University of Wyoming ‘cowboy’ slogan rustles up some controversy

A new University of Wyoming slogan “The world needs more cowboys, has the argument that it is sexist.

(University of Wyoming)

“The world needs more cowboys,” the University of Wyoming says in a new marketing slogan.

But apparently not everyone agrees.

The slogan has drawn comment from critics, including the faculty and Native American groups, that the slogan sexist, racist, and counterproductive to the university’s recruitment, because it excludes women and people of color, Reuters reported.

“To be honest, I thought it was a joke,” associate professor Ellen Currano told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “I thought it was a joke. And then I looked it up on the university web page and saw that there was not, in fact, this was serious.”

The university mascot is a “cowboy” riding a bucking horse with hat in hand.

The official logo of the University of Wyoming is a cowboy riding a bucking horse.

(University of Wyoming)

But Darrell Hutchinson, a cultural specialist, told Reuters that people who do not fit the stereotypical image of a cowboy – “a white man with a wide-brimmed hat riding the range on horseback” – are not made to feel welcome.

“If you’re not a white person, and especially if you are an Indian, it would make you feel out of place — it would not make you feel too good about yourself,” said Hutchinson, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming.

“If you’re not a white person, and especially if you are an Indian, it would make you feel out of place — it would not make you feel too good about yourself.”

– Darrell Hutchinson, Northern Arapaho Tribe

But the university officials in Laramie defended the slogan, which they said was created by a Colorado-based marketing company.

“In a vacuum, the term ‘cowboy’ appears generation – and perhaps race-specific, but in the context of the branding campaign is connected with images and words that show that our cowboys are diverse, of every gender and background, ” university spokesman Chad Baldwin said, according to Reuters.

He said that the university wants to “throw away” the stereotype of the cowboys, the update of what it means, and seems to be.

“A cowboy is not what you are, but who you are.”

Chad Baldwin, spokesperson for the University of Wyoming

“A cowboy is not what you are, but who you are,” said Baldwin.

The campaign costs $500,000 and is part of a more than $ 1.4 million investment for the advertising of the university, located about 50 km northwest of Cheyenne.

Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock growers association, said farmers are afraid that the dispute is to throw “slander on a time-honored way of life and work,” according to Reuters.

“We are proud of the faithful image of the real cowboy or cowgirl, often of very diverse race or ethnicity, riding the range on a good horse while sporting a cowboy hat, chaps, spurs and a rope,” he said in a statement.

Pistol Pete, the cowboy mascot of the University of Wyoming.

(University of Wyoming Athletics via Facebook)

Wyoming called the Cowboy State,, the university sports teams, known as the Cowboys; cowboy mascot named Pistol Pete is also shown on the games.

But Donal O’toole, a professor at the university, said that he believes the critics have a valid point.

“This is a sexist slogan,” O’toole told the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Like many universities, the higher you will go up in rank, the higher proportion of men within the university,” said O’toole, who is chairman of the Faculty Senate.

He said that in a state where the motto is’Equal Rights’ … we should make an effort to reach everyone.”

“It’s very 1950s to think that ‘boy’ or ‘girl.'”

– Christine Porter, a professor at the University of Wyoming

Associate professor Christine Porter, the slogan just sounds outdated.

“It’s very 1950s to think that ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, the Porter said, the education publication reported.

Christine Boggs, co-chairman of the Commission on Women and People of Color at the university, told Reuters that she had no criticism of the cowboys, since her father was. But she pointed out that the committee of 50 to 60 members were “very upset,” the Chronicle reported.

“As we strive to create a diverse university, exposing our students to a broader scope of ideas, we have to invite them in a more positive, inclusive way,” Boggs told Reuters.

A group of women scientists, also wrote a letter to university administrators, asking them to “embrace the slogan that takes us into the 21st Century,” according to the education news site.

Despite the pushback, the new slogan is set to start Sept. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular