A Denver Post article Friday revealed further proof that DU crafted its new “safety” mask policy with the direct purpose of excluding unofficial mascot Denver Boone from campus. Don Enloe, DU’s Director of Campus Safety, stated in the article that the policy was carefully crafted to allow for official mascots of other teams and universities to be admitted.
The Post quotes Enloe as follows:
“Athletics have been involved for quite a long time in developing this to make sure we had language in there that allowed for face painting and other spirit (functions) where you could still identify the person, as well as allow for other teams and universities to bring their official mascots on campus.”
Thus, it is not a safety issue for official mascots of other schools to wear masks on our campus – with unknown people lurking within the official costume. For example, Wyoming’s “Pistol Pete” mascot, brandishing his six-shooters, will be welcome because he is “official” – apparently without concerns for safety issues despite the blatant threat of gun violence. But it is a “safety” issue for a DU student, who lives and studies on campus every day, to wear our smiling unofficial Boone costume to cheer on our own home team.
This seems to be the very definition of ridiculous.
And just to make it clear, in order to avoid any safety concerns about who may be in the Boone costume, it was suggested to DU back in December that the DU student inside the costume, before each event, could show identification to DU Campus Safety, be photographed and even wrist-banded so that Campus Safety could know who is inside, thereby addressing any safety concerns. This exception idea, as you already know, was denied by the Chancellor’s Office.
It’s easy to imagine terrorist handbooks all over the world being edited to read: “When infiltrating a university campus or school athletic event, be very very careful to dress only as an official mascot.”
Another disturbing implication in the Enloe quote is that DU Athletics was involved in crafting this policy, which runs contrary to to the previous policy of allowing Denver Boone on DU’s campus. A sad situation, indeed.
Please take a few minutes and write to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc the email@example.com and let them know how you feel about the banning of Denver Boone on the DU campus as well as your thoughts about any efforts to change or eliminate Pioneers as the University of Denver nickname. Your voices are critical to this issue.