UofI students: Bring back Chief Illiniwek

Champaign, Illinois (AP) 3-08

University of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek was sent into retirement a year ago, but the school’s students don’t appear ready to let go.

A majority of students voted yes in a recent campus election when asked if they believe the chief should come back. The ballot question -- one of several students were asked to consider -- is non-binding.

Student Senate spokesman David Mangian says more than 7,700 students voted to bring back the mascot, 79 percent of all votes cast.

The university shelved the 81-year-old mascot last year after pressure from American Indians and the NCAA. Both deemed the dancing, buckskin-clad mascot insulting.

Chief supporters maintain the mascot honors American Indians.