By Lulu Levy and Kiran Foster, Online Feature Editor and Online Sports Editor
// As Acalanes students and staff arrived at school early Wednesday morning, they were met with fliers posted throughout campus urging them to “Back the Don.”
Unapproved posters were taped to classroom doors and hallways on March 15, and included a QR code leading to a Google Form offering a petition for the Acalanes mascot to remain the Don.
Students led Academy lessons during the week of March 13 on the history of the Acalanes mascot and its various interpretations. Despite the mascot’s controversial background, the fliers highlighted how some students have strong opinions on whether the mascot should remain the Don.
“I support the Don because it represents our school and its history, and I feel without it, there would be a significant lack in school spirit… I put the posters up because I felt it should be up to the students to decide whether to keep the Don [as our mascot] or not,” sophomore Drew Hansen said.
There is a process for approval of hanging fliers on campus. If any student wants to put up signage on the school campus, they must first obtain approval from the school administration.
“Approved clubs can put things up on campus, student government can, the Wellness Center, anything like those channels, but anything else either needs to go through myself or an administrator. It is our way of ensuring that we don’t have anyone and everyone coming to put things up, which I think people could understand. It also makes sure that what is put up is in line with what is happening on campus,” Student Activities Director Katherine Walton said.
The “Back the Don” fliers were not approved prior, and the administration alerted staff to remove them if wanted.
“There was nothing wrong with the flier per se, but it didn’t follow that process. No one knew about the fliers, so an email went out to staff letting them know that the fliers were not pre-approved and that staff could make the choice whether to take them down or leave them up,” Walton said.
Frosh and Sophomores received the first Academy lesson on March 15 after students had already hung the fliers, leading staff to assume the student who made them did not understand the intention of the Academy.
“I also thought about what great timing because the purpose of this week is to do some education… I thought maybe whoever put the fliers up thought the purpose of the Academies was to change the mascot, and I hope the Academy provides a bit more perspective because that was not the intention of those Academies,” Walton said.
However, students passionate about the topic concluded that the Academy lesson did not influence their original opinions.
“I thought the presentations did not bring up any good points that would have led me to change my mind. I stand by my original opinion,” Hansen said.
Overall, staff appreciated students’ overall engagement with the topic of the Don’s history and the protesting posters, but wanted to convey the process of pre-approval to hang items on campus.
“On one hand I really appreciate students’ empowerment to pursue something that is important to them, which I think was the premise of the flier; [however,] there is a process to post things on campus and get approval prior,” Walton said.
2 Replies to “Unapproved Fliers Hung in Support of Don Mascot”
Thanks for your feedback ms Walton! I actually have gone through the process of getting my poster approved and they will be back up on campus walls next week!
Keep up the fight Drew! I think almost all alumni are not happy about the possibility of the mascot change. I am pretty sure the opinion of the current student body will carry the most weight, so it is important to stay active to prevent a change.