Watch LIVE

Every Man a Wildcat': Is Beloved College Slogan Really Sexist?

Campus

A 1950s-era slogan meant to inspire Kansas State University fans is instead causing controversy.

University officials asked the school's marching band to remove a formation highlighting the slogan "Every Man a Wildcat" from its pregame routine on Saturday. Those who dislike the slogan say the word "man" is not gender inclusive. They prefer "Every Person a Wildcat."

Proponents say the phrase is a longtime tradition and "man" refers to all of mankind.

The slogan also was removed from the band's routine last year. But band director Frank Tracz says he tried it again this year because it was used last basketball season.

The following video seems to support the use of the EMAW slogan:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/afFxhYa_sDQ?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]

According to the Kansas State Collegian, Tracz said it was in the school's "best interest" to pull the EMAW formation last weekend. "There are some people, I'm not sure if the right word is ‘offended' or ‘upset', or just don't like what ‘EMAW' stands for, but I just didn't want to create controversy."

Although the EMAW formation was removed from the marching band, the slogan will remain part of the university's licensed program, Jeff Morris, KSU's vice president of communications and marketing, told the Collegian.

The phrase first surfaced during the 1950s and remained popular for about two decades, according to the Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury. But its use declined during the 1970s and it was forgotten until students resurrected it, using only the initials EMAW, about two years ago.

The controversy began simmering shortly thereafter, and ignited again after the routine was removed from the band's performance.

"As we strive for balance, we're fine with student, alumni and the community using the phrase," Morris said. "At the same time, we have to be sensitive that some people are bothered by it."

Still, Morris told the AP, he's been amazed by the reaction: "There's sort of a controversy about a non-controversy."

"It is my understanding that there are certain members of the Wildcat nation that feel excluded by the ‘Every Man A Wildcat' phrase," said Dean of Student Life Pat Bosco. "There were enough people who wished for it just to be removed."

Most recent
All Articles