Goldy’s coming out

I attended the University from 1978-83 and was a marching band member. At that time, Goldy Gopher was a member of the band. I was personally acquainted with several people who wore the suit. They served their role as our mascot with pride. Everyone loves Goldy! He is fun and a great representative of the University. Imagine my dismay as I viewed a television news report that featured Goldy stepping out of a closet to wave at applauding friends on “Coming Out Day.”

What an abuse of Goldy’s position as a representative of the school. I have never seen a news report about Goldy promoting fire prevention (last week was, by the way, fire prevention week), school bus safety or patriotism. Why not? Well, that really isn’t Goldy’s job. Goldy’s job is to represent athletics in particular and the University in general – the whole University, not a select small group with a political agenda that is not shared by the entire student body. What will be next? Goldy lobbying on the abortion issue? Goldy endorsing a gubernatorial candidate? To use Goldy as a pawn to advance any viewpoint other than “Go Gophers!” is to abuse our mascot. How am I supposed to explain to my young children exactly what Goldy was doing (symbolically or otherwise) in that news report?

If a few people at the University want to have a gay pride celebration, fine – just don’t let them use a symbol of the entire school as their spokesgopher. Goldy is supposed to be just plain, innocent fun. Let’s keep him that way.

Carol Herbert Sanders, University alumna, Brooten, MN