One thing is for sure--if you don’t change the name of the Roseburg Indians, this issue won’t go away. If you do change it everyone will move on, and it will fade into the past. I’m not hearing anyone taking signatures to return Umpqua Community College back to the Timbermen.
The great thing about this issue is everyone’s intentions have merit. Those wanting to keep the name relish the proud tradition and accomplishments of their school. It feels good to be part of this outstanding heritage. Those seeking change want a mascot everyone can champion without bringing up hurtful connotations the Indian mascot brings to some members of our community.
The heart of the problem lies in the fact that the image the mascot creates in everyone's mind is not the same. The whole purpose of a mascot is to be a positive symbol for uniting the community in support of all that is wonderful about their school. When that can no longer happen, it is time to move on. A new name will not end the proud tradition and accomplishment of Roseburg High School. It will enhance it, and as a community we will soon move on, united. This was true for the Riverhawks of UCC, and it will be true of RHS as well.
As a 1979 graduate of Roseburg High and a former Timbermen, I think the sound of the Roseburg Raptors would strike fear in the heart of all our opponents! It certainly could become a name everyone would rally around.
John M. Brown