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Students vote to remove Marauders name

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2021 9:25:37 PM
Modified: 3/19/2021 9:25:34 PM

HANOVER — The Hanover High School student council has voted to remove the Marauder team name and mascot after months of debate.

But, if approved by school officials, how the removal would work and what the new mascot would look like, are still up in the air.

Members of what is formally known as the Hanover High Council voted, 38-2, to remove the mascot during a meeting Wednesday, with two members abstaining from the vote, council moderator Sage McGinley-Smith said. Council members brought the motion and approval vote to the administration Friday and are waiting for final approval, she said.

If approved by the administration, students will form a committee to plan a new logo, which they hope to choose by the end of the school year, according to council treasurer Riley Uiterwyk. She said the council sent out a survey to the student body in February and learned that students would like to keep the current maroon colors and pick an animal or weather symbol as a new mascot.

The white and maroon logo, which depicts a pirate biting a sword, has been the school’s mascot since 1951, but came under scrutiny recently as students began to question the symbolic and historical meaning of the term “marauder.”

“When we looked at the etymology it was established in a time of colonization,” said Uiterwyk. She explained that the term references a history of pillage, violence and the slave trade.

On top of the troubling meaning of the word, McGinley-Smith said the logo itself is of a white man, and not representative of the student body as a whole.

“Something being a mascot — it represents your school and community,” added Casey McGuire, the council’s Dresden representative. “It’s really important to consider whether it’s something you want to represent your ideals.”

Superintendent Jay Badams called the situation “challenging” because many Hanover High alumni have ties to the mascot.

However, he said “it’s the students who are there now and students attending later who should get a lot of our consideration.”

The vote to replace the mascot at Hanover High does not necessarily mean the removal will happen immediately. McGinley-Smith said the financial considerations — including replacing the image on various fields and scoreboards — will be left up to the School Board.

The Hanover High Council has authority over matters not covered by state law or regulations or by School Board policy, but the School Board makes financial decisions.

In a presentation to the board last week, the council said the image of the mascot could be slowly “phased out” and removed when it comes time to resurface the gym floor or replace the scoreboards. Many of those updates to the school facilities and equipment are due within the next 10 years, according to a copy of the presentation.

Alternatively, students presented the estimated costs of replacing the logo soon, writing that it could cost up to $27,000 to replace only the logo on the turf field or around $2,600 to replace it on the gym floor.

Wednesday’s vote follows months of discussion about the symbol, starting last the spring and continuing in the fall when a motion to remove the mascot was defeated in the council.

In the months following, the council formed subcommittees to examine the financial impact of removing the mascot and the historical implications of the symbol and the name “marauder.” McGinley-Smith said they also took input from people personally affected by the mascot and the name.

She said the subcommittees’ work impacted the way students and staff viewed the symbol.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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