With Halloween right around the corner, its time to remember the big story of DU Homecoming 2008. It was one year ago this week that Chancellor Coombe dropped the shoe on our former University of Denver mascot in an email to students. He claimed that, "The Denver Boone figure is one that does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community and is not an image that many of today's women, persons of color, international students and faculty, and others can easily relate to as defining the pioneering spirit"
One year has passed and Boone is back thanks to alumni donations and our students who have crafted a new identity and spirit on campus. Since Boone's return to campus, who's been hurt? Boone has united the alumni, students, fans and many faculty. Boone has brought attention to a variety of sporting events and is more popular than ever among the students. Boone's Facebook page has taken on a life of its own and keeps 2,900+ students, alumni and fans connected to campus.
Every media source that has weighed in on the subject has been "pro-Boone." The Clarion, Channel 9 News, the Rocky Mountain News, the Washington Times and the highest rated radio program in Denver, the Mike Rosen Show.
In his email Coombe promised, "A community-wide discussion of what it means to be a Pioneer, for today and the future, and I ask that the history and traditions committee and our student and alumni organizations take up this question with a view to building community and clarifying our identity."
As to be expected he's done nothing of a sort. He's misled student leaders, unsuccessfully worked behind the scenes to squash Boone, intimidated "pro-Boone" faculty and refused to notify our alumni of his position on Boone for fear of driving away more donors. His position on Boone is overwhelmingly unpopular in the community and cost DU untold thousands in alumni donations.
Coombe's strategy appears to be to wait out the Boone "rabble-rousers" on campus. We're willing to wait him out, but what other University is ever going to hire this guy away from DU? Colorado College has a better chance of winning a National Championship than finding another university willing to hire this guy.
We propose Coombe bring Boone back officially and use the revenue from Boone merchandise sales to support DU spirit organizations on campus such as the band and cheerleaders. If he wants to use a portion of the revenue to fund minority scholarships or increase diversity on campus that would be a bonus.