to the board.”
The Senate was in favor of Yee, and when an initial round of voting made her victory clear, Gonzalez rescinded his candidacy and nominated Yee for the position.
The final vote was 18-0-2 confirming Yee to the board.
The next ASI meeting is Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
This article was revised Thursday at 12:06 p.m. to correct the next ASI meeting date.