The Student Government Association of Florida State University, one of only a few NCAA schools allowed to use Native American mascots, voted in April to discourage headdresses at all athletic games on campus.
According to the FSView, one of the two student newspapers on campus, the resolution states that “[SGA] requests that the wearing of any Native American headdresses shall no longer be permitted into athletic arenas at FSU.”
The SGA cannot officially ban such behaviors, as all resolutions are “formal expressions of the opinion or will of the Senate.” However, the resolution also formally asks the university to consider headdresses at athletic events be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
The resolution states that the opinion is based on the fact that headdresses do not accurately represent the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and that the “Seminole Tribe has expressed its distaste for this appropriation of culture.”
The FSView also quoted an anonymous former SGA member, who said the resolution is a “drastic overstep of authority”:
“I believe the intentions are genuine, and in the best interest in the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I have a great concern for the fact that this could impede on student’s first amendment rights. There’s nothing in national or state legislation that restricts an individuals right to restrict clothing or material, and I believe there are certain consequences associated with the bill that could impede on student’s first amendment rights and could introduce trouble for the university itself.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Adrienne Keene of Native Appropriations said, “Hopefully the ‘tomahawk chop’ is next, and/or the practice of physically painting a student brown/red to play Osceola … But good progress nonetheless!”